My colleague Kyle Peterson wrote a post the other day titled "Can’t We All Just Agree to ignore Donald Trump?"
No. Never ignore Donald Trump.
Alas, a disagreement with Kyle on this.
I like Donald Trump and have a great deal of respect for him.
This is a guy from Queens who, while his Dad was successful, took his own dreams and made them real, becoming an American icon -- the walking definition of how to make your own American dream your reality. And in the process of becoming “The Donald” he has been one of the best job creators in modern America. Thereby providing thousands of others the opportunity to follow their own dreams -- earning money and, I suspect since this is an issue of the day, having health care provided for them to boot.
This is a man who has made enormous contributions -- say again enormous contributions -- to his native New York and yes indeed to all manner of places in America. Yes indeed, he’s colorful and blunt, as befits somebody who writes: “Get some respect and do not give a damn if people like you.” Well bravo to that! God bless the American freedom to be yourself. Not to mention that he’s loyal to his friends because, as he writes, “I just can’t stomach the disloyalty.” He never runs when they’re under fire.
Trump is also, as might be expected with such a successful person, someone who has taken the time to pass on the wisdom he’s gained from his life in book form. My personal favorite is my dog-eared copy of Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life. that was written with Bill Zanker, the President/Founder of The Learning Annex.
The book is filled with wise observations about having what it takes to succeed, the importance of having passion for what you do, never taking your eye off the ball and more. In an era when, tragically, so many people are unnecessarily going through hard economic times because of Obamanomics, Trump’s advice is as pointed as it is correct. One of my favorites:
Worry, fear, and indecision destroy focus. To take charge of your life you must conquer fear. My advice is simply to zap every negative thought as soon as it shows its ugly face. Stop the indecisive internal dialogue before it starts. That is your biggest enemy. You can have enemies at your door, deal with financial crises, fight legal battles, and face the biggest difficulties in life, and none of these things will have any effect on you if you control your mental dialogue…. Keep focused on your goal and never give up. Besides, bad times bring great opportunities.
Coming from someone who admits “I never went bankrupt, but I went through hell” this is excellent advice. Particularly coming from someone who has had to learn it the hard way himself as he has faced both tough times and triumph.
Will Donald Trump run for president? No idea. But when he says on Fox and Friends:
“People in this country are just desperate for leadership, so whether it’s me — or, frankly, let it be somebody -- but somebody has to come along and straighten out this country…”
Well…not just yes…but hell yes. Somebody, somebody… exactly as he says… most assuredly does have “to come along and straighten out this country…”
In fact, I will venture that Donald Trump accomplishes more just being Donald Trump than most presidents do in two-terms in office. (Not that I have our current president in mind!) But if he does run, he will most certainly get a fair hearing in this space because he has demonstrated time and time again that he is one very accomplished can-do guy who is not in the least afraid to speak his mind.
But whether Donald Trump ever runs for president or not really isn’t the point. Nor is the point Other Potential GOP Candidates A,B or C.
The real point is that Donald Trump is a man who gets up every single day and fights. He creates. He goes about his life each and every day and routinely makes contributions to American life. Some of those contributions are well known, huge and visible; countless others, one bets, are small, unknown and invisible. And in the case of his famous television show, he is more than capable of entertaining along the way. Donald Trump is no apprentice -- he’s the real thing.
In this corner -- and I suspect many, many corners -- he is both respected and admired for what he does. Even if you don’t like Donald Trump, and I am most certainly not in that category, it is a huge mistake to ignore him. He made of his life a great and interesting -- and very American -- story.
We use to have a saying in the Reagan White House: Let Reagan be Reagan.
Donald Trump, like Ronald Reagan, is an American Original. Let Donald Trump be Donald Trump.
Which is to say, not only don’t ignore Donald Trump but rather pay attention to him. Pay attention to someone who spends 24/7 making the American dream the American reality.
He isn’t “Donald Trump” by accident.