I used to be an administrator at a medium sized university. One day, at lunch I found myself sitting with several faculty members who were disparaging the administration. Being a minor player, their focus was not directed at me but rather aimed at the highest reaches of those making decisions. There was no offense meant nor taken personally. However, after about ten minutes I became rather bored and disapproving of the continuous diatribe. At this point my rather hazardous sense of humor kicked in. I simply injected an old saying into the conversation; “Those who can, do, those who can’t teach.” The table suddenly became very quiet. The subject was changed and we continued to enjoy our lunch.
There are several reasons why my statement was not accurate in the situation I found myself. Not the least of which being, this university preferers to hire faculty that possess substantial work experience in their field. The point however, does have some validity. There is a disconnect between academic information and real world application. If you have ever been involved in the hands-on building of a large construction project, you know all craftsmen have a critical opinion of the architect. Sometimes things just don’t go together the way the design says they should. Similarly, academic management programs shown to be successful in studies, fall apart in real world applications where full-time attention can’t be given to just one management tool. A good example would be pay-for-performance in anything other than sales. Ninety percent of the time, it becomes more of a hindrance than a help. Ninety percent of the time, it is just simpler and more effective to hire good managers and get out of their way.
So, what does this have to do with our President Elect? He is selecting individuals for his cabinet choices that have real world experience. He is selecting individuals that “do.” I like that.
Another thing I approve of is his tweeting. Many so-called pundits are very critical of his use of Twitter as well as the things he is saying. Indeed, the things he throws out there could be bettered by running them through some sort of a filter. But, what I like is that I am getting his actual thoughts. This is opposed to what the media wants me to believe he said. There is a big difference. I can take his comment and, with a little effort, actual come to some idea of what he is intending to say. I can then decide for myself whether I agree or disagree with him. I don’t need the media to tell me what to think. In fact, I rather resent it. Wouldn’t it be nice if the media still reported news instead of trying to create it? I like the President-Elect communicating directly with me, the citizen he serves.
The inauguration was phenomenal. Again, I didn’t vote for President Trump. However, I loved his speech and it gives me hope. There is only one criticism that I have. He talked a lot about America First and I like the outpouring of nationalism, to an extent. It is unrealistic in today’s world to be an isolationist. We have a huge impact on the rest of the world. I would have liked to have him acknowledge that while we are going to strive for America first, we would be lifting the rest of the world behind us. Not exporting our culture but, rather providing an environment where other nations can ride our coat tails should they so decide. Nationalism, like all good things, can become evil if taken to an extreme. As I have often said: “All lofty ideologies, when pushed beyond the boundaries of their innate value, become not increasingly superfluous but evil, undoing much of the good they have accomplished.”
I didn’t vote for Trump. He just didn’t seem to be the kind of individual that I wanted representing me. America however, elected him. So, just as I did with President Obama, I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Until he gets around to doing something, as President, that betrays my trust, I am going to support him. So far, I kind of like what I see.
Samuel Waen Jensen