Donald Trump

Democracy, Populism, and the Tyranny of the Experts, Part VII

Viewed through the lens of “the tyranny of the experts,” it’s easy to see that in the last election Hillary Clinton was the candidate of the experts, while Donald Trump was the candidate of people who were tired of being tyrannized by them. Clinton is an expert herself—she’s a lawyer who practiced with The Rose …

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Democracy, Populism, and the Tyranny of the Experts, Part VI

Populism is an unsettling phenomenon in part because we don’t know where it will end. And we don’t know where it will end because populism isn’t itself a governing idea—it’s a response to the perceived failure of other governing ideas. On the other hand, looking back through history we can notice—as a matter of observation, …

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Explaining Donald Trump, the Conclusion

I have met the enemy, and he is me. (What Trump, channeling Pogo, should be saying to himself every morning.) Can Trump turn it around? No one knows, of course, but if my only slightly tongue-in-cheek analysis is correct, the best hope for Trump is that his dismal experience to date will prove to be a …

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Explaining Donald Trump, Part V

Donald Trump has been such a disruptive agent during his first few months as President that it’s easy to dismiss him as hopelessly incompetent. That would be a mistake: one common way MEPs (mega-entrepreneurial personalities) prevail is because other people write them off as unhinged lunatics. I’ll get to the lunatic aspect of our MEP …

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Explaining Donald Trump, Part IV

There is so much emotionalism about Donald Trump—both pro and con—that I’m trying to explain his behavior by looking at issues outside the man himself. I’m looking at how people behave who have very similar personality types (i. e., mega entrepreneurial personalities, or MEPs) and at how people are likely to fare in the Presidency …

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Explaining Donald Trump, Part III

I’m claiming to be able to explain Donald Trump—and predict his actions as President—by reference to only two of his characteristics. The first is that he’s what I’ve called a Mega Entrepreneurial Personality, a trait he shares with an infinitesimally small group of Americans. The second trait is something Trump shares with almost all of …

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Explaining Donald Trump, Part II

I’m determined to explain Donald Trump by referring to merely two of his traits, the first of which I’ve dubbed the Mega Entrepreneurial Personality, or MEP. Here are a few more examples of MEP characteristics we’ll need to consider as we try to understand the 45th President of the United States: MEPs are utterly fearless, not …

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Explaining Donald Trump

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then explaining about Trump is like sneezing about hermeneutics. I believe it to be the general opinion across the land that anyone who thinks he can explain Donald Trump has probably just escaped from an Institution for the Criminally Insane. From where I sit it appears …

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Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part I

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Here are their responses to the first question: Since the election of Donald Trump, stock markets have soared and the confidence of consumers and investors has risen. How real …

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Journalism 101?

I’ve been a reporter or editor almost continuously since taking over my high school newspaper 39 years ago. So when President Trump called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” it did get my attention. But journalists get attacked so often that rather than take it personally, I considered whether any truth lurked …

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Loose Change

Since the Presidential election there has been a lot of loose talk about “change.” In this series of posts we’ll try to tighten up that conversation by identifying some specific changes Americans have on their minds. Specifically, I’ll touch on some of the more controversial changes the new Administration will be evaluating. Before we get …

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Pittsburgh’s Top Stories of 2016

Number five: Pittsburgh’s 200th Anniversary. Pittsburgh is getting younger. You read about it, hear about it and see it anytime you’re out on the “tahn.” Even the demographic data backs it up. If you still don’t believe it, consider this: This year, just eight years after the Pittsburgh 250 celebration, the City of Pittsburgh celebrated …

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On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part V

We’ve talked about school desegregation and we’ve talked about the fight against discrimination, two highly desirable movements that were, unfortunately, built on the backs of working families, leaving the elites who sponsored them untouched. Unsurprisingly, many of those working families now support Donald Trump and, whether he wins or loses, will continue to support Trump-like, …

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On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part IV

Let’s talk about discrimination. I had a friend, now deceased, we’ll call Millie. Millie grew up in a wealthy and influential family and graduated from law school in the 1930s—a real gender pioneer. But getting a law degree and getting a law job were two different things. Whenever Millie would show up for a job …

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On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part III

I’ll be talking about delicate issues in these posts, so let me be clear about what I’m saying—and what I’m not. Hundreds of years from now, when historians look back on our era—say, the period beginning just after World War II—the glory of our time won’t have anything to do with technology or arts or …

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On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part II

One reason I dislike Trump but also dislike his elite critics is because I have the misfortune to live in both camps. If you merely took a quick, casual glance at my vita you might conclude (as I try to trick everybody into concluding) that I am a card-carrying member of the elite American intelligentsia. …

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On the (Inevitable) Donald

Right-thinking person that I am, I’ve spent my adult life in broad agreement with elite American opinion on all the major issues and movements of the age: opposition to the War in Vietnam, support for the Civil Rights Movement, gender equity, reproductive rights, immigration reform, environmentalism, equality for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, etc., etc. Yet, …

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