October 11, 2020 · OPINION
Likability aside, think about what Trump has done
By Peter Popovich
For the last years of my career at a “Big Blue” computer company, I worked for Donald Trump. I railed against his unusual, and overly aggressive leadership style which seemed to fly in the face of one of IBM’s fundamental beliefs: “Respect for the Individual.”
As an example, one day I walked into his office and said, “I know we discussed (some issue) yesterday but I have been thinking . . . .” He cut me off saying “WE DECIDED THIS YESTERDAY! WHY ARE YOU IN MY OFFICE!”
It would have been nice to try to “move on,” but I was stuck in that department. My problem was that our department was the last piece of IBM left in Manassas following the sale of the division to Loral/Lockheed Martin. IBM retained us because we were working on a commercial project (Manassas mostly made “submarine SONAR” and still does). If I wanted to retire in a few years, I had to gut it out or relocate – leaving Fauquier County, which I love.
Trump made decisions so fast – and I did not think it was right. I generally wanted to think about big decisions more fully and over a few days. But, after a while, I realized that his rapid decisions were almost always right, incorrect decisions would very quickly become apparent and he would switch to the correct course, and his rapid decisions and demanding and aggressive leadership kept work moving. This was a big reason for our success in the internal competition with much larger and more bureaucratic organizations within IBM. We ended up working effectively together and we retired simultaneously in a few years.
You figured it out and you are right: Donald Trump never worked for IBM. But my boss, the individual I described, was like him in so many ways that it would be hard to distinguish between them.
A motto of IBM is “THINK,” and that admonition is printed on various items that are given to employees such as note pads and mementos. I encourage all voters to really THINK now. It is easy to evaluate someone based on personality and feelings.
Personal dislike is a key reason many are planning to vote against Trump. However, when you consider what he has accomplished for us (yes, even with the COVID-19 situation), I think he is hard to vote against. The economy was booming and is coming back rapidly. He kept many afloat with unprecedented direct payments to individuals and businesses. He has pushed development of a COVID-19 vaccine and therapies; this would not have happened without his aggressive leadership.
He unleashed the military and our allies to destroy ISIS. He has Israel and Arab nations making treaties and talking. He has made significant improvements to the Veterans Administration. He has NATO allies paying a fairer share and has stood up to China. He has put America first.
He says what he thinks. He has been subjected to the most unfair media coverage because the media hate him, not to mention the totally discredited “Russia Gate” thing and impeachment that they pushed daily in the news. He is called a racist but is not a racist. (Did you ever Google that statement about “good people on both sides at Charlottesville?” Look for the 16:54 CBS covered news conference on YouTube. See how out of context the left’s characterization of it was. He said the exact opposite). He got criminal justice reform passed and Black and Hispanic unemployment was at the lowest level ever.
As you may deduce from my description of my “Trump-like” boss, he was not my favorite person. I learned to respect him and work with him. He was an effective leader, as is Donald Trump.
Tony Bentley · November 4, 2020 at 1:54 pm
FairandBalanced - Unfortunately, those contributions to a Democrat were wasted in Fauquier County, or they appear to be, maybe the tide will turn some day.
Linda Ward · October 28, 2020 at 8:08 pm
The word likability and Trump do not go together.
Cammie Rodgers · October 20, 2020 at 7:41 pm
"...........think about what Trump has done."
I thought, and thought, and thought, and couldn't come up with ONE GOOD thing he has done, but I did come up with Trump’s farmer bailout has given $21 billion to red counties and $2.1 billion to blue ones.
Demosthenes · October 19, 2020 at 8:27 am
JeffA - When we consider which party is gearing up to ignore the results of a free election, and whose leader regularly calls on foreign governments to give him assistance in staying in power, and the voters within that party who enable that kind of behavior as long as they keep the white house...
Well the rest of us see that as an application of the Thucydides quote you refer to.
Linda Ward · October 19, 2020 at 7:03 am
JEFF - You appear to have misspoke, the quote was meant for Trump and the Great Purge Party not the Democrat Party. Did you hear Trump says he might have to move to another country if he loses? Yep, he said it at one of his latest rallies. Now why would he need to run away when he loses?
Jeffersonian American · October 19, 2020 at 1:49 am
The Modern Democrat Party:
"Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils." - Thucydides
jpebbets · October 16, 2020 at 6:41 pm
Jim Goodwin. Why so stupid. Can read? Too old? Ask tucker. He god for you Jim Goodwin. Tucker god Jim good win. You know
jpebbets · October 16, 2020 at 6:15 pm
Hey jeff american
You are an idiot. Stop watching fox for a year. Read books. Any books. Stay off the internet. Exercise and oh yeah read books. Also. Get mental evaluation. See a good counselor. Good luck
Demosthenes · October 16, 2020 at 10:40 am
Jeff - Understood. You have a lotta hot air to blow but when asked if you have the confidence to back it up with a friendly wager you back down.
Jeffersonian American · October 16, 2020 at 8:03 am
Demosthenes, this election is already over based on the overwhelming evidence being revealed each and every day- and I agree with you the only possible way it could go for Biden would be as a result of the massive amount of Voter Fraud being committed by DEMOCRATS and the DEMOCRAT PARTY, which makes this a time of grave national peril. But I remain an optimist- believing the vast evidence of all Concerned Americans of all races and socio-economic backgrounds who would rather vote for President Trump with his many strengths and some weaknesses- rather than embrace a Marxist-Communist Doctrine being championed by the DEMOCRAT Party which will, if enacted, extend the boundaries of Hell across our former American continent. Study the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia- or if you don't like reading documented scholarship- just watch the 1965 film, "DR ZHIVAGO" to get a realistic view of the Russian Bolshevik Revolution and what some Democrats are now openly discussing they want to do to all Traditional Americans who stand in the way of their bloodthirsty Bolshevik Revolution in America.
This national election and time of grave national peril is not about you or me personally- I don't care one iota to learn your identity. DEMOCRATS have made our nation a very, very dangerous place to live in 2020- they are attacking American citizens who do not support their candidates or their Bolshevik Revolution underway. If you actually take the time to study our American history, you will find that our American Founders had to write in public using pseudonyms to protect them against the King of England's occupying army during the First American Secession from the British Crown.
Jerome Fields · October 15, 2020 at 11:59 am
Vote Out the Lout! Now that is a slogan I can get behind 100%.
Demosthenes · October 15, 2020 at 8:17 am
I find your confidence in this election amazing to behold Jeffersonian.
While I admit the election could go either way, I'd still be willing to make a wager with you on the outcome.
How about this one - if Trump wins the popular vote then I will reveal my real identity. If Biden wins the popular vote then you reveal yours.
Since you know this will be a landslide for Trump, that's an easy bet to make, right? Do we have a deal?
Jeffersonian American · October 15, 2020 at 7:49 am
Mark House · October 14, 2020 at 9:06 am
"When it comes to President Trump, the “incompetence vs. malevolence” debate about his administration has always been something of a false dichotomy. Trump is both incompetent and malevolent. The important question is which flaw in Trump’s character dominates.
For the past four years, the New York Times’s Ross Douthat has been consistently advocating the incompetence argument. In the wake of rising fears that Trump intends to launch a soft coup if he loses the election, Douthat made a strong case this past Sunday that Trump was simply incapable of the machinations required to pull anything like this off. As Douthat writes, “Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like ‘plotting’ implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.”
This is a notion that the hard-working staff who wrote “The Toddler in Chief” can get behind. Tim O’Brien, one of Trump’s biographers, once observed that Trump “doesn’t regulate his own emotions, he’s not a disciplined thinker.” He further warned, “Donald lacks any kind of sophisticated strategic planning.” Halfway through his presidency, one of Trump’s advisers told Axios’s Jonathan Swan: “He gets frustrated when there is a plan. He’s not a guy who likes a plan. … There’s an animosity towards planning, and there’s a desire to pick fights that have nothing to do with us.”
badelectronics · October 13, 2020 at 9:40 pm
THINK! HE BUILT THE WALL!!! THINK AGAIN, the wall is not built.
THINK! He made Mexico pay for the wall! Think again, Mexico did not pay for the wall that was not built.
THINK! He admonished Putin for putting bounties on the heads of U.S. Troops! Think again, he did not admonish Putin.
THINK! Black and Hispanic unemployment was at the lowest ever. Think!!! WAS! Trump killed the economy.
What is wrong with you Trump loyalists? Are you nuts? Wait, THINK!!! Don't answer that.
Are you sure IBM did not fire you?
BiggerPicture · October 13, 2020 at 7:51 pm
I did read it, and classified it as being of the same low caliber as Mr. Fairandbalanced's multiple, chaotic posts. In other words, meaningless. The issue is not that you lie - that is a given - the issue is that you cannot believe that I and millions of other investors can earn $843 (or more or less) every day in the market. You are not a high school graduate, are you? You can't possibly be.
Tony Bentley · October 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm
Bigger Picture - Obviously you didn't read my post after that one that said I can LIE TOO. You fell for it! HAHAHAH, I am now laughing directly in your face!
BiggerPicture · October 13, 2020 at 7:34 pm
You make more than $843 daily on savings account interest? Really? You know, I almost feel sorry for you now. Lets do some quick math. You claim to make more than $843 a day in savings account interest. So if you accumulate that amount (lets say $845) every day, and forget the compounding, you would be making $308,425 annually in interest on savings accounts. (Yeah, uh-huh.) There is something seriously wrong with you. You do recognize that, right? Has anyone ever laughed directly in your face?
You have no concept of how investing works, and you have no concept of how gains and losses are presented. Account performance can be viewed at the end of each day (usually the previous day's numbers, until after midnight of the following day) in terms of that day's trading, the previous day's trading, 30 days' prior, six months' prior, a year ago, since inception, and many other customized ways. So the $843 yield may have been Monday's performance, or could have been last Friday's performance (the last trading day prior). But it doesn't matter - it is still $843 earned.
So you don't even seem to be able to distinguish how money is made in the market? My God, I hope you don't own your own business, or have anything to do with managing someone else's business. Another poorly educated liberal who knows what's best for the rest of us. Except that you don't.
4Virginia · October 13, 2020 at 3:40 pm
As a lifetime IBMer, I am horrified that you would compare anything at IBM to the decadence and depravity of Donald Trump. At absolutely NO time in my many years at IBM, did I ever encounter a manager as rude, lewd, nasty, and completely lacking in etiquette and manners as Mr. Trump. Not only do I personally abhor this man, but he has done absolutely nothing beneficial for this country. He is responsible for over 210,000 American deaths due to a lethal and contagious virus that he declared a ‘hoax’ and that it would ‘magically disappear’. He has buddied up to Kim Jong Un (‘we’re in love) and has refused to believe our own Intelligence Officers about Putin’s actions (Putin said he didn’t do it....so it must be true). He owes over $300M to ‘someone’....any thoughts it might be Putin and THAT”S why they’re buddies??. He calls the Press”the enemy of the people’. He removes any of his Cabinet who disagrees with him. He impugns the reputation of journalists,, whistleblowers, and our own renowned scientists. He stokes rage and conspiracy theories. He doesn’t denounce the far right racists, such as the Proud Boys....and I don’t know what video of the Charlottesville incident you watched, but Trump most certainly DID said that there were good people on both sides.....I saw him say it “LIVE”. I have decided that anyone who is still willing to support Donald Trump at this point, doesn’t know how to THINK at all....as they taught me at IBM. And by the way, the IBM of my experience would never have even considered having a tyrannical narcissist like Trump as a manager at our company. By the way, if you’d like more opinions on the actions of this dictator-wannabe, check out the comments by the original 70 Generals, Admirals, and Intelligence Officers from REPUBLICAN administrations who came out against Trump Months back , with their multitude of reasons as to why he is a threat to the United States. There are many more of their intelligence & military background who have stated their opinions against Trump since then.
Tony Bentley · October 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm
BiggerLiar - See I can lie too, Your statements are taken with the same level of belief.
Tony Bentley · October 13, 2020 at 2:31 pm
BiggerPicture - "my investments earned $843 today"
That's it?! You need new imaginary friends. I make that much interest on my savings accounts daily, and most of US know that the interest rates on savings accounts is minimal.
The only thing that bothers me are liars (i.e. BiggerPicture).
Demosthenes · October 13, 2020 at 10:04 am
Jeffy - surely you realize that the gateway article you just linked is not based on polling or data or anything that would actually predict the results of the election. All it did was quote Trump as he stated that he expected to win. If we are at the point that our citizens accept statements like that from any politician as fact then our democracy is in serious danger.
For a real source on likely election results try something more like:
That site is all about data, not gut feelings or the statements made at rallies. And it shows that it will be a tight election. If the election were a national popular vote it would appear to be a Biden landslide. But when looking at the electoral college it could go either way.
Jeffersonian American · October 13, 2020 at 7:49 am
BiggerPicture · October 12, 2020 at 10:30 pm
Five incoherent messages in seven minutes...that's a lot of futile attempts. Still trying to organize your thoughts, huh? I thought you were done with me? You said last night that you were! But here you are, 24 hours later, revealing yourself to be a liar. Yet you rail about everyone else being a liar. Hmmm. What an interesting case you are.
I already know the answer, but I'll ask anyway - did you understand Mr. Popovich's letter?
BiggerPicture · October 12, 2020 at 10:08 pm
33 characters....keep those incoherent messages short. Anything over 50 characters seems to overload your thought process and defeats any attempt by us to understand what you are trying to convey. No big words, either.
workhardgetahead · October 12, 2020 at 9:06 pm
Guts Pete, Guts
workhardgetahead · October 12, 2020 at 9:04 pm
You have guys Pete and I commend you for telling it like it is. Now you opened yourself up to the vitriol of communist, socialist left. I hope you got thick skin.
BiggerPicture · October 12, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Ah, Mr. Bentley, requesting clarification on whether Mr. Popovich's letter is satire or not. Maybe it isn't satire? Maybe it's Die Grosse Luge! Wouldn't that be something! What would Chancellor Hitler and the National Socialists say, Mr. Bentley? We know you are well qualified to speak on that subject.
As is typical of the liberal boneheads who post here, sarcasm, satire, allegory - it all flies over your heads higher than the birds. No original thinking and no comprehension. By the way, my investments earned $843 today, Mr. Bentley. I know you disapprove of investing, but gosh, can you think of an easier way to make a living, without lifting a finger? Does that bother you, Mr. Bentley? I'm sure it does. Everything seems to bother you.
"According to legal experts...," Mr. House? Sort of like, "according to health experts," eh? And, "according to economic experts" and, "according to intelligence experts." The funny thing is, these "experts" have yet to score a touchdown. Even the World Health Organization "experts" have now reversed their position on lock downs. So they really aren't experts, are they? Their guessing is as good as ours, isn't it? Yeah.
Mark House · October 12, 2020 at 8:01 pm
"Here, according to the legal experts, is how Trump could become the first former president in American history to find himself on trial — and perhaps even behind bars.
You might think, given all the crimes Trump has bragged about committing during his time in office, that the primary path to prosecuting him would involve the U.S. Justice Department. If Joe Biden is sworn in as president in January, his attorney general will inherit a mountain of criminal evidence against Trump accumulated by Robert Mueller and a host of inspectors general and congressional oversight committees. If the DOJ’s incoming leadership green-lights an investigation of Trump after being briefed on any sensitive matters contained in the evidence, federal prosecutors will move forward“at the fastest pace they can,” says Mary McCord, the former acting assistant attorney general for national security.
They’ll have plenty of potential charges to choose from. Both Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee — a Republican-led panel — have extensively documented how Trump committed obstruction of justice (18 U.S. Code § 73), lied to investigators (18 U.S. Code § 1001), and conspired with Russian intelligence to commit an offense against the United States (18 U.S. Code § 371). All three crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison — per charge. According to legal experts, federal prosecutors could be ready to indict Trump on one or more of these felonies as early as the first quarter of 2021.
But prosecuting Trump for any crimes he committed as president would face two significant and perhaps fatal hurdles. First, on his way out of office, Trump could decide to preemptively pardon himself. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he issues a broad, sweeping pardon for any U.S. citizen who was a subject, a target, or a person of interest of the Mueller investigation,” says Norm Eisen, who served as counsel to House Democrats during Trump’s impeachment. Since scholars are divided on whether a self-pardon would be constitutional, what happens next would depend almost entirely on which judge ruled on the issue. “One judge might say, ‘Sorry, presidential pardons is something the Constitution grants exclusively to the president, so I’m going to dismiss this,’ ” says Gershman. “Another judge might say, ‘No, the president can’t pardon himself.’ ” Either way, the case would almost certainly wind up getting litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, perhaps more than once, causing a long delay.
Even if the courts ultimately ruled a self-pardon unconstitutional, another big hurdle would remain: Trump’s claims that “executive privilege” bars prosecutors from obtaining evidence of presidential misconduct. The provision has traditionally been limited to shielding discussions between presidents and their advisers from external scrutiny. But Trump has attempted to expand the protection to include pretty much anything that he or anyone in the executive branch has ever done. William Consovoy, one of Trump’s lawyers, famously argued in federal court that even if Trump gunned someone down in the street while he was president, he could not be prosecuted for it while in office. Although the courts have repeatedly ruled against such sweeping arguments, Trump will continue to claim immunity from the judicial process after he leaves office — a surefire delaying tactic. “If federal charges were ever brought, it is unlikely that a trial would be scheduled or start anytime in the foreseeable future,” says Timothy W. Hoover, president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. By the time any federal charges come to trial, Trump is likely to be either senile or dead. Even if he broke the law as president, the experts agree, he may well get away with it."
Dead is my vote!
Demosthenes · October 12, 2020 at 7:33 pm
We should never give too much credit to a president for a booming economy, or a collapsing one. In a free market there will always be ups and downs, and a particular president is going to ride that along like the rest of us.
But yes, Trump has done more than any other president in my memory. He has convinced half of America that the real enemy is other Americans. He has worked with our enemies to undermine our democracy. He has emulated the leadership of strongmen in countries like Russia and North Korea. He has attacked the free press and convinced people that a free press is the enemy of the people. He has undermined our relationships with long-time allies like Britain and Germany. He has convinced Americans that the upcoming election will only be fair if he is the winner. He has limited not just illegal immigration, but also most forms of legal immigration including our commitment to helping people who are fleeing their countries as refugees.
It is hard to separate his likability from his accomplishments, as the things he does are intertwined with a personality that is designed to divide America and undermine our democracy while maintaining his own power.
Cammie Rodgers · October 12, 2020 at 7:28 pm
jim - "But even before he’d lost the talking point, it wasn’t a good one. The Black unemployment rate reached its record low, 5.4%, last August ― but it was still nearly twice the rate it was for white people at that time. Black people should be happy with scraps ― that’s what they’re basically saying when they tout that." https://www.huffpost.com/entry/black-unemployment-trump-talking-point_n_5ee11649c5b6eedec6572b2a
"The claim -
Black and Hispanic unemployment are at or near record lows.
The short answer -
Trump's numbers are right, but it's generally a stretch for presidents to take credit for job creation.
The long answer -
Trump is right that African-American unemployment hit a record low in December. The unemployment rate for black Americans is currently 6.8 percent, the lowest level recorded since the government started keeping track in January 1972.
And he's also right that the Hispanic unemployment rate is down a point over the last year — it was at 4.9 percent in December, down from 5.9 percent in December 2016. That is close to a record low, though it's also up 0.1 point from November.
But still, fact check: true on Trump's numbers.
However, that's not all Trump is doing in this tweet. He is implying that he caused these low African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates.
And a big problem with that claim is that those rates had been falling for long before Trump took office, and their declines don't appear to have picked up speed. This implies that there's nothing specific that Trump did to change this rate.
Indeed, both of these rates have been falling relatively steadily since around 2010, early in President Obama's tenure in the White House.
So have the unemployment rates for all races and ethnic groups tracked by the Labor Department. In general, these unemployment rates tend to move together. So while Trump called out the African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates, they haven't changed in any remarkable way, relative to other groups' unemployment rates."
"#4 – Trump has claimed that under his administration, Black unemployment has been at “the lowest in the history of our country”. However, a different data set from the Labor Department that goes back to 1947 shows that the annual unemployment rate for “negro and other races” went as low as 4.5 percent in 1953. That means his claim was a lie."
"#2 – In 2018, Trump tried to completely discredit former President Obama by saying that the economy added only 195,000 jobs for African-Americans under Obama’s administration. However, according to The New York Times, during Obama’s 8 years in office, he added about three million jobs. So, this was a lie."
There's more but why should I do your homework for you jim and Peter?
Bekemp · October 12, 2020 at 4:59 pm
Think about what Trump has done. Let me see....at least 150,000 of the 216,000 COVID deaths. Millions unemployed. Need I go on?
Jerome Fields · October 12, 2020 at 4:27 pm
jim goodwin - Anyone who has declared bankruptcy 6 times is NOT a good businessman. Fact is that is someone who bets on their impulses and usually loses.
Sources for Pete's opinions are missing.
jim goodwin · October 12, 2020 at 3:25 pm
Yeah, Tony, that "black unemployment at its lowest level in history" thing is sickening, isn't it?
You know what's really remarkable about the Left? One minute they won't give Trump any credit for the booming pre-pandemic economy. The next minute they blame him for the post-pandemic economic downturn.
It really doesn't matter what good the Trump administration may have done, the Left will never acknowledge it.
If Biden wins this election, the Left deserve everything that's coming. Yes, you'll enjoy all that free stuff for a short while. But when goods and services are being rationed (with no pandemic to blame), that's on you.
Tony Bentley · October 12, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Satire right Pete? Lolol, wait you're serious? I think about what Trump has done or says he has done for this country (to this country), and I want to puke.
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