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Thursday, December 31, 2015
"Of Cabbages and Kings..."
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax. Of cabbages and kings..."
It was Lewis Carroll, that penned this poetic tale as a part of his literary work about a young girl named "Alice', and her adventures through the looking glass. And as I sit here in front of my computer screen, reflecting on the year gone by, this poem just sticks in my mind... indelibly.
For me, it has been a rather sporadic year from a business perspective. Many items that I paid much less for two or three years ago, cost double now. Fuel pricing continually fluctuates, mortgages are going up, and the economy continues to retract, and today... the market is headed toward its worst finish since it's collapse in 2008.
On one hand, the White House and their political pundits continue to say that the economy is improving, more jobs, more people in the workforce, but on the other hand... theft, robbery, drug abuse seems to be rising. The nightly news leads every evening with some of the most horrific stories of home spun terrorism, and people being disenfranchised, loosing all they have worked and saved for -- to be victimized by those that have no morales, and care not for those they victimize.
No matter how much of a positive spin you put on what's going on in this country, things are not as they say, and it's no wonder our nation is polarized and are seeking change. It seems as though we are living through a "civil war" of sorts. An underground war between the "haves" and the "have-nots".
So it's no wonder that the emergence of characters such as Donald Trump come in to the spotlight.
While I'm neither for nor against his candidacy, I'm becoming more and more understanding of how he has seized the political spotlight and why he has begun to move beyond the "primary" elections, seemingly vanquishing all of the other Republican contenders (not that they have conceded their candidacies), andmoved forward to take-on Hillary Clinton, the front running Democratic candidate.
Trump, seems ready to disrupt the political process, and jump into the second act of the script. But what is his strategy?
Trump is the master marketer, with his finger on the pulse of the American public at large.
Hate him, love him, it matters not! Trump has listened and heard what many have said to themselves (under bated breath), the things they'd never say out loud. Things that I believe it's fair to say that "We The People" have at one time or another thought or felt, and likely dismissed throughout our lives.
Trump has taken those emotions we've all repressed, and has been using them by putting them in his kettle and turning the heat up and taking them from simmer to a gentle boil, careful not to let them boiling.
Although everyone is "Publicly" opposed to his tactics in the political arena, I'm given cause to wonder how many of individuals that publicly came out against him, are secretly going to vote for him in the privacy of their voting booth this coming November.
Another thing for all to consider is Trump has the financial means to fully fund his campaign, and has more than enough money to run the Clinton campaign into the ground, financially ruining it before the November elections.
In his first campaign, President Obama promised "change". From my perspective, all I got was more "politics as usual", and a whole lot less of a voice in the process.
Trump has set out to disrupt the traditional process, and as a result has left everyone (including the media) running for cover, wondering what has hit them.
Politically incorrect... Absolutely!
Building momentum, and disrupting the traditional political process... Absolutely!
Our system is broken, and instead of building a government that everyone can live with, by taking a little from here and a little from there, it has become a government that is diametrically opposed to each party's ideology, "hell-bent" on "taking a stick and jamming it where the sun don't shine", only to break it off half-way in. (how's that for a colorful metaphor...) Trump plays to the underground warriors of the new Civil War that's being fought within.
Where the ideas of one party are dismissed by the other (and visa versa), I see it like this...
Trump... if elected, may be the one person that brings both sides back to a point where they are able to listen to the arguments of the other side, build coalitions by bargaining for the middle-ground "deal" that all can live with.
But I must restate to the readers that I'm still up in the air on who should be the next to lead us, because It's sometimes difficult to see things through the smoke and mirrors of politics.
However, from a marketers perspective, there is a certain amount of admiration toward Mr. Trump. - A master marketer, who understands "that which lies deep within" the dark recesses of our minds. You can't get to where he is in life financially or otherwise without a thorough understanding of the psychology of people in general, and the ability to know what they want or need at any given moment.
On the other hand, there are things that are scare me about his tactics.
If you put what he's doing into political perspective, then the last time any government witnessed such an individual, capable of using charismatic charm to play upon their hidden feelings, and the feelings of being disenfranchised and losing ground in a world where they once had plenty, and the keen ability to inflame the hearts and minds of a polarized public, was back in pre-war Germany.
That politician's name was Adolf Hitler, who became Chancellor of the country, later to become it's Dictator. He rose to power in the midst of similar circumstances, and brought our world to the brink of its destruction, only to lead his own people to their peril.
History... can repeat itself, but from where I'm sitting... the jury is still out. Just food for thought... Bon Appetite!