WASHINGTON, October 9, 2017 — Every Democrat in the House and the Senate, most of the mainstream media and even some Republicans are blasting President Trump’s strategy on many key issues. From his North Korea strategy to his proposals to fix health care and his position on DACA, his critics have harsh words for the President.
The real reason for this opposition is that Trump’s opponents simply do not understand the brilliant strategy that he is employing.
Trump’s opponents stubbornly refuse to understand that this President’s background is in business, not politics. He thinks like a businessman and not a politician. Those working in the world of business are focused on results, on the bottom line. Getting to that bottom line is more important than how you get there. But the opposite is true for a politician.
Politicians are constantly focused on optics and political correctness, always keeping an eye toward how a given act or perception will influence their chances in the next election. For the typical politician, achieving the best result for the nation is secondary to achieving a result that will appeal to that politician’s supporters, or “base.” Doing or saying what is likely to keep that base intact generally ensures that all the elected official needs to do is swing a small portion of non-supporters or fence sitters to win the next election.
Trump is more concerned with the bottom line, and this shows quite clearly in his actions.
Politicians over the past 25 years have taken a soft approach to North Korea’s consistently provocative and violent regime. By appearing to reach deals with North Korea that included billions of dollars of U.S. aid, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama could create the appearance of success in avoid a direct confrontation with the Kim Dynasty. They succeeded in “kicking the can down the road” so the next administration would have to confront the same problem, only worse.
This “give peace a chance” approach was popular with voters because it avoided the appearance of conflict. But this series of non-solutions did not achieve the desired result of de-nuclearizing North Korea.
Trump’s approach understands that a positive result for U.S. policy is actually what is needed, even if that means brandishing or following through on the threat of military action. He will not “kick the can down the road.”
Trump is employing the classic “good cop, bad cop” approach to negotiation. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the good cop who wants a peaceful resolution (even though that may be impossible based on past history.)
But Tillerson must be saying to the North Koreans that “I am doing the best I can, but the President is taking a much stronger stance and he is my boss. Heck, he appears to be getting ready to take military action right now.” If Tillerson can make it appear that he is trying to help the North Koreans, he may be able to negotiate a non-military solution.
Obamacare repeal and tax reform
Trump must be frustrated with the GOP, which cannot reach consensus to repeal and replace Obamacare, something the party has promised to do for the past seven years. He was right to be afraid the GOP would be unable to find a solution when it came time to deal with the government budget and the debt ceiling. The GOP-controlled Congress proved that fear was justified.
Seeking results to fulfill his other key campaign promises, Trump reached out to Democrats on an interim budget patch for FY 2018. The result was a temporary solution to both the Federal budget and debt ceiling that was approved by more than 80 percent of both legislative houses. That solution neatly removed those issues from the discussion for three months, giving time for the GOP controlled Congress to concentrate on other key campaign pledges, like the reform of the federal income tax code.
Trump will likely employ similar tactics when the discussion returns to healthcare. He has already reached out to the Democrats on the issue. As negotiations begin anew, he will ask for far more than he expects to get. The result will likely be a plan that really repeals Obamacare but does not appear to do so. That way both GOP and the Democrats can declare victory to satisfy their respective bases and the issued will be resolved.
DACA and beyond
Reaching out to the Democrats on the seemingly eternal DACA issue is also more likely to achieve results. As a skilled negotiator, Trump started the discussion by asking for much more than he expects to get. It’s almost as if Trump is trying to sell one of his properties. If he wants to sell it for $100,000,000 he sets the price at $150,000,000 and then negotiates down to where he really expects to get the profit he’d planned all along.
It’s for that reason that Trump has publicly released his 70-point immigration plan which he says is necessary to implement before DACA is extended. He knows he won’t score on every single one of those points. But this aggressive and very public action gets the opposition talking. Then, when Trump concedes on some points, that strengthens his argument to insist on other points. In the end, he will likely get most of what he wants, gainining majority approval in both houses.
Absurd criticisms of the President’s mental state by strongly opposed Democrats and by much of the mainstream media are baseless. Regardless of the Democrats’ seemingly endless ability to finding pliant, politically motivated psychologists who back the collective claim Trump is mentally unfit, the reality is that Trump is extremely intelligent and can move his agenda forward despite the countless roadblocks strewn before him.
Years from now, when the key issues of 2017 have been resolved and the U.S. economy is growing at its fastest pace since the 1990s, Americans will look back and wonder how Trump could possibly have achieved the results he did when the Democrats, the mainstream media and even some Republicans consistently opposed every single action he attempted to undertake.
All these positive economic results will have happened because Donald Trump, businessman-President, remained focused on bottom line results and not on political correctness and media optics. We will all be thankful for that.
*Cartoon by Branco. Used with permission and by arrangement with LegalInsurrection.