Donald Trump Promises to Get ‘Er Done (Opinion)
We all know the frustration of waiting for a cable installer. 15 years ago I was working as the News Director of a TV station in Vermont. I ordered cable for my home as it allowed me to monitor our product, our competitors and the news from just across the Canadian border. Then I ended up waiting for an installer who didn’t show up on day one, day two or by the morning of day three. I had a job and couldn’t keep missing work so late morning on the third day I telephoned the cable company and got a song and dance.
The company had been founded by the son of a Greek immigrant from Wellsville, New York, where I had my first broadcast job and also located in my home county. The Greeks owned a popular hotdog stand but it couldn’t support two families. The second son was instead installed in a movie theater just across the state line in a small town in Pennsylvania. When the small town movie business started getting soft the number two son got his hands on the local cable TV operation. In the early days the people of Coudersport, Pennsylvania bought their TV sets from my Uncle Louie. Then John Rigas would install cable. He and my uncle were on good terms.
Rigas went on to buy cable companies on a grand scale and dominated the market in much of the northeast. Uncle Louie wasn’t the same kind of businessman. When the battle between VHS and Beta came along he sold the discs in his store because he said the picture was of better quality. And yet you couldn’t record on the big old discs. VHS won. Uncle Louie made a comfortable living before retiring. Rigas became a corporate titan and owned an NHL franchise (he later went to prison but it’s not germane to my story).
On the telephone I told the cable company my uncle and the TV mogul were close and asked if my uncle needed to make a telephone call. The installer arrived within minutes. I never mentioned my uncle had been dead for a couple of years.
It’s a long story but it also illustrates how politics and government work. We talk a good game either about the Constitution or social justice but in reality it’s about squeaky wheels and motivating the bureaucracy, sometimes through fear. The people at Adelphia Cable in Vermont thought I had a pipeline to the C.E.O. Suddenly I wasn’t any longer a number.
What’s my point? Bureaucrats respond to pressures when they see their own comfort level threatened. Through all the pretty speeches and high ideals it ultimately comes down to who can get results. For the reams of print and hours of TV talking heads attempting to explain Donald Trump I think the answer is an easy one. He’s a man with a reputation for getting things done. He cuts through red tape, uses existing relationships for leverage and sometimes he’s just a human bulldozer. To analogize, America is waiting for the cable truck and getting sick of being told, “Tomorrow”. Trump promises today.