Commentary: Donald Trump’s Lonely, Inverted World

first_imgBy John INDIANAPOLIS – Donald Trump’s head must be an odd and lonely place to live.His visit to Great Britain demonstrates how desperate he is to be accepted and respected. He was so pleased to be in the presence of monarchy that he accepted the mild public chastisements of Queen Elizabeth II with an almost obsequious delight. So long as he could sit in the company of royalty, he would swallow lectures about duty with a smile pasted on his face.But it goes beyond a desire to belong to the best clubs with the upper crust.John Krull, publisher, TheStatehouseFile.comThe president clearly needs to see himself as the master of every situation – a man who manipulates others rather than one who is manipulated by others, a user rather than the used.But now, nearly two and a half years into his presidency, it’s difficult to see any place in which Donald Trump has imposed his will.Around the globe, other leaders look to him not for leadership but as either a pliant tool or a momentary distraction. North Korea’s murderous dictator Kim Jong Un persuaded Trump to make major concessions regarding America’s military presence in the region while offering nothing in return. The Saudis cajoled the American president into condoning murder just so they can buy more weapons to wreak more havoc. And Russian thug Vladimir Putin sees Trump as a cross between a lap dog and a chair cushion.Closer to home, the conventional wisdom is that the Republicans in Congress are his playthings, but a more discerning look suggests the opposite.The GOP caucuses in the Senate and House line up with him because he is useful to them, not the other way around. On his watch, they have secured the things most important to them – the elevation of conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and deep, deep tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy.The issue the president has said he cares most about – the wall – remained lodged at the bottom of the Republican priority list during the two years the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress.Now, as the president threatens to impose tariffs on Mexico, the Republican leaders in the Senate tell him they have the votes to override the trade barriers he wants. At the very least, these members of his own party weaken Trump’s hand in negotiating with the Mexican government.Then there are the Democrats in the House. Trump likes to boast that he’s bullied them so much they’re afraid to move forward on impeachment.The greater likelihood is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has decided time is on the Democrats’ side. The longer the president stonewalls, the more probable it is that the investigations into his affairs and conduct will occur during an election year.That may not concern the president, but it could put some Republican senators in purple states in difficult, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situations should questions of removal from office or censure surface just as Americans get ready to go to the polls..And Donald Trump in the Oval Office energizes and mobilizes Democrats more and better than any Democratic leader can.Pelosi moves with all deliberate speed because Donald Trump is a useful foil for her.Still closer to the president’s heart, it seems that few serve him for reasons other than self-interest. His relationships with his wives, with the other women about whom he brags, with his supposed “friends,” with his staffers, even with his children – with the possible exception of his daughter Ivanka – all seem to be transactional.His sons accompany him on a state visit to Britain. While the president pursued a primal desire to be accepted in the best circles, his older male offspring turned the trip into an opportunity to film an amateur “Boys Gone Wild” video.At taxpayer expense, at that.What should have been a moment of triumph for the patriarch turns into just another controversy.Donald Trump doesn’t present things this way, of course.In his illusion-fused telling, he knows nothing but victory and adulation.Ever.People most often retreat into fantasy when reality is too painful to confront.It must be hard to be this president – to fight so hard, hunger with such fervor, to reach for so much.And then find only emptiness reaching back.FOOTNOTES: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.This article was posted by the City County Observer without bias, opinion or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Are you preparing for the economic spring?

first_imgIf online articles came with soundtracks, this piece would be accompanied by The Beatles performing their classic “Here Comes the Sun”.Perhaps you prefer the edgier version by Ritchie Havens or Nina Simone’s soulful rendition. Regardless of your preference, you probably know or recognize the lyrics.“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter.Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.Here comes the sun. Here comes the sun.And, I say, ‘It’s alright’.My November 2019 article asked you to prepare for an economic winter. Obviously, it arrived much sooner and stronger than anyone imagined. The COVID-19 virus is the equivalent of a global economic polar vortex.Preparing for SpringWe don’t know the ultimate length or severity of this economic downturn. We do, however, know that after the winter comes the spring.Here are three ideas you should pursue right now to be ready:Watch for the signs.Nature signals that spring is in the air.Birds sound happier. Trees begin to show their buds. The smells of wood burning in a distant fireplace or the piney odor of evergreen trees are replaced with the fresher, softer scents of a reawakening Earth.The economy shows signs, too.From a macro perspective, the economy is on its way back when layoffs decrease and consistently fall below 250,000 per month. Hiring increases begin to exceed 100,000 per month. Construction activity picks up. The GDP forecast projects growth in the future. There are significant positive moves in consumer confidence, leading economic indicators, and the percentage of economists who forecast growth.There are similar signs in the marketplace you serve. Identify and begin monitoring them now.You are rarely hurt by planting your garden a few weeks late. You can miss opportunities when you aren’t paying attention to signs of economic spring.Build your culture to flourish in what’s next.Are you hunkered down waiting for the returning “new normal”?Forget about it. We aren’t going to awaken from hibernation to find that things are the same. A sense of “normal” won’t return for a very long time. Perhaps it will not arrive at all.There is no more new normal. There is only a new next.The concept of a state of “normal” is rooted in Kurt Lewin’s classic change model that you unfreeze the thing you want to be different, change it, and refreeze it.That notion was already questionable because the world moves too quickly to ever fully refreeze a change. The COVID-19 virus has proven that the best we can often achieve isn’t refreezing to ice. It is gelatin.The culture needed to flourish in a new next environment is built on the foundation of the past. It is values aligned, results focused, member obsessed, and people centric.The culture accelerates your ability to flourish when it is change ready, data driven, and process oriented. Chances are that you were already working on – or at least talking about – these items. This crisis is the ultimate stress test that determines where you are solid and where there are gaps.Even those things aren’t enough to ensure your survival … much less position you for growth.The game changers for your culture are that it is collaboration enabled and future seeking.Collaboration-enabled, future-seeking cultures actively seek different perspectives and ideas to solve problems and capture opportunities. They are like the scouts who worked for the wagon trains as the West was being settled. Every day they rode out over the horizon in search of two things: Where are the hostiles that have the potential to do us harm, and where is the water that provides an opportunity to sustain and fuel us on our journey?Keep the ground prepared and the plants watered.Lawns and plants need water even when they are dormant. It helps to put a pre-emergent on your lawn before the weeds have a chance to sprout.These are facts of winter lawn care that you probably learned in your youth. I, on the other hand, had to discover them the hard way when I became a first-time home owner.It’s the same with your members. Consistent care and feeding of the relationship during this economic winter sets the stage for a vibrant growth spurt when the economy thaws and spring arrives.Managing the DissonanceArticles, presentations, and books make leading sound easy. Then you are bombarded with the realities of the moment.That is especially true right now. The dissonance between preparing for the spring and surviving the winter is real.Your good intentions compete with the emergencies and mundane of today. Your team and members must have the necessary PPE. Members have questions about their PPP loans or unemployment payment status that require research. Helping your team remain productive as it works from home is taking more time. The clock doesn’t magically add an extra two hours per day.One solution lies in doing things differently rather than trying to do more things. Look for opportunities to grow others by asking them to collaborate on new ideas. Identify activities with minimal value that can be discontinued, and engage everyone in watching for signs of the emerging spring.The sun will shine again. Rebirth will happen. Now is the time to prepare for the economic spring. Cue The Beatles. 19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Randy Pennington Randy Pennington is an award-winning author, speaker, and leading authority on helping organizations achieve positive results in a world of accelerating change. He is author of the award-winning books Make … Web: Detailslast_img read more