America gets what it needed: A businessman focused on winning

Special to, May 28, 2018

By John McNabb

Donald John Trump became America’s Forty-Fifth President on Jan. 20, 2017.

I can’t recall the last time our nation had a dedicated business person in the White House. And I was born just after “D Day” at the beginning of the end of World War II.

John T. McNabb, right, with candidate Donald Trump at a meeting of the Trump Leadership Council.

Wikipedia lists the Bushes as businessmen, but let’s be honest. There has been a steady stream of primarily politicians and lawyers occupying the White House since Harry Truman. Our most recent president was a politician through and through who fancied community organizing more than running the country.

Did the lack of commercial experience qualify these men for running the nation’s business? What we know is that they left behind myriad and daunting problems created since the 1990’s, both domestically and internationally.

Former President Barack Obama left our citizens with some of the worst-ever international treaties and deals reached without Congressional involvement or approval. Consider, for example, the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And then there was the Affordable Care Act or in common lingo “Obamacare”. Add to all of the above Obama’s war on coal, his war on religious freedom and his war on law enforcement. By constantly picking sides on social issues, he started our nation on the slippery slope of divisiveness and the deterioration of our once civil, if not always polite, public discourse.

This is leadership?

A business person tries to lead, build a constructive culture and bring his/her constituents together. While America’s enemies seek to divide and conquer, surely its leader seeks the just the opposite. Am I wrong?

Oddly, it was not the nation’s political, academic or media elites who recognized both the critical problem and its unexpected solution. It was average, hard-working Americans by the tens of millions who fight the nation’s enemies and pay the taxes that fund big government’s work force. They were fit to be tied, and so was the man who promised to make America great again.

When Donald Trump arrived on the scene, he was all business and not beholden or interested in being beholden.

While much of America recognized him as the answer to unspoken prayers, he was a nightmare for Washington DC’s ruling class including the entrenched forces on K Street and especially the mainstream media. These are very smart and experienced people accustomed to politicians who depend on them for their very existence. They were utterly incapable of understanding and dealing with a businessman determined to solve problems with or without them.

Thus since early 2017 the behavior of senior Democrats and the media has been, frankly, pathetic and embarrassing.

Democrats have been obstructionists, and the politicized Department of Justice which has no apparent leadership has given full reign to a questionably-hired special counsel. Anything to negate or overturn the presidential election where America spoke and the elites didn’t like it!

The Democrats are no longer the “working folks’ party. The Democrats are the party of the elites, the people who just know better about how we should all be governed. The party has deteriorated into a two-coast cabal of celebrity and wealth with a “my way or the highway” style of political debate.

Such was the state of the body politic when my great friend and colleague Harold Hamm asked me to become involved with The Trump Leadership Council. His idea was to assist then candidate Trump with an overview of America’s business, defense, healthcare and trade. Harold led the way and I co-founded the Council with him. Together, we put together an amazing group of some 50 women and men in ten major areas including defense, health care, business and finance, energy, trade, manufacturing, transportation and agriculture.

Any business leader needs facts, expertise and wide-ranging perspectives before confronting the challenge before him or her. So much more so when that leader is a non-politician accustomed to winning and the challenge is leading the world’s only superpower in the aftermath of the Obama era.

The Trump Leadership Council met twice before the election, first at the Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, then at the Cleveland Browns stadium on July 19, 2016. I chaired both meetings.

Many of us were very curious at our first sit-down with the candidate. We went around the table with each giving his or her perspective. Then the future president began to ask thoughtful questions which demonstrated that he had been paying very close attention.

Many have since asked my impression of Donald Trump, known to millions then primarily for his bare-knuckled tweet feed and highly entertaining debating style. He was quiet, charming and a great listener. He wanted to know what everyone thought about how to move the nation forward.

I recall being interviewed by CNBC during the RNC in Cleveland and stating that I believed that no other candidate had ever gone to the level of detail he did to prepare for what was next. Certainly not Obama before or Clinton, neither of whom had any apparent business acumen.

Just one note about the campaign in which I played a leading role in North Carolina. Most media polls predicted a 90 percent Clinton victory. I had texted Harold Hamm on Election Eve and predicted that we would win North Carolina by five points and we won by four. My simple conclusion was that the mainstream media had failed in their bid to dissuade the “deplorables” from getting out to vote.

President Trump is running the country as if were a business and that is just what this country has needed. Just watch how he deals with his new peer group, foreign leaders. There is no back slapping typical of former leaders. Our president is all business. The uproar in the “Swamp” betrays their total misunderstanding about our president and the arena of world leadership into which he has moved so decisively and with full awareness of all that is at stake at home and abroad.

Just look at his tenure thus far. The economy has created nearly three million jobs and the country’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8%, matching the lowest unemployment rate in nearly fifty years. African American and Hispanic unemployment rates are the lowest in recorded history. And the unemployment rate for American women is at its lowest level since 1953. Business folks wanted tangible results and this president is accomplishing not only what he set out do but what he told Americans he was going to do.

Manufacturing jobs are up by three hundred four thousand and American manufacturing is thriving due to Trump’s Tax Reform Act of 2017.

I predict that America can become the lowest cost manufacturer worldwide due to its incredible abundance of clean burning natural gas. I believe that we have approximately two hundred years of natural gas left to produce. Think about that. A cheap and clean burning fuel that’s all American. And President Trump’s decision to open up ANWAR just adds to our potential and producible energy reserves. Our coal supply is so plentiful that I wouldn’t guess the extent of our reserves and how long we can burn clean coal!

American families have received $3.2 trillion in gross tax cuts, and 65 utilities have announced rate cuts due to the new Tax Reform Act.

But something that tends to go unnoticed, certainly by the hostile press, is that our president is eliminating those job-killing regulations that Obama loved putting in place. President Trump pledged that for every new regulation, he would eliminate six existing regulations. To date the president’s track record is eliminating twenty-two job killing regulations for every new one put into place.

And Jerusalem is now the seat of our United States Embassy in Israel. The Democrats had always espoused the idea until President Trump made the bold decision to actually make the move.

Consumer confidence is at a seventeen-year high, Justice Neil Gorsuch is now seated on the Supreme Court and once again we have pride in our flag and our country.

Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you America for finally voting to unshackle our country from self-absorbed politicians and elect a businessman to lead our great country!

John T. McNabb is vice chairman of the American Leadership Council, co-founder of the Trump Leadership Council and former chairman and CEO of Willbros Group.