Dear Uncle Bert and Auntie Gert: I've just got a job no one except me expected me to get.

Wednesday, 9 November, 2016 - 12:50
Oh, shit. WTF am I going to do now? I mean, I wanted the job, of course I wanted the job. I've spend lots of my own money to make sure I got the job. My rival spent far more money, almost all of it other people's. That's the difference between a conservative and a socialist. But everyone around me, except for the usual yes-men, thought I wouldn't get it. I've no experience, no real contacts, in the field. I need serious guidance.

Bert says: I don't like you. I think you are a bully and a generally quite unpleasant character who is obnoxious to anyone that doesn't agree with you. And I especially don't like the way you can't stick to a story and how it changes every time it comes up. But, fundamentally, I think you are honest and that's a good start.

I don't think it matters too much that you don't know anyone: there's a huge team of people who are paid to do as you tell them. It's their job to work out how to implement what you say should be done.

But you are an autocrat and that's not the way government works. You are going to have to learn the concept of consensus and also patience. Just think how long it took Obama to get any form of Obama care through the two Houses and when he did, it wasn't close to the original concept. You are going to come up against rebellion from your own side and outright blocking from the other side.

You won, in part, because you beat the socialists at their own game: around the world, the left dominate the media and, especially, so-called social media. You were relentless in making sure they did not drown out your message. But in office, you are not going to be able to do that : it takes time and money that you can't spare. So you are going to be hounded by the media who will be trying to find out anything that they can trip you up on, distract you with in Q&A sessions and generally harass you at every turn.

And they won't be alone: the old guard at the GOP think you've hijacked the Republican party and then used it to steal an election. They are not going to forgive and forget. You aren't one of them: you are someone who walked in one day, said "anyone can be President and I nominate me."

Grudgingly, I have to say that that's very impressive. And while there is much about your policy I don't like (get rid of guns, for God's sake) I do think that you stand some chance of unifying a heavily segregated America and of putting it back to work.

The restoration of tradition and pride in nationhood is a good start, so long as it doesn't turn into jingoism and domestic racism. Be inclusive and you stand a chance that, even if you lose the next election, someone will say "he did some good work."

Gert says: I didn't want you to win but I wanted that other person to win even less. But you need to stop cosying up to Russia, you need to stop winding them and China up over trade, you need to understand that trade deals are a two-way street and you need to rejuvenate American manufacturing so as to move away from dependence on services which, mostly, concentrate income into the hands of a relatively small number.

So here's my recipe: find out what the world wants, tell the unions they can work with you or be abolished, provide assistance to companies to set up businesses in depressed areas and provide remedial schooling for the nascent workforce. Give positive help to startups and SMEs. Set up small agricultural projects in deserted areas: use goats to keep down weeds and to produce milk and cheese. Fix the bridges and other infrastructure that was failing fifteen years ago and is even worse today. Don't bother with new builds: keep replaying your own message to fix what the USA has. People respond to familiarity. Help people have civic pride in their districts: that leads to pride in themselves and in their countries.

One of the great messages, possibly the only great message, in your campaign was that everyone can work together to produce a unified nation and a unified improvement. If you can restore that sense, that America is great because it does great things rather than the empty slogans of the past two decades or more, you will have done the best thing you could have done for your country. Help those who are sometimes referred to as "the bottom of the pyramid" but help them grow, not give them handouts.

I still think you're not a very nice man, but if you can do that, I'll think you are a good one.

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