Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It's Not Quite a Valentine's Day Massacre, But...

I assume that an outsider like me cannot really penetrate to the wheels within wheels of the resignation of Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor.

Was it the CIA getting back at a critic? The Obama holdovers sowing mayhem? The misleading of Vice-President Pence? The bureaucratic incompetence of Flynn?

Who knows? I expect we will see a lot more of this in the Trump administration. His presidency is, after all, a direct challenge to the power of the "deep state" and the deep state is going to do its best to weaken him.

Over at RealClearPolitics.com, the liberals are all shocked as the chaos in the Trump administration, but I wonder. The whole Trump campaign has been a notorious chaos, so we have to wonder whether that is by design.

Normal politicians avoid the appearance of chaos and uncertainty in their image and actions, for an obvious reason. They want to project a notion of the steady, fatherly leader. Trump obviously doesn't.

Polymath Willis Eschenbach proposes a reason why, extrapolating from his own life experience. Donald Trump is a builder. He has spent his life building buildings. Builders, Eschenbach explains, cannot afford to take their eye off the donut. Everything they do must be about about building the building.
Once you start out on the path to the finished building, you stay focused on the finished building, ignoring everything else, and you do whatever it takes to get the building done. In other words, it’s all about the building first, the building second, and everything else is a distant third.
But there is another aspect of building that Willis leaves out. Every building project is a controlled crash. Everything that can go wrong probably will go wrong, but the builder in charge must keep his cool and keep solving problems until the building is done. And when it is done and signed off, nobody that wasn't there will have the least idea of all the toil and trouble it took to get the building built.

I think that is the key thing to understand about Trump and his critics. Trump is used to the controlled chaos of building buildings. Whatever his strengths and weaknesses he has been able to wive and thrive in the chaotic ups and downs of his career in developing and building buildings.

Compared to him, most of his ruling-class critics have had a quiet life. Maybe they came up through the elite colleges; maybe they advanced upon their parents' connections. Maybe their sheer talent has helped them along. But few of them can have experienced the chaotic life of ups and downs that Trump has apparently mastered.

As for me, I hate construction projects, even at the mild domestic level. I like an even-tempered life of routine, doing the same thing every day, and I hate being pushed off kilter by the whims and the needs of other people. So I get why Trump's critics are appalled by his modus operandi.

Of course, at this stage, nobody knows whether the Trump administration will be a success or a failure. But it would be foolish to think that the daily Sturm und Drang means that Trump is incompetent or out of his depth.

Trump is used to chaos. He is a builder.

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