Trump: doing his job in the only way he knows how

A lot of people, even those who are not reflexively anti-Trump, have taken issue with this:

As far as I’m concerned, my feathers remain unruffled.

Firstly, I think his point is a good one. Whereas the FBI tying itself in knots in Washington D.C. and the blunder of the branch in Florida might seem unrelated, they might not be. When the top levels of an organisation prove themselves to be corrupt, self-serving, and incompetent it usually cascades down through the whole hierarchy. If it’s been going on long enough, and in this case it has, even the lowest ranks are affected. You can see this in any military for example, but also in businesses. There is a reason why the CEO gets hauled in for questioning when a bunch of engineers fiddle emissions tests, bankers launder cartel money, or drillers blow out an oil well. The reasoning is that these events only occur in a culture which as been allowed to develop on the CEO’s watch, and this is absolutely correct. Whenever I have seen poor standards, incompetence, and repeated mistakes made at the lowest levels of an organisation it is rarely an isolated incident, and almost always reflects the culture imposed by the management hierarchy which, in many cases, went right to the top. Now Trump is a businessman and understands this, which is why he’s probably not surprised that an organisation whose chiefs busied themselves trying to swing the election for Hillary Clinton failed to respond to numerous red flags raised in a branch office. The two are symptoms of the same rotten culture, and Trump is right to point this out.

Secondly, people are complaining about the timing of Trump’s comments. Well, that’s probably a feature, not a bug. The reason Trump got elected was because people saw he didn’t care about tact, nuance, and subtlety. They saw a blunt instrument who appeared to be on their side and liked it. If there was any other Republican in the White House he’d have been grovelling to the liberal mob from the moment the echoes of the shots died away, responding to every criticism by making promises he has no business making. That Trump can be relied upon not to do this is precisely the reason he was elected. Now it would be nice if the Republicans could have proposed someone who could stand up to the Democrats and media without being a complete asshole, but no such candidate was forthcoming and American political culture has ensured it probably never will. So we’ve got Trump and I reckon that on balance your average Republican voter would rather see their president upset a few liberals with poorly-timed remarks which appear self-serving than cave to their enemies’ demands as his predecessors did time and again.

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8 thoughts on “Trump: doing his job in the only way he knows how

  1. I hadn’t thought about that perspective but you’re right. I work in lots of places and I’ve even seen cultural shift with change in CEO. Good software developers start doing bad things because that’s what they’re rewarded for.

  2. That culture is incredIbly important to performance in an organisation is a fact I’ve only recently understood.

    Clichés such as “what’s gets measured gets managed” and “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept” exists because there is a large element of truth within them.

  3. Quite a lot of my American friends have posted similar comments to Trump’s on the book of faces. May of them (and others) have also approving posted copies of Trump’s tweet. They have also pointed out that this is not an isolated instance in that the Florida Pulse nightclub killer was also reported to the FBI who then apparently did nothing.

    Worth noting that the National Review – which is not particularly pro-Trump – is also less than impressed with the FBI
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/florida-shooting-fire-fbi-chief-christoper-wray/

  4. “what’s gets measured gets managed”

    Isn’t that the truth?

    Years back: Mgt: “Oh, we’ve discovered this particular ratio of types of work done that we’re going to measure just for info. But don’t worry, it won’t become a target or anything”.
    6 months later “Oh, we’ve noticed that this ratio is 0.2 at Site With Almost All Upper Management (who historically did 2nd line work), and 2.5 at Site With Few Upper Management (who historically did 1st line work that had to be done before 2nd line work). But don’t worry, it’s just for info, but we need to look at why”.
    Another 6 months later “It’s now a target for Site With Almost All Upper Management to raise their ratio (easy – they can pick up first line work and leave 2nd line to stew) and for Site With Few Upper Management to lower their ratio (difficult – no backlog of 2nd line work that can be tapped into).”

    Reason #83547 why I prefer working in a small firm now…

  5. Further to last:

    6 months later: “we don’t understand why Site A is able to change their ratio on a sixpence whereas Site B can’t”.
    …there followed much explaining why there isn’t a backlog of 2nd line work and there’s a typical 18 month+ gap between 1st line work becoming 2nd line work.
    “Nah, we still don’t get it”.

  6. Let’s remember that the Good Old Boys of Waylon Jennings’ song were the good guys, and it was only leftists’ denigration of the South that gave that phrase a bad connotation.

    I aspire to “Good Old Boy” status. That would indicate that I was actually serving the values that I hold.

  7. Let’s remember that the Good Old Boys of Waylon Jennings’ song were the good guys

    Well, let’s also remember that the first season of Dukes of Hazzard was a vicious satire of Southern culture, where the Dukes are portrayed being as corrupt, immoral and stupid as Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe. It wasn’t until the second season, when the producers realized that the show was inexplicably popular with children, that the show was sanitized more clear lines drawn between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”.

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