I think that Donald Trump is a fraud, a congenital liar and a danger to the world. But why should you give any weight to my opinion?
First, I am 80 years old, retired and have nothing to gain but a better life for my family and friends if Trump becomes a one-term president. Second, most of my career involved helping executives at major corporations all over the Western world make better decisions — a habit that’s hard to break.
For much of my career, I worked for a company in Princeton founded, but not managed, by a number of prominent professors in mathematics and economics. Initially, their names helped us get considered for large consulting products, but our record of successful execution was the key to our growing the consulting business at roughly 20% annually for 20 years in a row.
A second division formed after year five, when I helped invent what became the most successful information management system in the world, allowing noncomputer specialists to store and analyze their most important corporate data — be it in manufacturing, sales or personnel.
I ran the design side, as well as staff training, consulting and international sales. We sold to most major companies in some 40 countries, and my many long-distance flights gave me plenty of time to think not only about product features and design, but also how best to sell and support the product.
We hired the best salespeople we could find, and encouraged all our staff to speak up with new ideas. We sold new features every year, so it was critical that the base product, and new features more than lived up to our marketing claims — leading us to train our salespeople never to oversell the product — honesty being critical for positive recommendations.
When I participated in a visit to close a sale, our salespeople were told never to announce my job title and responsibilities unless asked. They were the face of our sales effort.
Compare all that to Trump whose businesses have failed seven times, hires only family and second-rate executives who will never contradict him, acts on his hunches rather than their advice, fires and slanders anyone who disagrees and takes credit for everything — yet denies responsibility for all his spectacular failures on trade deals, climate change, health care and the economy.
Size is not the only issue. Think about the environment and who pays for the biggest deficits ever?
His handling of the coronavirus epidemic is a farce but, when asked, he gave himself a 10. We are probably less prepared than any major nation because, for weeks, he denied its severity and nixed preparations.
When giving public statements, he surrounds himself with sycophantic aides and business leaders (suggesting support) while health experts are recommending limiting groups to no more than four. Ever since taking office he has slashed departments dealing with health issues. He delayed an effective response by limiting testing to a CDC test, which failed. Only now — some three weeks later — has the U.S. contracted to buy test kits from Switzerland’s Roche.
He wanted to cut all payroll taxes, not just for hourly workers but also for people earning up to $132,000. Most of this latter group will not be laid off and won’t need the help — but may vote for him.
When will his supporters realize that hogging the airwaves and lying about his performance is no substitute for competence?
If I was hired as a consultant, I would strongly recommend his replacement, ASAP.
Frank Fish, Taylorsville, was born to a working-class family in England, studied mathematics in college, was a Fulbright Scholar and worked as an information systems consultant in the U.S., U.K., Italy and France before retiring.