Guess­ing game

Jamaica Gleaner - - @ISSUE - Tony Deyal Tony Deyal was last seen ask­ing who said, per­haps prophet­i­cally, “Hey, life is life. We’re here for a short time. When we’re gone, most peo­ple don’t care, and in some cases they’re quite happy about it.” Don­ald Trump.

HIS MA­JOR was eco­nom­ics; his grades were strictly Cs. “Most of my high-school and col­lege ca­reer, a C av­er­age was el­i­gi­bil­ity for sports, and I fig­ured that that was the stan­dard to shoot at and re­main el­i­gi­ble,” he rea­soned.

Who was this man? He was the 40th pres­i­dent of the United States of Amer­ica (USA), and one of the more in­ter­est­ing things he said was, “The nine most ter­ri­fy­ing words in the English lan­guage are: I’m from the govern­ment and I’m here to help.” His name? Ron­ald Rea­gan, an ac­tor who be­came pres­i­dent and whose view of Govern­ment was al­ways an out­sider’s.

He be­lieved, “Govern­ment’s view of the econ­omy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps mov­ing, reg­u­late it. And if it stops mov­ing, sub­sidise it.”

This one’s mother wrote his themes and es­says for him right through col­lege. He got a D in ar­gu­men­ta­tion, though, to his credit, he did make the de­bat­ing team. The year­book ran a pic­ture of a jack­ass with his name un­der it and the cap­tion, “As he looks to us on cam­pus ev­ery day.”

ME­DIA FAN

He was not a me­dia fan and once said, “If one morn­ing I walked on top of the wa­ter across the Po­tomac River, the head­line that af­ter­noon would read: ‘Pres­i­dent can’t swim’.” He was the 37th vice-pres­i­dent of the USA and its 36th pres­i­dent. His name? Lyn­don Johnson, whose in­sights into the pres­i­dency in­clude “be­ing pres­i­dent is like be­ing a jack­ass in a hail­storm. There’s noth­ing to do but to stand there and take it,” and “A pres­i­dent’s hard­est task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”

The third ‘Guess Who?’ among the ‘Who’s Who’ boasted, “Even in el­e­men­tary school I was a very as­sertive, ag­gres­sive kid. In the sec­ond grade, I ac­tu­ally gave a teacher a black eye; I punched my mu­sic teacher be­cause I didn’t think he knew any­thing about mu­sic, and I al­most got ex­pelled.” This per­son, in 1998, said, “I’m not run­ning for pres­i­dent, but if I did, I’d win,” and summed up his at­ti­tude to life with, “I like think­ing big. If you’re go­ing to be think­ing any­way, you might as well think big.”

Who is this? Here’s a quote that will def­i­nitely help to iden­tify him, “I’ve got black ac­coun­tants at Trump Plaza. Black guys count­ing my money! I hate it. The only kind of peo­ple I want count­ing my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes ev­ery day.” This one from my main source-book for this col­umn (Great Amer­i­can Anec­dotes) un­der ‘Fi­nan­cial Tea Leaves: Find­ing Char­ac­ter In A Wal­let’ will be the fi­nal pic­ture in the mug shots,

“No amount of night-times with Don­ald Trump could dis­close more about his view of women than to pay his then wife Ivana ‘a salary of a dol­lar a year and all the dresses she wants’ for run­ning the Plaza Ho­tel in New York.”

This is the morn­ing af­ter the US elec­tion 2016 and the first day of Don­ald Trump’s lat­est and largest star­ring role. To­day, Novem­ber 9, 2016 or what one writer called the sec­ond of the two worst days in Amer­i­can his­tory, 9/11 and 11/9, he is pres­i­dent-elect of the USA. Here on the brink and shoal of time, what is his life to come?

It is said that the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent shapes and changes the in­di­vid­ual who oc­cu­pies it. In terms of power, it has been ob­served that the pres­i­dent of Amer­ica is not the govern­ment

of the USA and that no pres­i­dent can lead un­less he ap­pre­ci­ates the per­spec­tives of other elected politi­cians and ac­cepts their le­git­i­macy.

SIN­GLE ACT

Lyn­don Johnson ob­served, “The pres­i­dency has made ev­ery man who oc­cu­pied it, no mat­ter how small, big­ger than he was, and no mat­ter how big, not big enough for its de­mands.” He also said, “Pres­i­dents quickly re­alise that while a sin­gle act might de­stroy the world they live in, no one sin­gle de­ci­sion can make life sud­denly bet­ter or can turn his­tory around for good.” The pres­i­dent-elect does not seem to think so as yet. Ac­cord­ing to The Tele­graph, “At an ad­dress de­liv­ered in Get­tys­burg, Mr Trump laid out a ‘con­tract with the Amer­i­can peo­ple’ that would be­gin with a ‘very busy first day’. He pro­ceeded to de­tail 24 hours de­signed to erase traces of Barack Obama’s pres­i­dency and set Amer­ica on a pro­tec­tion­ist, na­tivist, track.”

Stephen J. Dub­ner in his Freako­nomics blog asks the ques­tion, “How much does the pres­i­dent of the United States re­ally mat­ter?” His con­clu­sion is, “Amer­i­cans’ wide­spread be­lief in the pres­i­dent’s ab­so­lute power – love him or hate him – is proof that the Great Man the­ory is alive and well. My sim­ple ar­gu­ment is that this be­lief, as emo­tion­ally ap­peal­ing as it may be, is not founded on truth.

“But just pre­tend for a minute that you do agree with me. If you do hap­pen to dis­like the cur­rent pres­i­dent, this is re­ally good news, since he prob­a­bly af­fects your life a lot less than you fear. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s also re­ally bad news, be­cause if you are hop­ing that a new pres­i­dent will swoop in and fix ev­ery­thing, that’s not go­ing to hap­pen.”

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