Good Grief President Trump!!

Good Grief President Trump!!

Since your Inauguration barely a week ago – President Trump – you have managed to upset important allies and trading partners, blindsided your national security team, frightened legal immigrants, and angered your own GOP majority in the Congress.

The majority of voters in over 30 states voted for you because they believed you would create jobs — not nationwide and global chaos!

I am troubled by both the pace of activity and the lack of strategic direction in your early actions. What’s the goal?

I was troubled enough to throw down $12.95 for a Kindle copy of your oft referenced “Art of the Deal” to see if I could make sense of the chaos.

Any Art in Your Executive Orders?

So far I’ve learned that Trump, the builder, sees himself as an “idea machine”; an entrepreneur who leaves the details to other people. He dislikes structure. He sometimes enjoys playing the “bad cop”.

His “bad cop” has stirred more global protest in just one week than the United States has seen since the end of the Vietnam War – over 40 years ago.

For a year and half you talked about all the “good deals” you were going to make for America.

It is time to stop stirring up the pot and start delivering DEALS that will keep Americans safe and prosperous at home and abroad.

Those are deals that heal the divisions within the United States as well as between the United States and its allies and “friendenemies” around the world.

Confrontation Does Not Lead to Good Deals

Good deals can be defined as deals where both sides in a negotiation get something they need by giving up something they want.

In my world we call it “finding the win/win”.

In the senior ranks of management consulting firms, my performance was judged on the ability to develop new business and manage executive relationships (i.e. new clients and new projects with existing clients). Execution – getting results – was always the foundation of success but revenue and relationships were the bottom-line.

Building a good deal does not start with a confrontation – as have so many of your actions in the last 10 days.

The art of building relationships and negotiating good deals starts with being a good listener and empathizer – not a frenetic actor!

Robert Gates, the highly respected former CIA Chief and Defense Secretary to both Presidents Bush and Obama, did not support you before the election. But – a patriot – he met with you at Trump Tower after the election.

Gates has generously described you as “thoughtful” and “open to advice”.

I found that description comforting – those are absolutely necessary characteristics in the President of the United States.

But, if you are a good listener, then the next two questions should raise alarm: Who have you asked for advice and – more importantly — who should you ask for advice as the “leader of the free world”?

Why Experience Matters

Based on the public evidence, you appear to be listening less to the experienced generals you’ve appointed to lead your national security team and more to the under skilled sycophants in the White House.

Is proximity the only source of power in your White House?

Press reports and the actions of General Kelly suggest that Homeland Security was not consulted before you issued new travel and immigration restrictions on Muslims from seven countries already under strict review.

Who persuaded you that announcing Mexico would pay for the southern border wall “one way or another” was the way to open negotiations or improve our relationship with Mexico?

Humiliating the Mexican president publicly instead of meeting with him privately this week in Washington makes NO sense!

Your actions and words will make it more difficult from Rex Tillerson (when he is confirmed) and General Kelly to negotiate a border security deal that serves the interests of both Mexico and the United States:

  • Stop illegal immigration transiting Mexico into the United States whether Mexican, Central American, Chinese or would-be terrorists and
  • Stop the drug smuggling that has cost countless lives on both sides of the border.

The reaction by the Mexican people and their political establishment to those words will, also, complicate renegotiation of NAFTA.

Nothing was gained. You can’t even check-off a campaign promise kept.

Start Firing the Right People

This week, President Trump, you need to restart your administration. The success of your Presidency hangs in the balance.

Bold action is required.

You’ve got to eliminate the people who have proven their advice is bad advice.

Time to tell physically and intellectually over-inflated Steven Bannon and the self-aggrandizing political errand boy Stephen Miller “you’re fired”.

Next ask the “4 Stars” what to do with “3 Star” General Michael Flynn. Then follow their advice!

Good luck – the nation is counting on you not to screw this up beyond repair in just two weeks.



During my long corporate career, I hired a lot of senior level individuals. I’ve fired a few, too.

As a consultant, I have advised a number of Fortune 100 clients on key executive hiring, internal executive promotion, and succession planning decisions.

In any of those situations, if a Human Resources (HR) Department sent me a selected few resumes to choose from which included candidates:

  • With no relevant work experience
  • A potential to act first and think later
  • A record of questionable decisions
  • A loose relationship with the truth
  • Racial insensitivity
  • A track record of pandering to every potentially aggrieved person or group
  • An acknowledged affection for marijuana

I would pick up the phone and tell the HR folks to reread the job description before continuing the search for a suitable candidate.

In the case of the 2016 Presidential Election, 62 percent of likely voters agree with me but that’s not an option.

To quote Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, “we are where we are – not where we want to be.”

Imperfect though the 2016 Presidential candidates all are – we, the people, will have to make a decision on November 8, 2016. We’re going to vote to hire one of them to manage our economy and national security for the next four years.

Nine Percent of Americans Nominated Clinton and Trump

Barring a cataclysmic event, either Hillary Clinton will be elected the first woman President of the United States or Donald Trump will be the first business billionaire elected President of the United States.

These are the two most unpopular, mistrusted major political party nominees in the history of the United States.

How did we get here?

It is easy – only 28.5 percent of the eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2016 primary contests (14.4 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans). That amounts to only nine percent of the total population of the country.

It’s a sad commentary on the quality and quantity of civic engagement and political participation in our country.

Even more disconcerting, those voters – from both political parties – are zealous partisans unwilling to consider the legitimacy of the other side’s argument.

The major political parties love these voters. Their zealotry energizes them. It gets them to the polls in disproportionate numbers.

But that zealotry is the root of partisan gridlock in Washington.

Political zealots see politics as a “zero sum” game, where only one correct position exists, and therefore there can’t be compromise – no meeting in the middle.

The result has been more government by Executive Order and (Supreme) Court Order and less government by the people’s most direct representatives – Congress.


Broad citizen participation is the bedrock of “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The fewer people vote the less democracy we have. Lower and lower voter turnout has been the trend for the last two decades.

When 71.5 percent of registered voters (including the forty-two percent of voters who identify themselves as independents) do not vote in primary elections –- well, then, we end up where we are.

To keep the promise of America alive, we’ve all got to be part of the decision-making.

How to Make the Least Bad Decision

Use the ReimagineAmerica
2016 Presidential Scorecard

To date, the two leading candidates have spent more than $100 million on 30 second television commercials aimed at getting an emotional (gut) voter reaction – ‘vote for me or, at least, don’t vote for the other (unacceptable) candidate’.

Voting on just your gut in this election is akin to eloping with a beautiful blonde only to learn on your wedding night that she is bald and has a glass eye!!

Like one-third of voters I’ll hold my decision in abeyance until at least after the first Presidential Debate.

It’s my standard practice in hiring or advising a client on hiring decisions to craft a job-specific-scorecard.

I use the same process in voting. I want to be persuaded objectively – independent of my emotions and against a common standard which candidate is at least not going to make a bad situation worse.

The scorecard I developed for the 2016 Presidential Election is divided into three broad categories intuitive, policy and “follow the money”.

  • Section 1 scores how you react to each candidate. For example, how do you think each candidate will react to criticism? How will that effect their ability to govern?
  • Section 2 scores the candidates’ policy positions. Do you think their policy positions will move the country away from the fiscal precipice, improve your lives and the lives of your children and, most importantly, can be executed with Congress?
  • Section 3 “follows the money”. Who are the campaign contributors each candidate will be indebted to? Are their interests the same as your interests?
  • Add all three scores together, for each candidate, and there’s your answer.

The Scorecard includes all Four (4) Presidential Candidates
who have qualified for 50 state ballots.

Visit the 2016 Presidential Scorecard

If you have 15 minutes, please download your own copy of the Scorecard and use it to make your own voter decision objectively – by the numbers.

Once you download the form, it is completely yours, completely private and not accessible by any other person, candidate or

In return for making this powerful tool available, we ask only one thing — VOTE on November 8!

Graphic courtesy of city of New Haven.Conn.

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