Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Enigma That is Trump

Trump is like a Rorschach test. How people see him depends on what their own psyche wants to see. Like the picture below:
If you see anything but an open book, you are perfectly normal.

For some, Trump is a loud, vulgar, intellectually deficient braggart.

For others, he is a 3-D chess player.

For me, he is loud, sometimes vulgar, and a braggart.

And, a superb poker player.

Now, I know poker players. My dad was one - a very good one. He added about another 50% of his salary, when he was active, scrounging up games around town.

For years, he made good money playing the not-very-bright hillbilly from WV. People let their prejudices do the talking, and they never realized that the guy with 2 months of high school was a killer at math and probabilities.

He sometimes let me hand around and watch. I earned my place fetching drinks and snacks, and emptying ashtrays. I learned a lot about people watching them take chances, bluff, and win and lose. I learned that you can't tell a good player by the way he dresses, how he talks, or even if he is a man or a woman. One of the better players I knew was a neighbor (female), married to a VERY bad player. Sometimes, she could barely win fast enough to keep ahead of his losses.

One of the players was Steve, an immigrant Greek. He earned his citizenship when he fought with the Americans (he'd been with the Resistance before that).

The best players are watchful. They might talk, but the purpose of that talk is to uncover the other players' thinking. Some of them act a little naive, or mentally slow (or drunk). Don't believe it - it's an act. If you're ever at a table and think to yourself, this is going to be a piece of cake to take their winnings, walk away.

VERY fast.

When Trump talks, and when he tweets, he talks kinda like a not very bright, inarticulate, jerk. Most of that is an act. From all accounts, in private, he is polite, well-spoken, and sharp as a tack. Although he depends on his lawyers and advisors to give him assistance in areas that he is less knowledgeable in, he is clearly comfortable being in charge.

He is willing to delegate. He is willing to accept a bit of a learning curve, as long as an employee is hard-working and loyal. But, for him, the buck stops at his desk.

That, for me, is one of the big arguments in favor of keeping him in the job. He is a grown-up, and knows how to take responsibility.

And, if he isn't a really good poker player, I'll eat my hat.

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