Well the big day has finally arrived.
Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States.
He was certainly not the person I was hoping would become President, having openly noted my support for Hillary Clinton.
But he won the requisite number of electoral votes, and he is now our President.
I’ve always felt that as Americans we should respect and show support for the office of the Presidency, even if we don’t agree with the politics of the person holding the office. Otherwise, we would have a divided nation, which benefits no one.
Unfortunately, we are more of a divided nation now than I can ever remember in my lifetime, and it seems like it is only going to get worse.
Many people aren’t willing to give Trump a chance, and in our land of opportunity, that just does not seem right.
Many people are hoping that Trump fails spectacularly, but if that is the case, that may mean the United States also fails spectacularly, an outcome no one benefits from.
As I was pondering Trump’s improbable victory today, I am reminded of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs had always been one of my heroes, and he certainly played a key role in creating one of the world’s greatest companies. But personally, it seems as if he was a major a**hole, and wouldn’t think twice about humiliating someone in public. Such flaws were largely unknown to the general public until his biography came out and movies were made about him. Up until then, millions of people, myself included, had placed Jobs on a pedestal.
What would Apple be like today if people had judged Steve’s ability to run a company on his obnoxious personality, and as a result, never gave him a chance? I’ve also wondered if Jobs would have been as successful if he wasn’t an a**hole, or was that personality trait part of what made him so successful?
There’s no doubt in my mind that President Trump has some significant character flaws, and I think character matters. But there is a chance that Trump’s flaws have little impact on his ability to do the job effectively, and the only way to find out is to give Trump the opportunity to prove himself and that’s what I am willing to do.
(If you’d like to learn more about the importance of character, I’d highly recommend David Brooks’ book The Road to Character).
By the way, I would much prefer if his rallying cry was “Make America Better” instead of “Make America Great”. I think America is already great, but there’s always room for improvement.
And while we’re at it, let’s help make the world a better place as well.
And finally, thank you President and First Lady Obama for your service to our country. I will always remember the class, dignity, and compassion you showed, even in the most difficult times. You will be missed, but I wish you the best in the next part of your journey through life. I am confident that you will continue to make a positive difference in the world.