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.”
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.
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.”