Blog, Politics

More Fearful Than Ever

Originally published November 16, 2017 on the Huffington Post

While Donald Trump’s recent appearance on 60 Minutes may have calmed some of my fears, he has not put all of them to rest. Indeed, he’s even exacerbated them.

Given the low bar that he’s set repeatedly, he was more articulate, calm, and coherent than I had any reason to expect. But his past inflammatory comments are real cause for widespread demonstrations. His repeated inability/refusal to acknowledge the legitimate anxieties and fears of the protesters, and that they are not “professionals,” is highly disconcerting. But worst of all is his selection of Steve Bannon as his Chief Strategist. The choice of an out-and-out declared racist belies any desire to heal and to bring us together.

Rudy Giuliani scares me as much, if not more. He would be Secretary of State or Defense? He would be that close to the Big Bad Button? These are the actual and potential cabinet choices that are supposed to heal a highly fractured country?

I find myself caught between wanting to give Donald Trump every chance to succeed and watching his every move and statements with acute apprehension.

However, as much as I’m angry at the election of Donald Trump, I’m even more so with my fellow Democrats. How could we have selected such a flawed candidate who couldn’t really get in touch with the deep anger of the electorate and thus couldn’t truly connect emotionally with their pain?

Blog, Media + Politics, Politics

The Donald’s Incredibly Poor Record of Damage Control

Originally published April 8th, 2016 on the Huffington Post

Since the 1982 Tylenol poisonings, I am one of the early founders/workers in the modern field of crisis management. Since that time, no one even comes close to the sheer number of hateful, inflammatory, and downright ugly statements than those that have been uttered consistently by Donald Trump. If any other person had made just one or two of them, in all likelihood they would have resulted in major crises such that the person would not have survived.

Compounding the problem is that with the possible exception of backing off from his utterly irresponsible assertion that women who have abortions should be punished in some way, his record in damage control is abysmal. In virtually all cases, offering “no apology” and “doubling down,” i.e., saying and doing more of the same, have been his overwhelming responses. It’s bad enough just to create or to have a crisis, but poor damage control only multiplies the harm even more.

Below is a brief list of The Donald’s many insults and his resulting attempts at damage control. In virtually all cases, The Donald’s preferred form is to offer no apology (NA) and to double down (DD) by repeating the assertion/insult.

1. Insult: Criminalize Mexicans
“They’re criminals and rapists!” “I will deport all 12 million of them. I will
have Mexico pay for a wall to keep them out.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

2. Insult: Disparage John McCain
, “He’s not a war hero! Heroes don’t get caught!”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

3. Insult: Mock the disabled, mock impression of Serge Kovaleski — a reporter who suffers
from a congenital joint condition — at a Trump rally.
Damage Control: NA, DD.

4. Insult: Criminalize Muslims, “I saw thousands of them applauding the fall
of the Twin Towers.” “We can’t allow them into the U.S.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

5. Insult: Megyn Kelly, “She had blood coming out of her.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

6. Condone Violence, “The Media are awful. They pick on me more than they
do others.” “They attempted to hit me first.” “I will pay for the lawyers of those falsely
accused of roughing up the Media.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

7. Insult: Marco Rubio, “He’s such a little man.” “My ‘hand’ is bigger than his.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

8. Insult: Ted Cruz’s wife, “He did it first. He showed a nasty picture of my
Damage Control: NA, DD.

9. Failure to Reprimand His Campaign Manager for Battering a Reporter
“He’s an excellent person.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

10. Failure to disavow David Duke, “I don’t know much about him.”
Damage Control: NA, DD.

11. Punish women, “There has to be some form of punishment for women
who have had abortions.”
Damage Control: Belated Apology after howls of protest from both Pro-
life and Pro-choice groups condemned Trump.

Since insults feature prominently in nearly all of The Donald’s outbursts, I can only surmise that he is appealing to people who have been deeply insulted in some form or another throughout their lives.

The biggest insult is being fired with no future prospects. In essence, one is relegated to the junk heap. The message is that one is entirely useless, that society doesn’t care at all.

By insulting everyone and everything freely and repeatedly, The Donald is acting out what others would like to do but can’t.

His candidacy is the biggest insult of all.