Like everyone else I am tuned into this year’s Presidential race but I am fascinated by it from a different perspective. After working in and studying the male-dominated workplace for 30 years, I am fascinated by watching so much of what I talk and write about play out daily on the television screen.
In recent weeks the various cable news channel pundits have been lamenting in bewilderment: Who would have projected a year ago that Trump would actually become the 2016 Republican nominee?
I immediately jump up wave my hands and shout “I did! I did! I did! I did! I knew he would win!”
Did I believe this because I am a Trumpeteer and I have great faith in my candidate?
It had to do with understanding the male-dominated workplace. While other people were amazed, shocked and even horrified by the GOP debates, I just stood in my living room saying “Welcome to my world folks! This is what I deal with.”
This election cycle is exposing what is happening behind the scenes in the male-dominated workplace: A war. Contrary to what we may expect, this war isn’t over policy positions. It isn’t Men versus Women. It isn’t Democrat versus Republican or Progressive versus Conservative.
This war is over which character in the male-dominated workplace is going to be our Great American Hero.
I call it Swamp Wars.
Several years ago, I posted a satirical article on my website Swamp Wars This Century’s Battle for Status. I first drafted it over 5 years ago to express my frustration over how my male colleagues put more time and energy into fighting and villainizing each other for status than into constructing our projects. They created petty arguments; fighting merely for the sake of fighting. Their only intention was to force the other side succumb to their position which of course never happened. After they wasted an inordinate amount of time, energy and money and put both sides into major crisis, they gave up. We were forced to sit down together and solve the problems in order to survive.
Let me repeat that. They sat down together and solved problems.
In our problem solving there were no winners and losers because everyone had to abandon their positions. Let me repeat that again too. Everyone had to abandon their positions in order to properly identify the problem, solve it and get the project done.
Like my male colleagues, politicians engage in Swamp Wars but they raised it to an art form. They want us to believe they can argue policy positions and make the other side succumb to their position. They refuse to modify their policy position let alone abandon it.
They are trapped in election cycles that are nothing more than petty battles resulting in small wins and losses – but they tease that a big glorious overwhelming victory is possible. In the meantime, nothing is accomplished, no problems are solved.
Since drafting Swamp Wars 5 years ago I watched with humor as it played out in our national politics. In 2015 when the TV pundits began talking about how the presidential election would be Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush, I immediately thought “OMG! They are setting up the presidential election to be a Swamp Wars battle! WWE move over! This is going to be 10,000 times better!”
Swamp Wars is all about who attains Hero status.
To understand Swamp Wars, you have to understand the 4 main characters in the male-dominated workplace. I’ve watched these characters throughout my career. In 1991 I wrote my first essay on changes in the male-dominated workplace that were threatening the status of the highest ranking and most heroic workplace character – The Great American Alligator Slayer. Swamp Wars is about how the other 3 characters try to usurp the status of the Great American Alligator Slayer in order to claim his title of the Ultimate American Hero.
I based Swamp Wars and the characters on the old analogy that when you are buried in problems, you are up to your waist in alligators. Each character has a different way of dealing with alligators (problems).
It is also important to keep in mind that in order to have Heroes we need villains but more importantly we must have problems. No problems, no Heroes.
In today’s male-dominated workplace the characters are:
The Great American Alligator Slayer (Operations): He is our classic Hero. He is a combination of Teddy Roosevelt and John Wayne. He will kill the alligators and solve problems with his big guns and larger than life personality! He’s a man’s man, hard-charging, he calls it as he sees it and runs over anyone that gets in his way. He is both feared and respected. On his office wall hangs dozens of alligator hides – his trophies – for all to admire and be in awe of. Through human history young boys dreamt of growing up and becoming the next Great American Alligator Slayer – of slaying an alligator larger and more fierce than any ever known before and becoming the greatest Hero ever known.
Swamp Drainers (Planners, Analyzers, Researchers): They believe the Great American Alligator Slayer is obsolete. They believe alligators (problems) exist because of the environment – because the swamp exists. Figure out how to drain the swamp and the alligators will go away. They know design techniques, processes and procedures, six sigma, statistics and financial analysis. They can redesign the environment and refine the swamp draining process so all the alligators leave, negating the need for big guns. Swamp Drainers rely on their brains and ingenuity not brawn to eliminate alligators.
Swampers (Nerds and Geeks): Once Swamp Drainers, Swampers broke away forming their own group. They based their identity in technology. Using technology they developed navigations tools to move quickly through the swamp’s vast network of waterways. They live in the swamp and know it better than the other characters. They compiled massive amounts of information about the all of the swamp’s plant life, animals and fish. They know where the alligators nest and breed and can provide that information to the other characters, if they want. They enjoy living in the swamp, content with their separation and happy to interact only with other Swampers using languages outsiders don’t understand. They called themselves Swampers in keeping with their newly found coolness.
Naturalists (Intellectuals): Naturalists identify with Plato’s Philosopher-Kings. Highly intelligent, they attend expensive and prestigious universities where they attend lectures and hold discussions. They write op-eds based upon other papers they read and their internal discussions with other Naturalists. They aren’t the get your hands dirty type – they visit the swamp once but it is in a guided tour with luxury hotel accommodations outside the swamp at night. Their visit merely checks a square so they can say they have been to the swamp. They spend their careers in Naturalist groups far away from the swamps. They believe possessing a superior intellect should be the only gateway through which one should be allowed to access the best information on swamps. It is through their extensive academic study of the swamp, that they consider themselves swamp experts. And in keeping with their identification with Philosopher-Kings they believe their swamp expertise makes them worthy of governing the swamp and all other characters.
In America, we love men of action. Men who make things happen against all odds. Men who git ‘er done.
In America our Action Hero is The Great American Alligator Slayer.
Great American Alligator Slayers are the men (and women) who forged our nation. They were bold and courageous. Christopher Columbus sailed out into the unknown to discover this continent. George Washington led the Revolutionary War as a General in the battle field and daringly crossed the Delaware. Lewis and Clark set out on an expedition across the vast western territory to the Pacific Ocean.
As the industrial revolution emerged, so did new Great American Alligator Slayers. Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford were just some of the Captains of Industry.
Wars produced many Great American Alligator Slayers from lowly Privates to Five Star Generals. World War II produced an entire generation of male and female Alligator Slayers, heroes and heroines. I was in the Air Force during the Cold War and part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) which was filled with Alligator Slayers and led by many Great American Alligator Slayers who inspired my portrayal of this character.
We think of most of our Presidents as Great American Alligator Slayers.
When we had a manufacturing based economy, the male-dominated workplace was filled with Alligator Slayers and Swamp Drainers. Most were average working class men. Some were college educated. Since then technology added Swampers to the workplace. Together these three characters became the Doers – the people who contributed a valuable piece towards producing tangible products and services.
We expected the men at the top of the workplace hierarchy to be Doers – the men who accomplished the most; the men with the most trophies and plaques on their wall. Typically they were Alligator Slayers. But we believed any man (or woman) could pull himself up to the top. He just had to be a Doer who worked hard and persevered. This made America unique from the rest of the world.
To understand how unique American is, we have to understand a little about Plato’s philosophies. He believed in a society where there is a hierarchy of three classes of people:
- Philosopher-Kings (and Queens) at the top who have the intellect and wisdom to govern
- Auxiliaries – the men and women who protect and defend the state (military)
- Producers – professionals and skilled workers.
Our Great American Alligator Slayers come from Plato’s Auxiliaries and Producers. In America, we allow men in the bottom two classes to rise up to the top and be our Heroes. We even allow them to be President and govern!
Where are the Naturalist/ Philosopher-Kings in our workplaces?!
Oh – they were kicked out of the male-dominated workplace a long time ago because they couldn’t cut it.
Alligator Slayers drove them out because they couldn’t get their work done on time. Naturalists spent too much time thinking and pondering to take any action, no matter how much Alligator Slayers ripped into them. They were driven out to form their own boutique consulting companies where they could conduct studies and work endlessly on plans and papers. When I was in the Air Force, the Alligator Slayers told me which two consulting companies hired the Naturalists they kicked out and told me to never work for those companies.
Many years later, when a man from one of those companies walked onto my construction site, I knew something had changed – Swamp War was declared!
This Naturalist immediately took on the Alligator Slayers. He was going to force them to succumb to his will. He openly declared he was taking his rightful position at the top of the hierarchy.
This desire to reclaim the status of Naturalists in the workplace began within the Baby Boomer generation. They were raised with the American image of the self-made man but they were also told to get a higher education so they could work with their head and not their hands.
Over the next several decades we continued to elevate the status of the college educated, especially those who attended Ivy League colleges and universities. This elite education made Ivy League graduates the great thinkers worthy of directing the Doers. We also understood that with an Ivy League education you could bypass all of the lower rungs of the workplace hierarchy and begin your career near the top.
In our old image of the self-made action-oriented man, we respected the man who came up with an idea and made it happen. Today we respect and admire the man who came up the idea. He isn’t expected to implement the idea or lead the implementation. He leaves that to the Doers.
Today we think of management and the C-suite being filled by highly educated and intellectual people. An MBA is requirement and Doers are excluded.
Many Doers are the un-college educated or vocationally educated workforce. We dismiss these Doers as potential managers because they lack the right education.
The Doers who are highly educated professionals are dismissed too. They spent their career in roles that were too “hands-on” or too close to the uneducated workforce. It is these Professional Doers that Naturalists challenged in Swamp Wars because Professional Doers got their hands dirty and therefore were tainted.
What does this have to do with politics?
Well in case you haven’t noticed, Congress (and Washington) is now full of Naturalists – people who got a degree law, political science or liberal arts from an Ivy League or other elite university and went directly into government or politics. We used to call these people Bureaucrats.
Bureaucrats never held a real job in a company that has to make money producing a product or service. They never learned how to make things happen. In the old days we called Bureaucrats paper shufflers because they spent their day moving paper from one side of their desk to the other without producing anything tangible.
Today, Congressional and Washington Naturalists believe they do produce something – policies. But are policies really tangible?
What does a policy produce, do or make happen?
Think about your workplace policies which probably address dress code, vacation time and ethics. Do the policies tell you how to do your actual work or do you rely on our workplace processes and procedures for that?
In politics, Governors are quick to claim they aren’t Naturalists – they are Alligator Slayers. They tout how they have to make “executive decisions” to make things happen. They have to deal with real alligators such as striking teachers, crumbling infrastructure and natural disasters. They want to distinguish themselves from policy producing Congressional Naturalists who make speeches, attend committee meetings, hold hearings and raise money for their next campaign.
Governors also like to remind Senators that the Presidency is an Alligator Slayers position and therefore they are best suited for the Presidency. Historically, that is correct – our Presidents were Doers, not Naturalists, intellectual Philosophers or policy wonks.
That is up until the election of Obama, a pure Naturalist.
Following Bill Clinton’s (Alligator Slayer) presidency, the Democratic party became very comfortable with Naturalists. I credit this to Hillary Clinton (Naturalist). She used her position as First Lady to take the Naturalist out of the back shadows and assert the Plato’s theory that Naturalists should be at the top and govern.
This sent out shockwaves.
At the time most men in powerful positions saw themselves as Alligator Slayers who earned their place at the top. While we often believe she came under fire for stepping out of the traditional role of First Lady and for being an assertive woman, the real issue was that she challenged men’s personal self-images as Alligator Slayers.
Most men believed they got to their power position by trudging through the swamps slaying alligators. They had th alligator hides hanging all over their “I Love Me” walls to prove it. Now this woman was coming along and saying that their hard earned trophies were irrelevant. She said her diplomas said she was worthy of governance and trumped all of their alligator trophies.
In response, the Alligator Slayers did what they do best. They went hunting. Hillary season was opened.
As the years went on, up and coming generations of Alligator Slayers were taught to hunt Hillaries. On the surface the fighting appeared to be gender-related but all along it was really Swamp Wars. Alligator Slayers weren’t going to take direction from or respect anyone, male or female who doesn’t have alligator trophies hanging on their wall. (Very important concept to understand!)(And trophy size does matter!)
Hillary swung open the door for Naturalists to assert themselves. Because most Intellectual Elites in the ‘90’s were already in the Democratic party, the first Naturalists to assert themselves were Democrats.
For the Republicans however, the rise of Naturalists began their mass identity crisis. Republican Senators and Congressmen knew they weren’t Great American Alligator Slayers – they were at best okay Alligator Slayers. And if they were really honest they would admit that they really were Naturalists. But they couldn’t – they had ideal images and icons to emulate.
John Wayne, Charlton Heston and Clint Eastwood were Great American Alligator Slayers (at least in the movies). Then there was Ronald Reagan, who epitomized their image of the political Great American Alligator Slayer. What would happen to his legacy if Republicans suddenly elevated Naturalists?!
Republicans had no choice but to promote themselves as Alligator Slayers. (Bring on the NRA and the Second Amendment!)
With Bush 43, a former Governor from the great (and manly) state of Texas in the White House they rallied around their Alligator Slayer identity.
Then 9/11 happened.
It was a tragedy that called for the heroic valor only Great American Alligator Slayers can provide. Naturalists were shoved back into their corner or suddenly transformed themselves into Alligator Slayers.
But following 9/11 the great victories Alligator Slayers promised didn’t come. (Iraq War) Naturalists reasserted themselves. Maybe the Great American Alligator Slayer (Cheney, Rumsfeld) is an obsolete, relic of the 20th century. The 21st century is the age of technology. We now rely on our brains not our brawn to get things done. High tech is the future, manufactured mechanics are in the past.
By the time the 2008 Presidential election rolled around the momentum was with Naturalists. The Democratic primary featured two pure Naturalists, Hillary and Obama. A woman and an African American man created the imagery of heading down a new path in a new century towards a new future led by a new kind of Hero.
Yes, Hero not Heroine. The one thing we didn’t leave behind in the 20th century was our love for Heroes, as in male Heroes. Democrats and eventually America chose a knight in shining armor on his fiery steed who was going to usher in the new era of hope and change, of intellectualism and technology. We trusted our Hero, to deliver our new future.
The Republicans meanwhile were in a state of utter confusion. The Great American Alligator Slayers didn’t deliver the big victory. Should they jump on the Naturalist bandwagon?
What about Reagan?
Confused they nominated McCain in 2008 who was a confusing mixture of Alligator Slayer (war hero) and Naturalist (Senator). In 2012 they nominated Romney who was another confusing mixture. While a Governor he was also a Venture Capitalist and Venture Capitalists are NOT Alligator Slayers. They DO NOT go into swamps. They DO NOT slay alligators. They wear alligators. They have alligator shoes, belts and wallets produced by the common masses of Doers.
After losing two election cycles, the Republicans decided for 2016 they would return to their roots, to a Governor and an Alligator Slayer. Better yet, so there is absolutely no further confusion, an Alligator Slayer with a family lineage of (Great American?) Alligator Slayers. Jeb Bush was their man.
The Democrats had long decided Hillary was going to be their nominee.
The cable TV news channels began announcing there was going to be an iconic Swamp War battle:
Naturalist Hillary Clinton
Alligator Slayer Jeb Bush
Our polarized and partisan politics worked on this battle for years and it was finally coming to fruition. Each side used polarizing policy positions to emotionally work up their most fervent supporters. They maximized the distance between their policy positions so no one accidently wandered over to the other side. Gender cards could be played. Family histories dragged out. It was going to be a wonderful show and the Media couldn’t wait!
Will more Americans identify with being Intellectuals or with being Alligator Slayers?
Not that it really matters. As long as everyone stays locked in place by their by their partisan policy positions, no problems will be solved. No one will advance. Swamp Wars will continue on and it will play out every 4 years in dramatic fashion. The real winner is the Media.
The only thing that does matter is making sure one side doesn’t have the big victory and make a clean sweep by taking the Presidency, Senate and House. This would be bad for the Washington Bureaucrat Naturalists (Democratic or Republican) who won because they would now be expected to make things happen, get things done. They would have to convert policy positions into tangible action. Yikes.
Thankfully partisanism keeps the odds of a clean sweep very low.
The big Swamp War battle was all set. But then something unexpected happened.
His optics were perfect. He leaves his gilded office from up high in the Tower and rides the escalator DOWN to join the people. He begins his announcement speech and jaws drop.
He is speaking in a long forgotten language. And he is doing it in the open…in front of TV cameras for all the world to see!
Masses of Doers cheer. He is unashamedly speaking their language in public. Naturalists in media, universities, politics and intellectual institutes are horrified. He can’t say that!
What Naturalists didn’t understand and many still don’t understand is that Trump is speaking in the language of the Alligator Slayer. Naturalists don’t know the language because they don’t spend time in the swamps where it is spoken.
I will admit that I laughed at the media freak out because I speak Alligator Slayer. I learned it because I work in traditionally male roles in the swamp. It is a horribly inarticulate, punctuated and fragmented language. Simplistic words are used to convey paragraphs of meaning because Doers are too busy working for long eloquent discussions where words are carefully chosen. After working with men for so long I sometimes find myself speaking Alligator Slayer to other women who have never been in the swamp and it gets me in trouble. Non-speakers don’t understand the nuanced meaning of the simplistic words so they apply their non-swamp definition and misunderstand.
Naturalists of course believe Trump should be and is speaking their language so they believe their interpretation of what he says is correct. This is why they were dumfounded that all of his supposed gaffs only increased the number of his supporters. Doers understood exactly what he was saying.
When media and political Naturalists interpret the supposed gaffs as “–isms”, Doers were reminded that Naturalists don’t understand or respect the culture of the hard working Doer. Naturalists associated lacking a college degree with being ignorant and backwards. Naturalists didn’t understand how much Doers depend upon each other when working in the swamp – how they do risky jobs and have to trust the person working next to them. They don’t understand that when your safety or life depends upon your co-worker, you only care about how well your co-worker does his job. You don’t care about their race, gender or religion. The put downs only served to remind Doers that Naturalists haven’t worked in the swamps, don’t know how to get things done and certainly can’t solve Doer’s problems. So, Doers will listen to the man who speaks their language because maybe he does know how to solve their problems.
For months as media and political Naturalists mocked Trump, all l I could think is “Guys, you just don’t get it.”
In order to understand Trump’s supporters, you first have to understand the Alligator Slayer Creed written by Teddy Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Doers are in the arena. They know Trump is in the arena. Doers can forgive Trump just about anything because he is in the arena.
Doers see Political and Media Naturalists as the critics in the stands and as those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
This has been the difference in perspectives. Media pundits see Trump from their media perspective as a narcissistic Reality TV star wanting more attention. They probably even thought he was a Naturalist Wanna-be, running for the Presidency so he could join their elite club. Doers saw something else.
Doers saw an Alligator Slayer. But not your average Governor–type Alligator Slayer. They see Trump as an iconic Great American Alligator Slayer – the type of which has endured for centuries and will continue to endure for centuries more. He is a supreme Doer, who builds great, tangible and lasting brick and mortar infrastructure, not electronic gadgetry that is obsolete and discarded in 2 years. To the forgotten Doers Trump said what they had been screaming that no one heard: “We build great things! That is what we do. We don’t want hand-outs, we want to do more!”
(Billy Joel released Allentown in 1982 and it applied to the Baby Boomer generation. Now it applies perfectly to Millennials. The fact that it is still so applicable 34 years later speaks volumes.)
When Trump made his ceremonious escalator ride and spoke in the language of Alligator Slayer, he immediately connected with all of the forgotten Doers in America; the people (men and women) who built this country with their hands; the people who see the products of their labor rusting, crumbling and decaying. Trump spoke and immediately got the attention of every Naturalist who had been ignoring the voice of the Doers.
Unlike the rest of the management class who proudly announce “I don’t get down in the weeds” Trump said he is willing to get down in the weeds. His recent refusal or inability to change his language to be more “Presidential” tells the Doers “Now that I’ve gotten what I need from you (votes) I am not like a Politician or your manager who will ride my escalator back up to my big beautiful office. I am staying down in the weeds. I am staying in the swamp. Together we will slay alligators. Together we will do what we do – we will Make America Great Again.”
Prior to this election cycle I never paid any attention to Trump, his media image or celebrity. So as the media pundits referred to Trump as a Reality TV star, I kept listening for how Trump referred to himself. He kept calling himself a Deal Maker. It means he sees himself as a high level executive who lives in the world of money but his money is always connected to something tangible. There was a TV show “Let’s Make a Deal” and in that show the deal was connected to what was behind the curtain or in the box. Doers believe something tangible will result from Trump’s deals even if it is a goat pulling a cart behind the box. They are willing to take a risk because they see politicians and their policies as taking their money but not even offering a box or a curtain as part of the deal.
What I find intriguing about Trump is that most men have one trade they specialize in and master. Trump however is willing to take risks and go into multiple trades. He went from real estate development into media. He learned how to not only survive in the Media Swamp but to thrive in it. He learned how to use it to his advantage. He mastered the media not just as a marketing ploy but he made it a survival skill.
Now he is moving on to a new swamp – the Political Swamp. And he is finding his way and mastering it better than his rivals.
The media and political Naturalists can say whatever they want about Trump but his supporters don’t care. To them his critics are the timid souls who don’t get dirty in the swamps and would be eaten alive if they dared venture into the swamp.
Trump spent his career in the swamps slaying alligators. Sometimes he lost to the alligators in the swamps but he dragged his beaten body out to find another swamp and more alligators. Going bankrupt, failed businesses, law suits, being fined and whatever else is dug up are all battle scars. Faking being your own marketing person is taking something into your own hands to create an advantage. He did what he had to do to survive and win. Nothing in his past will diminish him because it proves he has always been in the arena. It proves he is a fighter and a conqueror. It proves he is a Great American Alligator Slayer.
The latest Trump criticism is that he doesn’t have firm policy positions and ideology – no one knows what he stands for. Calling himself a Deal Maker makes politicians nervous because they see him as readily abandoning their precious policy positions that they use to work up their most ardent fans into an emotional frenzy of support.
Again Doers don’t care because they know that in order to solve problems you have to abandon your position. You have to brain storm, consider all possibilities. So when Trump changes his mind on an issue, they interpret it as him examining a problem a different perspective.
In solving problems, Doers see themselves at point A and they want to get to Point B. They figure out the best path to get there. This is different from politics where politicians try to make us believe that their policy positions can get us to where we want to go. They want us to believe policy positions have magical powers to make things happen the way they want. But they don’t.
- Politicians say we are at A but our policy positions dictate we can’t go to B, we must go to C instead – C is the right place to be. But in the Outside the Beltway Reality, B is the only place you can go. When politicians take us to C instead they create a slew of new problems they aren’t prepared to deal with. (Obamacare)
- Politicians say their policy positions will get us from D to E. But Outside the Beltway Reality says it will take us to Q instead and we will have deal with the unintended consequences. (Middle East intervention)
Doers get this. They adamantly believe Trump does too because it is the only way he could of built his empire.
From a Doer’s tangible perspective Trump is a deal maker who makes deals to secure a project. The project is then planned out, designed and constructed. As anyone who has ever worked in construction knows, making money in construction is all about being able to solve problems quickly and effectively all through the course of the project from the initial deal to finishing the punch list. Doers see Trump’s business success as a testament to his leadership, teamwork, problem solving skills and ability to get things done.
Doers know Alligator Slayers slay problems.
This is what the TV pundits didn’t and many still don’t understand. So as the summer and fall of 2015 unfolded and TV pundits mocked Trump for being clown, I winced. I knew what was coming.
TV pundits may claim “Politics is a game of survival” but it isn’t. It is simply a chess game that you win or lose. Then you get to play again.
Real games of survival happen in the swamp and the arena. And who do you think is the master of survival?
Back in 1991 I deliberately named the workplace Hero The Great American Alligator Slayer in order to describe exactly what he does. Alligator Slayers are slayers. They eliminate their problems. Alligator Slayers don’t just wound. They go for the kill. That is how they get all the alligator trophies hanging on their wall. Great American Alligator Slayers are the supreme hunters and survivors.
Trump saw his GOP rivals simply as problems to be eliminated. One-by-one, he hunted them and picked them off. They were playing chess. He was playing in the Hunger Games.
Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina studied hard to take the Presidential entrance exam. They were eliminated for being Alligator Slayers who switched over to being Naturalists.
Lindsey Graham hung around to make the point that in order to be Commander in Chief you first have to write a 1,000 word essay explaining the difference between ISIS and ISIL.
Low Energy Jeb Bush and his super-pac supporters who thought they were big game hunters were revealed to be merely deer hunters. Killing Bambi’s mother is a far cry from being mud wrestling Alligator Slayers.
Poor Little Marco Rubio didn’t have any alligator hides on his wall. Trump told him that he needs to get some first in order to be taken seriously and be seen as a Man.
Lyin’ Ted Cruz says he is a Constitutional Conservative. (I have no idea what that means but to me it sounds intellectual and lawyerie.) He even referenced Philosopher-Kings during a debate, revealing that he is a Naturalist. But he is also smart enough to understand that we love our men of action and Alligator Slayers. So being the politician that he is, Cruz wrapped bacon around the barrel of a gun and went duck hunting decked out in full camo. Really?! Lyin’ Ted Cruz wanted us to believe he is a great Alligator Slayer by duck hunting?!?! We were supposed to blindly TrusTed that he is an Alligator Slayer.
In reality Cruz is the quintessential Conservative Naturalist who holds tighter to a policy position than anyone else in Washington. He is confused. Sorry Ted, holding tight to a policy positons isn’t “doing” something. And no, shutting down the government doesn’t earn you an alligator trophy you can hang on your wall.
With opponents like these, Trump winning the GOP nomination was inevitable.
Ted Cruz proved to be the best Swamp Wars adversary for Trump. The last weeks of Cruz’s campaign however were painful to watch because I’ve worked with a lot of men under intense pressure and stress. For an Alligator Slayer it was like watching a wounded animal slowly die. I kept thinking “Trump when are you going to put him out of his misery?” Then Trump made the comment about Cruz’s father. Holy Sh*t! I don’t know if Trump intended that to be just another cheap shot (which would be incredibly cruel) or the final fatal blow. The answer to that says a lot about his character.
Now Hillary is facing Trump. I highly recommend she watch the movie Gladiator again. Trump has already cast himself as Maximus (Russell Crowe). He defeated 16 other Gladiators and he controls a large portion of the mob. He is waiting to see whether or not Hillary will come out of the stands and engage him in the arena. I guarantee that he is ready for whatever she chooses.
She can’t take the high road and refuse to engage except on the debate stage. Kasich tried that and was drowned out. TV pundits tell her to take the high road and quote the saying: Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
This is the wrong analogy. Doers already know that many Alligator Slayers aren’t the nicest people. They have huge character flaws but Doers don’t care because getting stuff done is more important. So this isn’t about rolling in the mud over words, it is about getting down in the weeds of the swamp to slay alligators and get things done.
Hillary’s campaign slogan “Fighting for Us” really gives her no choice but to get in the arena and fight as a Gladiator. Her slogan suggests she is an Alligator Slayer or can fight an Alligator Slayer. She has to prove herself at this level of competition. And she has to fight by herself. She can’t rely on her husband, Obama, Elizabeth Warren or a host of other surrogates to engage him for her. If she does, she will come off looking like Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix).
Hillary has to be careful not to fall into the Commodus role because it plays into the Crooked Hillary name. In case you haven’t figured out what the name means, it means unethical, immoral, selfish and greedy. It references back to the person who violates the workplace ethics policy. In construction it is the guy who awards the paving contract and winds up with a new driveway at his house. Or the guy who builds a condo complex and suddenly has a newly built summer home. Doers know who these people are. And they also know that proving it is really hard because there is no paper trail. The person making the payoff has to speak up but never will because he got what they wanted. Crooked people are loathed by hard working Doers.
I can go on and on about what Hillary is up against. Not long ago Chris Matthews on Hardball asked his panel what Trump was getting at by the Enabler label. His panel gave some really poor answers. They couldn’t explain it because they didn’t know that Alligator Slayers don’t really believe in enabling! Enabling is one of those simple words that convey paragraphs of meaning. So Chris, if you want to know, contact me. I can explain. I can even explain how Putin ties into it. (Update: If Russia did hack the emails, it is because Putin saw Hillary as an “Enabler” and that is the message he was sending.)
And Hillary needs to figure out what it means because she just played right into it when she announced she was going to put Bill Clinton in charge of the economy.
Trump fundamentally changed Political Swamp Wars. He elevated the performance of the Alligator Slayer to a masterful level. Hillary is no longer up against Alligator Slayer Wanna-be’s like she was in the 11 hour Benghazi hearing. She is now playing in the Super Bowl of Swamp Wars.
Last night I heard Hillary was looking for help to prepare for the debates against Trump. Hmmm… I speak Alligator Slayer fluently. And I was trained by Great American Alligator Slayers so I know how they play. Hillary, maybe we should talk.
Or if any TV pundits out there need me to interpret Alligator Slayer speak, let me know…
Or Trump, if you need a woman to translate for you to keep you out of trouble…I have lots and lots of experience!…And BTW I have an alligator trophy the size of Jaws.
Update November 9, 2016
Trump won this round of Swamp Wars. In the process he blew up both the Republican and Democratic parties. Does this mean he ended Swamp Wars once and for all?
Time will tell.
If he can get a stagnant government moving, get the economy growing and help bring financial security to American families he will elevate the status of Doers. If he can help all Americans learn what it feels like to achieve, to have great accomplishments or in his words “to win” he will inspire us to return to being a nation of Doers and Achievers.
We have forgotten that we are a nation of Achievers. As Swamp Wars escalated, we became a nation of words. We gave words power and made them more important than taking action and doing. We became of nation of protesters, debaters, pundits and lawyers arguing one side of a case thinking that if we won the argument we accomplished something great. But winning an argument doesn’t create anything tangible on its own. We still need to act and to do.
I hope that Trumps leads us back to being a nation of Achievers and all Americans get to experience the pride and joy that comes from accomplishing something the naysayers said they couldn’t or even better, something they didn’t think they could.
If Trump can Drain the Swamp (solve our problems) and end Swamp Wars permanently by making us a nation of Achievers, again, we will Make America Great Forever and once again be a Great Inspiration to the rest of the world.
A Personal Note (part of original post):
After a career working with thousands of blue collar white, black and Hispanic Doers, I learned that Doers judge, respect and value people based upon how hard they try, how hard they work, how safely they work and what they get done. If their colleague is a good, safe hard worker they do not care if they are black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, a woman, gay, educated, uneducated, covered in tattoos and piercings or is a man wearing a dress.
That was one of the first lessons I learned about the male-dominated workplace. Understanding that was critical to my success as a woman in a traditionally hard-core male role. All I had to do to be respected and accepted was do my job well. And I did, I did it extremely well.
I also learned that even though many Doers are brusque, poor communicators and seemingly unemotional, they give an abundance of time and energy to others. It is often the most outwardly gruffest who are genuine Teddy Bears who unselfishly give the most. They:
- Give up their family Thanksgiving every year to cook and serve provide Thanksgiving dinner to their community low income families and the homeless.
- Build homes for Habitat for Humanity and renovate homes for disabled vets, the elderly and the poor.
- Buy Toys for Tots and personal items for the forgotten elderly in nursing homes at Christmas.
- Make up the volunteer Fire Department, community patrols and Search and Rescue teams. They can be counted on to respond in any emergency.
- Actively belong to any number of charitable organizations doing good works benefiting the less fortunate, sick and needy in their community.
- Mentor young women in the male-dominated workplace and promote their careers,
Doers make a difference because they value making a difference above all else.
This is a concept that is either unknown, long forgotten or ignored by politicians, political wanna-be’s, media pundits and many in the C-suite that has brought our workplaces, society and politics to where we are now. While some believe it will take an “Outsider” to change this, in my first Swamp Wars article I state that the only way to end Swamp Wars is for women to empower and assert their female traits.
There is no magical political or business Hero or Heroine who will arise from inside or outside “the establishment” and do it for us.
Change and action will only happen when women assert themselves as Doers on par with men. That is when we will create the balance and wholeness that transforms workplaces, society and politics into what we want them to be.
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