Everyone Has a Plan Until they Get Hit in the Mouth: Why Donald Trump and Jim Renacci are the future of politics

 

You can really tell how sick something is when you apply some basic measurements that work perfectly well in one known environment then apply those same rules to a lesser understood situation.   That is certainly the case in regard to President Trump’s business experience compared to the falsehoods of political theater.  With Trump expectations of completed tasks have rocked Washington D.C. culture with something they’ve apparently never seen in the modern era—firings.  And they’ve also never seen somebody work as hard as Donald Trump does. That combination of things has really put the pressure on the political establishment to show how bad and ineffective they’ve always been leaving only to point to the president and declare that he works too fast on too many things and that the turn-over at his White House has been too extreme.  With the resignation of Tom Price Trump has gone through more employees than any previous administration has and that is likely to continue.  What did people think was going to happen from a president who became known on television for firing people?   But honestly, this is the way it typically is, when you do any endeavor some people will adhere to the philosophy of whoever is running things, and some won’t make it.  Those that don’t will find themselves on the outside looking in and that’s how things work in the real world.

It is astonishing how limited most people live their lives.  When they assume that Trump for instance cannot deal with three major hurricanes, a war with North Korea, a health care reform package, a tax cut and a hostile media and still not have time to Tweet about the NFL’s disgrace of our flag then still take time to conduct social occasions at the White House are people who clearly don’t understand what multitasking is all about.   When I campaigned for Trump this is exactly the kind of president I wanted, someone who would work on all the major issues of the day and do so seven days a week 24 hours a day.  For those who don’t understand the difference between Trump and Obama playing golf, Obama played golf to show that he was one of the big guys who had made it in life.  Trump does it to make deals—which is why it’s the game of business transaction.  It also helps that he owns golf courses and can go there to work and get away from Beltway politics.  But with Trump, he works day and night no matter where he is and this is simply something Washington D.C. has never seen before and they really don’t know how to interpret any of it.

The firings and resignations at the White House under Trump’s administration do not surprise me at all.  I have personally hired hundreds of people and whenever I start a new project I have enthusiasm for each and every one of them.  But often you can tell within a month or a year who will be around for the future and who won’t.  Everything looks great on paper, but when reality hits you quickly find out who was talking a good game during an interview and who can actually live up to what they sold of themselves.  With Trump the people he hired for his administration all seemed competent relative to the way things were before he took office.  Well, just a few months into the years of Trump things have changed and everyone is feeling the pressure, and this is no surprise to me.  I had a feeling this was exactly what would happen and I never had any expectations that Trump’s cabinet would stay intact.  Over the pressure of expectations some would last and some would not.  I will go as far to say that there will be many more firings and resignations over the next eight years because the daily grind will mandate performance and it is Trump who sets the standard—and few people will find that they can live up to that standard.

Part of the problem is that people have previously viewed government work as a kind of lifetime appointment and expectations were never really associated with the work. That attracted the worst of our civilization to public office because there they could hide their incompetency from the world but still demand the highest wages available in those fields of endeavor as administrators.   By bringing in private business people into government however naturally this age-old sentiment is being challenged and the results are predictably good.  In my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio the affluent community of West Chester has been run by a couple of pro business politicians who have private industry backgrounds and things have really taken off.  This has been part of a national trend that really has been emerging since 2009 when the Tea Party movement started taking shape and affluent people stopped looking to give their money to politicians and instead started getting involved themselves—in many ways like the Founding Fathers of our nation did in the beginning.  Why give some useless politician your money when you can just do the work yourself?  So we are seeing all across the country these politicians with actual business experience running for offices and winning—and they are actually fixing things for the first time that we’ve ever been able to see in American politics.

That’s certainly the case with Jim Renacci in Ohio who is running to replace Governor Kasich next year.  Jim is my kind of guy, he’s self made, he’s became rich doing good hard work and running several businesses and now he’s looking for kind of a retirement job to give something back to the state he has worked in for so long.  Being personally successful in many endeavors from  a financial consultant to running Harley Davidson dealerships in the Columbus area he is the Donald Trump of Ohio pouring $4 million dollars of his own money into his campaign for governor.  Anybody but Jim would be a status quo vote and the same old people who served the governor’s administration would still be around long after the next few elections because that’s how it typically is in government.  They create jobs for themselves and they take in money from lobbyists and financial backers who work against the will of the voters.  Someone like Jim Renacci and Donald Trump are already wealthy so they aren’t looking to get rich off schmoozing in politics.  Management is in their blood and they are attracted to these governor and president jobs because they are the ultimate management challenges and these guys like to be in the heat of the battle. That’s what sets them apart from the typical politician.

That trend is going to continue and most of the Beltway media just hasn’t been able to wrap their mind around these changes.  The changes came because performance was expected and the lies of the past just won’t work going into the future.  I’m getting exactly what I expected out of Trump and I would expect nothing short of the same from Jim Renacci in Ohio.  I want these types of people as local trustees.  I want them on my school board. I want them as county commissioners.  I’ve told the story of my dealings with Hamilton County commissioner Todd Portune before—people like him are abundant for pennies on the dollar-they are what we have had to accept as the political class.  It used to be that business guys would give people like Portune money for their elections, and would hope that rules could be made to help the business community, but those politicians often cost businesses in other ways with higher taxes, or they just fiscally run their communities into the ground.  So people like Trump and Renacci instead of taking their lifetime of earnings and retiring to luxury in Florida—as they may have in the past are finding in politics a nice retirement gig.  They’ve already made their money and solidified their reputations.  But if they still want to smell the flames of battle regarding management of resources as they did in their businesses from years past, they are running for office—and I think that is a wonderful thing.  That’s how it was always supposed to be.  The best and brightest among us should seek political office and bring that vast experience that made them successful into the management of our country’s affairs.  And if people get fired, so what.  The goal of government isn’t to create jobs that people sit in over their lifetimes.  It’s to do the work of the people who elect representatives into government to take care of business.  And it should be people good at business who sits in those seats.

Everyone has a plan until you get hit in the face.  Mike Tyson said that years ago when he was the defending world champion of boxing and its very true.  Politicians are good at making plans but nobody until recently ever expected them to implement those plans.  Once life hit them in the face they sort of went back to their offices and planned their lunch break—and they’ve been doing that for years.  What we expect now is that once a plan goes south, and we get hit in the face, that we have people in office that hit back and make whatever adjustments need to be made so that success can become the norm.  That means often people who are hired for a job will fall short of what’s expected of them and they will need to be replaced.  When those circumstances arise, we don’t want politicians who don’t have experience in hiring and firing people to be in charge—we want people who do have such experience.  And that is what Donald Trump is doing and he’s doing a fantastic job of it.  My only wish is that we didn’t have him ten years ago—but I’m glad we have him now.

Rich Hoffman

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