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Barbara Lang: D.C. must flex its local economic muscle

“When a person shows you who they are, believe them” Maya Angelou

When thinking of a topic for my inaugural blog many subjects came to mind, none stuck out as much as of the topic of Donald Trump, “The Donald”, the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee for President of the United State and how much do we really know about him?  Go to Google and type in his name and there you have it, everything from his career, business deals, family, and much more.  But do we really know who Donald Trump is?

Love him or hate him, before he entered the 2016 Presidential race Donald Trump was thought of as a smart, self-assured, very rich billionaire, an expert at marketing and branding himself, and a great deal maker.  He touted himself as invincible, and as many revere him just as many distain him.  When we think of Donald Trump, we think of the tough negotiator who gets anything and everything he wants, the shrewd business man who crushes his competitors.  And then there is the Reality TV personality, (“The Apprentice”) where he shows no mercy when firing a celebrity contestant.  Donald Trump was “THE MAN”, and as the Hip-Hop generation would say, the “BALLER, SHOT CALLER”.

After a year on the campaign trail he managed to knock out sixteen other Republican hopefuls and become the Republican nominee. This came as a shock to many, especially to Jeb Bush, who was considered the presumptive Republican nominee and the first opponent to drop out the presidential race. Thereafter, one after the other, it became like Agatha Christie’s novel, “Then There Were None”.  After months of name calling, insults, and crazy antics Donald Trump managed to discredit his opponents one by one. How was this possible?  The public was very clear that there needed to be a change, and wanted someone who was not the typical politician, not the status quo of Washington Politics.  And boy did they get it!  Donald trump answered the call and declared he was the change America needed.

As the old saying goes, “Be careful of what you ask for, you may just fool around and get it”!  If change is what people wanted, they got it.  But are we ready for it? No one in the beginning could have imagined what was coming in the months ahead.  The Donald Trump that we have is not what people expected at all and no one is laughing now.

What we are witnessing from Donald Trump does not measure up to the smart, successful, rich business man he likes to boast about.  It’s quite obvious the Republican nominee is not a skilled politician with a platform, yet he proudly stands before the American public and exhibits his arrogance on what he’s going to do and how he ALONE is going to change America for the better.  And of course there is the “Wall” he will build between the United States and the Mexican border, but what we have not heard from Donald trump is “The HOW”.  Donald Trump has yet to speak on any relevant issue with clarity or substance.  This makes you wonder does he really think he can win this election on his reputation as a wealthy businessman, and which by the way is nothing to write home about.  Smart self-self-assured, not so much, his lack of knowledge on issues is really embarrassing.  And when he is called on the carpet about it he gets sensitive and acts out like a child when they are being called to task.

For months we’ve heard how rich he is, but the rich man refuses to release his tax returns, makes you wonder what does he have to hide?  Donald Trump has filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy four times, 1991 Trump Taj Mahal – 1992 Trump Plaza Hotel – 2004 Trump Hotel and Casino Resorts – and 2009 Trump Entertainment Resorts.  Trump does not see these bankruptcies as failures of a business or businessman, he states “I used the law four times and made a tremendous thing.  I’m in business.  I did a very good job”.  I don’t know about you but it makes me wonder is he a great business man?  We all know in order to succeed you must fail, but does this include filing bankruptcy four times? The one thing I will give him credit for he is a great branding expert, because he has fooled us all in to thinking he is far more successful than he is.  He also says that he is a very charitable person but there is very little evidence of any significant cash being donated.  Giving in-kind rooms at his resorts is not being charitable.

The most disturbing fact about Donald Trump is he is just a bully. He uses bully tactics and insults to camouflage his lack of knowledge and exhibits an unwillingness to learn.  He is totally intolerant of other points of views and for the rich diversity in our country that makes us the great country we are.  He says hurtful and disparaging things about minorities and people with disabilities.

Over the past few months the talking heads including the Morning Joe commentators, have tried desperately to analyze his erratic behavior.  Some attribute his lack of sleep, mental illness, his naivety to the world of politics – whatever —.

My reflection – – – “The Donald” has always had these deep-seeded prejudices on race, ethnicity, gender, and religion.  He has just hidden them very well.  Perhaps lack of sleep or mental illness is the conduit for their emergence – I don’t know and I am not qualified to evaluate that.  But as an African American female, who has experienced racial and gender bias all my life, I know bias and prejudice when I see it.  I also know that just because you are a successful business man does not make for a good candidate to run for the highest political office in America and most influential office of the land.

The citizens have a tough choice to make!  Does Donald Trump have requisite leadership skills to be President & Commander in Chief?  A thirst for knowledge, puts forth a collaborative approach, possess willingness to accept other points of view, the ability to synthesize complex data points, a problem solver, ability to make tough decisions, ability to bring people of diverse backgrounds together towards a common agenda.  All of these and many more are requisite leadership skills that the President should possess.  The country must decide whether he has the requisite skills to be the leader of the free world.

What we are seeing is the REAL DONALD TRUMP! And it scares me.


Barbara B. Lang

Managing Principal & CEO

Lang Strategies, LLC

Twitter: @langstrategies

“Do Not Go Where The Path May Lead: Go Instead Where there is No Path And Leave a Trail”.