Trump has his unique version of ‘here, hold my beer’ — and it’s a good thing
Real Coffee with Scott Adams is worth listening to regularly because Adams, like Trump, is an out-of-the-box thinker. During one of his recent shows, Adams framed Trump uniquely and insightfully. According to Adams, while Trump may falter on smaller decisions (why, oh why, did he waste time talking to Woodward?), his gift is his ability to do the impossible. In other words, when everyone says something can’t be done, Trump’s response is a version of “here, hold my beer” (or, as he’s a teetotaler, “hold my soda”). Tell Trump something’s impossible, and he goes and makes it possible.
I was not on Team Trump in the beginning. What changed my mind was having a New York friend tell me, “Trump gets things done that no one else can.” The example she gave me, something about which I was ignorant since I’m not a New Yorker, was Trump and the Wollman Skating Rink.
The rink was a city-owned property that had fallen into disrepair during the 1970s. By 1980, the city was planning to refurbish, a project it said would take two years. Six years and $13 million later, the work already done was wrong, and the city announced that it had to start over. In May 1986, Trump, then 39, told Mayor Ed Koch that if the mayor handed the project to him, Trump would have the rink ready by Christmas for less than $3 million, none of which would be a profit to Trump.
As it happened, Trump did not do what he had promised. Instead, he did the impossible by hugely exceeding expectations. Trump finished the job in four months and came in 25% under budget. According to my friend, New Yorkers understood that if Trump undertook a task, he’d do it, and do it well. He would achieve the impossible.
Remember how Barack Obama, during the campaign, talked down Trump’s promise to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and improve the economy? Obama could not have been more snide or dismissive:
“Well, how exactly are you going to do that? What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it,” Obama said.
“He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”
Trump said, “Hold my soda,” and, until the Democrats took a hacksaw to the economy with their Wuhan virus overreach, Trump waved his magic wand all over the economy. By July 2019, Forbes was reporting:
In the last 30 months of President Obama’s term, manufacturing employment grew by 185,000 or 1.5%. In President Trump’s first 30 months, manufacturers added 499,000 jobs, expanding by 4.0%. In the same 30-month time span during the mature, post-recovery phase of the business cycle, some 314,000 more manufacturing jobs were added under Trump than under Obama, a 170% advantage.
We were told that the sluggish economic growth rate that Obama oversaw was the new normal. Trump said, “Hold my soda,” and, by September 2019, before the lockdown tried to end the party, Trump had the economy chugging along at rates unseen in decades: incomes, especially in the lower brackets, increased at 3.4% annually; poverty declined to 11.8%; unemployment dropped to the lowest in decades, with the most significant benefits flowing to minorities and women; and the number of families in the lowest economic bracket dropped by 1%.
Everyone predicted dire outcomes if Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Trump said, “Hold my soda,” moved the embassy…and that proceeded so well that he also announced that Israel has sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
And everyone said there could be no peace in the Middle East. After all, if Obama couldn’t make that miracle happen (and, instead, oversaw ISIS’s rise, an Egyptian fundamentalist revival, the Syrian civil war, and Libya’s collapse), then Trump definitely couldn’t bring about peace. Again, Trump said, “Hold my soda” and began getting the Sunni nations, one after another, to normalize relations with Israel.
Trump did this with a new paradigm that cut the Palestinians out of the loop and sold the Sunnis on the wonders of peace and prosperity with Israel as an ally, not an enemy. The UAE and Bahrain are on board, and Trump promises — and it’s reasonable to believe — that all the Sunni nations will follow.
And so will end 72 years of alternately hot and cold, but always hostile, relations between Israel and her neighbors. The UAE is changing its schools’ curricula to support Israel, and Saudi’s imam of the Grand Mosque demands that Muslims treat Jews well. It’s big; it’s real; and for Trump, it wasn’t impossible.
I’ll end with an optimistic poem that Edgar Albert Guest wrote early in the 20th century. It seems appropriate here:
It Couldn‘t Be Done
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Published at Thu, 17 Sep 2020 05:00:00 +0000