Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Donald Phenomenon -- Part II

The following piece was written by Coach is Right staff writer Ed Wood in August of 2015.  Not only is it instructive to follow Ed’s analysis of the Trump persona while the Republican nomination was still being hotly contested, it’s also interesting to see how many politicians and political pundits have been “taken to school” in the interim by the brash, determined, workaholic Trump. See Part I

By Ed Wood, staff writer

Donald Trump’s burst upon the political scene has caused the most excitement in Washington since stripper Fannie Foxe, the girlfriend of House Ways and Committee Chairman, Wilbur Mills (D-AR), jumped from his limo into the Potomac River tidal basin at 2 AM to escape incarceration by the Capitol Police. 

But in an effort to better understand presidential candidate Trump, I turned to his autobiography, TRUMP - The Art of the Deal. 

In Part I of The Donald Phenomenon, we learned that “The Donald” is brash, dedicated, determined, and isn’t easily deterred from seeking his objectives. Hillary and friends are saying that Donald’s current actions are not “presidential.”  But one must then wonder by whose presidential yardstick he is being measured. Cigar, anyone?

Reading further, other of his personal characteristics came to light as he sought to establish himself as a major participant in the downtown New York building construction scene.

Trump wasn’t born in Manhattan.  He grew up in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, where his father Fred was a builder of low-cost rental housing.  But that was not for Donald.  He wanted the big-time --- to build the structures that would truly reach to the sky, revolutionize the appearance of downtown Manhattan, and leave a mark for all to see. 

To educate himself on the finer aspects of big-city finance, he obtained a degree from the prestigious Wharton School of business.  There he learned that academics are often overrated and that “sheer persistence is often the difference between success and failure.”  He says, “I have learned much more from conducting my own surveys than I could ever have learned from the greatest of consulting firms.”  We can see this attitude in his disdain of political strategists and media study groups.  He just does his thing and lets the chip fall where they may.

Donald claims to not be a politician.  But in order to do business in the city of New York, Donald soon learned that politics and politicians were involved at every turn.  Seems like everything he wanted to do required Trump procure an exception to some sort of government rule or regulation. And of course, each of these came at a price. 

“My father and I contributed monthly to NY Mayor Abraham Beame and to other politicians.  The simple fact is that contributing money to politicians is a very standard and accepted way of life for a New York City developer.” 

Obviously, this was a lesson learned early in life and undoubtedly the reason Donald is now accused of having contributed to both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives and even the Clinton Foundation.  Since politicians are always on the receiving end, those not in politics must always be on the giving end. 

Other lessons learned along the way: 

1:  “Politicians don’t care too much what things cost.  It’s not their money.” 

2.  “If you are going to make a deal, you have to go to the top.  Everyone underneath the top guy is just an employee.  An employee isn’t going to fight for your deal.  He’s fighting for a salary increase, or his Christmas bonus.”

3.  “I’m a businessman, and I learned from experience that good publicity is preferable to bad, but bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all.  Controversy, in short, sells!”

4.  “In the end, we won by wearing everyone else down.  We never gave up, and the opposition slowly began to melt away.”

As I conclude Donald’s story about himself, it is interesting how closely his personality and life experiences parallel that of the late Steve Jobs of Apple Computer fame, as noted in Walter Isaacson’s biography -- “Steve Jobs.” 

Both were brash, egotistical, innovative, work-driven, anti-social and overbearing, but vitally concerned with how their products would be perceived in the marketplace of public opinion --- Apple’s rounded i-phone and i-pad corners and the Trump Tower’s bronze front and Italian marbled atrium.  Both men were financially successful beyond their wildest dreams, although neither had that as their objective.   And, oh yes, both were/are brilliant and succeeded where others before them had failed.

Considering that which lies ahead of whoever is elected to succeed President Obama, all the above attributes will be needed, plus a miracle or two.

Ed Wood, the author of this and many other fine pieces for the Coach is Right website,  passed away last year after leading a long and full life. All who knew him are richer for the privilege. The Coach's Team will re-post portions of Ed's work throughout the course of the Election year.

Ever hear of Vigo County Indiana? You can bet Clinton and Trump have

By Kevin “Coach” Collins

Some political “experts” insist “Bellwether” counties like Vigo, Indiana aren’t “bellwether” counties but just statistical coincidences.

“After all, what can an unsophisticated bunch of Midwestern hay seeds know about politics that we don’t know?” they might smugly suggest.   

The ironic answer to that question is: Not much, except who will win the presidency every four years.

What makes Vigo County so unique is that since 1888 the voters there have voted for the winner of each presidential election, except in 1908 and 1952. That means they have been right 14 elections in a row and 29 of the past 31 elections for an astounding 93.5% accuracy rate.  

Because of this remarkable record, sent a reporter to Vigo County last summer where he remained until after the November local election. This assignment was probably to prove that Hillary Clinton was on her way to a resounding victory over Jeb Bush. There really was little reason to think otherwise.

The media was laughing at Donald Trump who despite a late start had just pulled ahead of Jeb Bush to lead the Republican pack, 18% to 15%. No one outside of Vigo County and die hard Trump supporters around the county had any reason to doubt that it would be Bush vs Clinton II.

The reporter lived in Vigo for several months and had difficulty finding anyone who was not voting for Trump.

Despite Vigo’s voter registration numbers showing Republicans with only about 10,000 voters, Democrats with about 30,000 and independents with 40,000 voters, Trump was always the topic of political conversations. The most lasting memory the reporter came away with was of the County Republican Chairman sitting in his Party’s booth at the County Fair; it was just three weeks after Trump’s June 16th announcement and the only candidate whose buttons, bumper stickers and yards signs people wanted was Donald Trump.

Ten months later in the May 3rd Indiana primary which welcomed independent voters, Trump won Vigo County with 63% of the vote in a multi-candidate field, even while fighting a Republican establishment that worked tirelessly against him.

This accomplishment is especially important because Indiana law unconstitutionally says independent voters “…can only choose the primary ballot of the party who received a majority of their votes in the previous general election, and voter records are kept as public information.”

Since this regulation virtually forces independent voters to vote in the Democrat primary it is indeed significant that Trump got 8,539 votes in Vigo, besting Sanders’ 7434 and Clinton’s 6042.

Vigo County: Remember that name. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Gays opting for common sense and self-preservation over Democrat politics

By Kevin “Coach” Collins

The wake-up call that Gays and Lesbians received with the murder of forty nine innocent peaceful members of their community on June 12th in Orlando is having a clear effect on their political opinions. They are slowly moving toward support of Donald Trump.

A 2012 Gallup survey found that just 13% of the Gay and Lesbian community self-identify as Republican so Trump or any Republican would have a tough time growing a base of this group; but yet it is happening.

As he has with so many other groups who have been historically unfriendly to Republicans, Trump has found a way to break through to the LGBT community. By pledging fair treatment and safety for LGBT Americans, Trump is moving the dial in his favor and doing so at Hillary Clinton’s expense.

On June 12th, the day of the savage Muslim terror attack on the Gay club in Orlando, the political opinions of the LGBT community member were as follows:

65% intended to vote for Clinton

25% refused to say, or were not voting

10% intended to vote for Trump

Just ten days later on June 21 the numbers had turned sharply to the benefit of Trump:
42% refused to say or were not voting

41% intended to vote for Clinton

17% intended to vote for Trump

Hillary Clinton is on her way to losing the necessary support of yet another group. She has lost 24% of the LGBT community’s support. Combined with the 42% who refused to say or were not voting, this development is fraught with danger for Clinton. If Trump can split this group evenly he can get as much as 38% of the LGBTs which would be an important step toward reaching the White House.

The lie that the LGBT Community hates Trump is now dead. Like so many other attacks and lies about him, this one is backfiring and strengthening Trump.

There was a time not long ago when Gays and Lesbians supported Republicans at a rate of about 33%. Trump is on track to hit that number and likely will zoom right past it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Donald Phenomenon -- Part One.

The following piece was written by Coach is Right staff writer Ed Wood in August of 2015.  Not only is it instructive to follow Ed’s analysis of the Trump persona while the Republican nomination was still being hotly contested, it’s also interesting to see how many politicians and political pundits have been “taken to school” by the brash, determined workaholic.

By Ed Wood, staff writer

Ever since Donald Trump literally exploded onto the political scene, tens of thousands of words have been written by all stripes of political junkies trying to figure out just what do we have here.  Is he a shoot-from-the-hip kind of loudmouth, as he is being made out to be, or is he perhaps the real thing?  Is he the kind of true believer we haven’t seen since the days of Harry S Truman?

A few of you may be old enough to remember that Ol’ Harry called ‘em as he seen ‘em.  He publicly likened the smell of his political opponents as being somewhat akin to that of a fresh dropping of cow manure.  It got to the point where the President’s Chief of Staff appealed directly to the gentility of First Lady Bess Truman to see if she could persuade her husband to tone down the rhetoric just a bit.  Mrs. Truman replied, “You should know how long it took me to get him to say “manure!”  But history now shows the Man from Missouri to have been one of our most forceful-as well as our most colorful-presidents.  He fired the legendary General Douglas McArthur and dropped the atomic bomb.

Do we have another Harry S in the making, or is it just slick showmanship? I decided to go to the source, The Donald himself, for an answer.

Mr. Trump has published of several books, including his first, an autobiography, TRUMP -- The Art of the Deal, copyrighted in 1987!   Amazon is still offering it in paperback, 367 pages, new, for $4.82.  I couldn’t resist. 

So far I have only gotten through the first hundred or so pages, but in it are some revealing facts of just how “The Donald” sees himself.  Although for the sake of brevity some of his statements are noted here in quotation marks, some may actually be paraphrased or abbreviated.  If you want the precise quotations, get the book.  It’s cheap.  You will like it.

First of all, Donald is a workaholic. “I wake up around six.  Spend the first hour of so reading the morning newspapers, usually arrive in my office by nine, and there’s rarely a day with fewer than 50 phone calls, and often it runs to over a hundred.  I rarely stop for lunch, leave my office by 6:30, and frequently make calls from home until midnight, and all weekend long. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Some ask why I do it.  I don’t do it for the money, I have more money than I’ll ever need.  I do it just to do it.  That’s where the fun is and if can’t be fun, what’s the point.” 

Is he brash?  Argumentative? Insulting?  Of course.  “I have always done things a little differently.  I don’t mind controversy, and if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you.”

Vindictive?  “In most cases I am very easy to get along with.  But when people treat me badly, or unfairly, or try to take advantage of me, I fight back -- very hard!  My experience is that if you are fighting for something you believe in -- even if it means alienating some people along the way -- things usually work out for the best in the end.”

Jeaolusy?  “When you become successful, jealousy and envy inevitably follow.  There are people --- I categorize them as “life’s losers,” who get their sense of accomplishment and achievement from trying to stop others.  If they had any real ability they wouldn’t be fighting me, they’d be doing something constructive themselves.’’  (Does the image of Lindsay Graham come to mind?)

Fiscal responsibility:  “I believe in spending what you have to.  But I also believe in not spending more than you should.”

Social acceptance:  “I was always somewhat of a leader in my neighborhood.  Much the way it is today.  People either liked me a lot, or they didn’t like me at all.”

Negotiating:  “You do your thing; you hold your ground; you stand up tall; and whatever happens, happens. I’d rather fight than fold, because as soon as you fold once, you get the reputation of being a folder.  It never pays to be in too much of a hurry.”

Didn’t you see in our recent Iranian nuclear negotiations that Secretary Kerry practiced just the opposite of the Trump principles of negotiation given above?  Secretary Kerry folded and folded and folded, making it abundantly clear that he and the President were in a hurry to get the negotiations over with, regardless of the outcome.  Can you imagine the difference had The Donald been speaking on our behalf?

Please keep in mind that the experiences related in his book and the lessons that helped mold the Presidential Candidate Trump that we see today, happened more than a decade ago.  So please stay with me, additional Parts are to follow, since we have over 200 more pages to go! 

And remember, even though today the Democrats and RINOS alike are pulling their hair out, “The Donald” is having a ball.

Ed Wood, the author of this and many other fine pieces for the Coach is Right website,  passed away last year after leading a long and full life. All who knew him are richer for the privilege. The Coach's Team will re-post portions of Ed's work throughout the course of the Election year.