A tough job Americans will do.

 

JP Mac’s Armed Forces Day Rant:

This we'll defend colorWe hear all the time in seems about tough jobs that supposedly, American’s won’t do.  I don’t believe it, mainly because I’ve worked in several of those jobs myself. Thank God there is one really tough job that for centuries, so far enough Americans have wanted to do.  One where the pay and living conditions aren’t always the best, one that calls for huge sacrifices on the part of those who volunteer to do it and their families:  Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Americans are supposedly too soft to do some jobs.  No American would take a job filling sandbags in 110 degree heat, right?  Surely no one living in the greatest nation in world history would slog through a mosquito infested swamp, walk for half a day though the forest, or climb a mountain just to get to the job-site.  Who from this country would choose a job that makes you long for things things like warm food, hot water, a bed?  Of course no self -respecting, video game playing, social media obsessed American would ever want to stay out in sub-freezing weather for hours watching an empty field or patch of sea right?  Yet somehow for generations, by the tens of thousands, Americans have volunteered to for jobs that entail doing all of these things and more– and by the way, sometimes while people are trying hard to kill them.

Thank God for such men and women.  For some reason,  (rarely the great pay) they have decided to, at least temporarily, forgo many of comforts that come with so many other jobs.  For some, it’s the promise of adventure, or having that “hero” switch, or protector gene.  Other just want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It may be that they realize that they live in a country– more that many others, that is worth fighting for. They, in put the ‘exceptionalism’ in American Exceptionalism.  Whatever the reason, these men and women have chosen a vocation that routinely requires sacrifice, sometime of the ultimate kind.  That is why today is their day, a day for them to be proud, and the rest of America to be proud of them.

Thank you!

-JP Mac

 

 

Trump’s first 100 days evaluation: Good, with some improvement needed.

trump-1st-100-daysAs past presidents have shown, a president’s term can’t be judged by their first one hundred days, Kennedy had a terrible first hundred days, Carter was highly successful at doing the wrong things during that period.  That having been said, it is a good mile marker, an opportunity for course evaluation and correction.  I give President Trump a “B” for his first 100 days. He’s done as well as can be expected for someone with no previous political experience. He’s maxed-out on what a President alone can do in that period. He’s started to dismantle the regulatory state, and has exceeded expectations in the area of foreign policy.  American is back in the business of leading. His administration stumbled a bit on the initial travel ban rollout. He has yet to make any major economic policy.  He (luckily) has not had to deal with any world crisis of the 9/11 or Cuban Missile Crisis magnitude so those remain ungraded.

He has definite room for improvement though. He’s learned the hard way that the Courts are against him, but that is a fixable problem over the long-term. He’d have done better if certain Federal courts actually followed the Constitution. He made a good start with the appointment of Gorsuch to SCOTUS. Where he’s fallen short is when he’s needed the cooperation of Congress. Not getting the healthcare bill on the first try has exposed a need to add dealing with Capitol Hill to his skill set. Like it or not, he’s a politician now and needs to learn how to herd cats. There are also those things that one can only learn by being President, so far at least he’s shown an openness to growing with the job, which is good because the job’s only going to get tougher from here.

Trump has met expectations in some areas, and exceeded them in others, but he’s gone as far as his business skills alone will take him.  He needs to learn how Washington works– not how it should work, but how it really works. He has considerable negotiation skills as we all knew, but now he’s going to have to apply them to a whole new realm of problems and situations that just never occur in the boardroom.  The seeds he sows now with regards to economic policy will take some time to bear fruit, if at all.  It’s too early to judge on that front.  Thankfully, he’s not had to deal with a world-class crisis, although ISIS and North Korea are working hard to provide him with one.  He’s done okay so far but his hardest days are ahead of him.  He’s going to have to continue to grow as a President and he’s not likely to be afforded much time to learn on the job.  On top of that he has many adversaries within the beltway and the media looking to trip him up at every turn, not for the sake of America, but for the sake of damaging his presidency.  That’s not fair, but that’s the reality he faces.  He can and needs to do better despite all that is against him.