Thursday, July 28, 2016
Be Careful what you wish for...
I fell in love with a house back in 2007. It had been on the market for five or more months. The price had been reduced a few times. It was the start of the Great Recession and nobody knew how bad it was going to get. The bank owned the house and had to approve the sales price. During the six months that we went back and forth with the bank trying to close the deal my love affair increased. I brought in contractors, had schematics drawn, estimates made, etc. In the end I gave up, fell in love with another property a few blocks away and closed in 21 days. It turned out beautifully as I rehabbed the house to my exact specifications and enjoyed the process and my time there. It wouldn’t have been so had I got what I originally was seeking.
Many months after that the original property sold I was walking my dogs through the neighborhood and the winning owners were outside tidying up. I introduced myself and congratulated them on doing what I couldn’t – beating the bank. The homeowner sighed and told me the tale of their winning the house only to discover structural problems and damage that couldn’t previously be seen that carried with it a repair bill nearly half of the purchase price – making the “deal” they got a raw one. Within six weeks the ‘for sale’ sign was up again, months later the property was in foreclosure again and out of curiosity a few years later I saw that it was basically knocked down and rebuilt after the Great Recession receded.
In November 2008 when Barack Obama won the Presidency there was a slew of editorials outlining the list of crises that the nascent President would have to tackle. The conclusion asked why would anybody want the gig with so many problems.
Donald J. Trump’s campaign elicits a similar question. Like so many others I thought his entry into the race was a sideshow, a distraction, a lark. Then he began breaking all the norms of running for the office: racist stereotyping, misogynic statements and a refusal to be ‘politically correct’ by throwing tantrums and calling his opponents names. He has steadfastly refused to educate himself on the issues of the world and is proud to ‘shoot from the hip.’ His flip-flopping on major policies would have tanked any other office seeker long ago.
Since accepting the GOP nomination his public comments have bordered on treason. He’s advocated for the U.S. to violate the basic tenets of the NATO alliance by suggesting that under his Presidency the U.S. would not come to the aid of member nations. In the midst of the Democratic convention he publicly encouraged Russia to release any information from Hilary Clinton’s server that they got from hacking. Encouraging a foreign country to break the law for political gain is a direct violation of the Constitution.
Trump is not a stupid man. He may be many things, but he always knows what he’s doing. He’s pushed the envelope so far that it’s bizarre to half of the country that the other half support him. Perhaps Trump’s as surprised as anybody? This may be wishful thinking, but maybe his mega-ego is in conflict with his true feelings? Maybe he really doesn’t want to be President and he keeps shooting off missile after missile thinking one will blow up this campaign only to discover that they have turned into fireworks.
A Trump victory is likely to be what happened to that house I loved. It’s gonna get knocked down and rebuilt. That may not be a bad thing in concept as Jefferson said: “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Let’s be careful what we wish for.