Stoneage Ramblings

By John R. Stone

There’s a lot of folks who want to be President of the United States and a number of them have been testing the waters the last year or two. Those who wish to proceed will probably formally commit this fall depending upon how the mid-term elections go.

Former President Donald J. Trump may or may not be among them, he is certainly keeping his options open and is busy raising money. If he decides not to run, he will certainly try to influence whomever Republicans choose to run.

President Trump was elected because he was seen as a disrupter, someone who would go to Washington and get things straightened out. I think a disrupter can get elected, as a representative of either the Democratic or Republican parties. But it will take a little harder sell the next time.

Personally I would like to see a business or industrial leader step forward; someone who has actually run a single public company that had thousands of employees. By public company I mean a company with shares listed on a major stock exchange. A person who has to answer to a board of directors and shareholders, a person who understands how government interacts with business in good and not so good ways, a person who had to lay out a plan for the future of the company and get his directors and shareholders to buy in.

I think former President Trump’s lack of success in real change was that his company was a private company, and that experience is quite different from a public company. Presidents need to work with Congress to get things done and get more than their friends to go along.

I think we need a president who is an analytical thinker who can look at our government and figure out how to make it more efficient and then sell that idea. There has to be lots of duplication, there have to be government offices that are no longer needed, programs that overlap or duplicate others, programs that might better be run by the private sector and some that should be expanded for the common good.

We all want good government and I think we all want efficient government. We want government to work for us, in areas that government should exist. That means we need a leader with experience in doing that kind of thing such as a person who has improved a large business and made it more efficient while at the same time maintaining a good workplace for employees.

A president cannot do that by himself or herself. He or she needs to sell the idea to Congress and needs to develop advocates that support that in Congress. And that can be a challenging thing to do. It takes a person who can earn the respect of a majority of the members of Congress.

The problem is that the person I describe may not be the slickest political person around. Such a person may not want to go through the process of running for office and all the political games that go with that.

Lately we seem to be supporting the people who say the most outrageous things, the flamethrowers. But flamethrowers really don’t get much done because they separate people rather than build coalitions.

We deserve better government. We pay for it and therefore deserve a government that is productive, effective, efficient, forward thinking and honest.

If you believe in stereotypes Republicans seem to be for smaller government and Democrats for more government. I think we need to make it more efficient before we make it any larger and fund it properly. If we want to cut taxes we cut programs, if we want to add programs, we need to show that they are worth it and figure out how to pay for them. We should work toward a balanced budget.

Government may not be a profit-making enterprise, but there is a lot it could learn from business. A good business leader willing to tackle the job could do a great service to this country. If we want change, we need to elect people willing to lead an effort to change who have the skills to make change happen.