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The Madera Tribune

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A very different president

December 22, 2016

Some people actually expected that Democrats might be able to convince some electors to switch sides and cast their votes for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump, but it turned out that was a pipe dream.


Trump has been elected, and that’s that.


The question now is not whether he will be president, but what he will do as president, and it is likely his competence will surprise many people.


He isn’t a wealthy businessman because he is an idiot — just the opposite is true.


He probably will not be a policy wonk, as Mrs. Clinton often was called; rather, he is likely to be a person to makes decisions in order to get things done fairly quickly.


Business people have to behave that way in order to succeed. It doesn’t mean they don’t plan, and consult with others, but their output is not policy so much as it is action and things that people can use.


For example, if Trump’s pledge to repair the nation’s infrastructure is to be kept, he will have to figure out ways to make that happen fast.


President Obama had a similar idea, but he couldn’t get it very far off the ground. He was too focused on the policy of building and rebuilding than on making dirt fly and concrete pour. If Trump knows anything, it is how to build things.


He is installing military people to run the nation’s military, which means defense will be based on winning conflicts, not on allowing them to draw out. The United States military will be a war-fighting machine meant to achieve victory, not an international police force. 


Trump touted himself during the campaign as a capable negotiator, and he is likely to prod American diplomats into working harder and faster to project American influence in trade and other matters.


He has promised to control the borders. That will be fairly easy. All he will have to do is build on the work Obama did in his presidency in which he deported more illegal immigrants than his predecessors did. 


But Trump also will have to find ways to better secure the borders, or deporting won’t be all that effective. He talks of building walls, which might work, but the U.S. border is a big place, and includes airports and shipping terminals.


And then, there’s cyber-security, which is a problem all of its own. How does one keep our enemies off the Internet?


Unless solutions are found to the cyber-security problems, the days of the open Internet may be coming to a close. Trump probably will challenge the people who profit from the Internet to come up with solutions.


He will be a very different president.
 

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