Sisters Talking On…560 Days & Counting-Chaos vs. Confidence

Point for Discussion

We are almost halfway through Donald Trump’s first (maybe only?) term as President of the United States. This presidency has been plagued by childish indignation, staff turnover, media bashing – much behavior that is unbecoming of the office of the President. The white supremacists feel emboldened by the constant barrage of hatred and belittling coming from the highest office in the land. Is this really the image we want to present to the rest of the world? Is this what this great country is all about?

Our Points of View

Lynn:

I certainly hope not. I’ve always considered those working in Washington DC to be the best and brightest of our citizens. The recent book released by Omarosa Manigault Newman has me questioning that. Ms. Manigault Newman has been touting this book as a tell-all of daily life in the Donald Trump White House. She has recordings of conversations that occurred in the “most secure” rooms in the White House. This violates the trust of all Americans in that she has now provided potentially compromising information to anyone willing to pay for her book. Has the President tweeted anything that says that? No, he has only focused on negative things that may have been said about himself. Rather than look at this from a national security perspective, he is using his favorite platform to bully and scorn. At what point did the Presidency sink to such low levels of narcissism? Shouldn’t the President be more concerned about the security of the country and the citizens that are looking to him for leadership?

I am clear that he is not a traditional President. But non-traditional does not have to mean insincere, self-serving, bullying, lying, threatening and otherwise behaving like a 12 year old at his worst. We had two not very good choices in the last election. By now, we are all aware that there was a huge propaganda mill running in Russia that spewed false stories that influenced many American voters. I saw these false articles flow through my Facebook page regularly, shared by some of my very smart friends. These stories were obviously false if anyone cared to look for more details. But the alternative candidate was unfortunately being blasted daily for an email scandal that didn’t amount to anything other than a huge mistake.

She was right about one thing though. Our current President does not have the temperament to be a world leader, unable to contain himself, if he feels like sharing thoughts with the rest of us. Now he has latched onto Ms. Manigault Newman’s book with his usual fervor, and has been spewing an enormous amount of hate via offensive references in tweets. Best and brightest? Not in my book.

In my experience as a high level executive in corporate America, I believed it was always better to think before talking or sending an email or tweeting. Our first reaction is not always in our best interests. I would expect that someone in our President’s position would take the high ground once in a while. I am still waiting.

Integrity is also important. The strategy of lie, lie, and lie until it can no longer be denied sends a poor message. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that there are no secrets. The truth will always win out, and it’s impossible to predict when, where or how that will happen.

In the meantime, we have two more years (at least) of this Presidential term to get through. We need to stop the hate, back-stabbing, and overly emotional child-like behavior. The job requires a mature adult, who can be humble, if needed, and diplomatic, always. For a man with a thin skin, he sure doesn’t treat people as he would want to be treated.

If I sound disrespectful, I apologize if you are offended. I believe respect is earned. Why are we surprised if leaders of other nations treat our President with little to no respect? He threatens them and their countries with tariffs and other taxes in order to get them to acquiesce to what he claims to believe is in the best interests of the United States. Jobs, jobs, jobs is his current mantra. He continues to tell us that tariffs on foreign products are required in order to support American business and create jobs. I keep hearing that the US is at full employment. What jobs is he talking about? And the tariffs appear to be having the opposite effect. Raw material costs are increasing as a result of steel and aluminum tariffs, driving up the prices of things we buy. Wage inflation is not keeping up, so eventually consumers will cut back on purchases, forcing companies to scale back production, driving us back into recession. I’m sure that is not the outcome our President is hoping for, if that were really his mission. His true goal appears to be bullying our trading partners into trade partnership agreements that will benefit someone in the US. I am still unclear who that may be. And the President is doing much of this on his own, invoking laws and rules designed to protect our national security.

Add to that, the handling of the immigration crisis, including the separation of children from their parents at the border. There seems to be a lack of forethought in many actions being taken. Unexpected, unintended consequences are the order of the day.

I would expect the best and brightest of our elected officials to stand up and object once in a while, and work toward fixing the legitimate issues facing our nation. Instead we have our Representatives, Senators and other leaders playing defense against whatever the President says or does that day.

With so many more important issues for our government to focus on that could promote and strengthen the ideals that this country was founded on, why does it feel like that is secondary to the daily turmoil in the White House? We, as Americans who care about the state of our union, need to elect better leaders. The media needs to report on issues that are important to Americans. The list is long and should be the focus of media attention so that something can actually be accomplished.

 

Laurie:

I agree with Lynn that the rude and childish behavior from the administration puts our integrity in question.  It also puts the focus and disruption on people rather than what makes our country great and the solutions that can make it greater.

Over the course of the past few years, since the prolific use of social media, there is a reduction in respect up and down the chain of command.  The focus has shifted to what people say rather than what we can do to solve the issues of the day.  560 days into the current administration, and there is much work to be done – more than when we started.

As a marketer, I remember when we started using the internet, and it was used more as a marketing tool.  Advertisers would pay a lot to promote their product or brand.  Over time, as products began being reviewed by consumers, and marketers listened to what people were saying (a good thing), they would improve their products and services.  It was an interesting time, and people were still respectful of each other, the White House and the administration, of course.

When he was president, Obama leveraged social media to build a platform for change.  Now as president, Trump is utilizing Twitter to build a platform for hate and disruption.  If the individuals and institutions  that are the subject of his rants were to disregard the comments and tweets, considering the source as we’ve come to know it, and did not join in the negative banter, there wouldn’t be the platform for hate and chaos that has emerged.  We have some responsibility for this.

Omarosa Manigault Newman is taking the low road in order to promote her book.  Instead, she should be grateful for the opportunity she had on “The Apprentice,” and make it all that it can be from a positive perspective.  She is not doing anything to help herself other than sell a book or two, and she is distracting brilliant people from doing brilliant things.  Sounds like someone else we know, right?

Most of my marketing colleagues would agree that “disruption” (for a product or service) can be a good thing when it does something in a different way that makes things better for people and better meets their needs.  Disruption in a world economy and in running the business of the day is not a good thing when it creates chaos rather than confidence.

Our Question for You:

In this world of everyday chaos, what do you believe should be done differently to create focus to enable problems to be solved over the next 560 days?

 

 

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