As an American expat living in a place without access to certain media unless through a VPN, my knowledge of the US political environment is limited to the daily Twitter updates I can receive. What I’m seeing from afar, however, is daunting: America is falling apart, Trump lies at will out of convenience to save face, and the world it turning its back on the US while American citizens are at greater odds than we’ve seen in 50 years.
Meanwhile, the Twitterati fiercely attack or defend the president’s every Tweet and action. What I’ve heard little about is constructive feedback—how he could actually bring this thing back to some degree of respectability and regain some sense of order. With that in mind, I’d like to offer a plan that could bring back some sanity and normalcy to the US and abroad. Mind you, I did not vote for him nor do I care for him. I do, however, care about my beloved country, its people, and its place in the world.
Rather than Pause, hit the Reset button.
Trump expected to take a pause from the Russian allegations, among many others, through his trip to the Middle East, Vatican, and Europe. While things began to look promising with the Saudis, they fell apart very quickly in blunder after blunder with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the Pope, and the G7 leaders. Thinking this would cool down the heat back home, it has instead been simmering to a boil, with a federal investigation moving from Flynn to his own backyard in son-in-law Jared Kushner.
He has been unable to sustainably maintain his staff at even minimal levels, most recent of note: the departure of Comms Director Mike Dubke. Trump is isolating himself, can’t trust anyone, and seems completely lost in a position many consider him unfit for. The time for brashness is over.
Rather than hitting Pause, try hitting the Reset button. It may be painful, but it could truly be the moment he becomes president. To start:
Enough with the lies.
Not an apology tour; instead rip the band-aid right off via a one-night-only press conference, show the people that he has been stubborn, been listening to the wrong people, and has been too caught up trying to cover something up that may or may not be a security threat to properly serve the American people. Release the tax returns and admit, in uncompromising detail, the connection and intention with Russians. Strongly condemn the homegrown acts of terrorism and all them what they are.
This will have blowback for sure. Dealing with this quickly and steadfastly, however, will stop the bleeding and allow healing to begin. Coupled with maintaining a diplomatic degree of honesty will help regain the trust of the people, the intelligence community, the media, and our allies. Find a strong political speechwriter to admit the wrongdoings and shift toward a true focus on bringing America together as we march toward a stronger future.
Put the Pride away for a minute, and let Humility take center stage.
Pride may be what got him here, but humility is what will keep him here. POTUS must come to the conclusion that leading a business and leading the free world is like owning a baseball team vs. owning the Olympics. One cannot possibly know everything, and therefore, he must begin to trust his staff, advisors, intelligence community, and Congress. Turn off the TV and read the intelligence briefings (at least have them read); read the bills that are the cornerstone of the campaign.
Clean house, if need be, and surround oneself with the smartest people available. Then listen to them. Focus on filling out the cabinet with leading experts in their fields. Then listen to them. Providing one’s staff with the necessary tools to be successful will allow the leader to be successful, politics aside.
Understand the ironclad alliances we’ve worked so hard and long to build and to maintain. There must be a reason for this. Once this is understood, understand the points of contention between the others — be they Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestine, Russia — then work towards bridging those gaps in a way that doesn’t alienate our people or allies.
Pursue good, old fashioned politics over Twitter diplomacy.
Work on building coalitions and swaying the opposition through meetings and talks, utilize the position’s media attention with strong speeches and press conferences. Build confidence among the supporters, while calming the nerves of the detractors. If one must use Twitter, use it diplomatically — keeping it short and to the point, rather than using it as an opportunity to lambaste any who oppose. This will generate much more respect among peers and cohorts, will calm the nerves of the people and world abroad, and will provide less lumber for the media to blaze.
Stop focusing on ratings, and focus on the good of the country.
As the first Reality TV president, and self-promoter extraordinaire, Trump must realize that viewership ratings do not imply approval ratings. Further, viewership ratings do not imply what is done is good for the country. To truly do good for the country, the president has to make difficult choices and stand by them. Choosing important government positions should not look like an elimination round of The Apprentice, just as stirring up controversy or creating divides does not only create drama.
For the sake of the people, conduct due diligence through the help of aides to determine a short list of highly qualified, respectable candidates without the temptation to turn the process into a game show. Giving in to temptation does nothing but muddy the process.
For the sake of people’s sanity, stop stirring up controversy to creates divides. This incites violence that have real impacts on real American people. Giving in to temptation emboldens rage and hate among the people. Look no further than the tragedy over Memorial Day Weekend.
As the walls are closing in on Trump, claustrophobia can easily set in. The media is after him. The allies are turning their backs. His own party is beginning to distance itself. The dissenting people are rioting and the consenting are raging. The country is a mess, yet all is not lost. With a carefully thought out plan of outreach, communication, humility, surrounding oneself with the right people, and controlling Twitter outbursts, the president can turn his tenure around, bring the people together, comfort our allies, and bridge the gaps with the others. Or, he can continue along his path of destruction.
Brian Schoenborn is founder and CEO of Quo Media and Communications and has over a decade of experience in communications. He can be reached on Twitter @supbribri.
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!
OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly