There’s a commonly understood axiom in the economic development community of New York known as pay to play. Many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs, who also happen to be fine upstanding citizens, simply consider it the cost of doing business. A little of this P2P has actually surfaced in the national dialogue around a possible Trump presidency. The fact that as a high-profile businessman in New York and Nevada, he has made significant campaign contributions to Schumer and Reid, is more about P2P than it is about support of a politician’s ideology…or character. A harmless fact of life, or…
Is it the cause of our cancer? Has pay to play become so much a part of our landscape that principles no longer apply…kind of like a garden where the weeds leave no room, nutrients or light for the flowers? If you think about how we’ve evolved and how we live in places like New York today compared to a generation or two ago, it can be a little disconcerting at best. I talked to a local businessman just the other day about something that had happened to him. His sign had been damaged, and rather than leave it as an eyesore, he repaired it without giving it a second thought. Well, the town came down on him and he ended up having to spend thousands of dollars sending out certified letters to neighbors, etc.! Would a businessman in the very same business on the very same corner have had that experience 50 years ago?
Maybe P2P has always existed on some level, but we’ve lost our bearings. As any pilot or astronaut will tell you, a fractional deviation from your flight path which means inches or feet when you’re close to your point of origin, translates easily to thousands of miles the further out you go. And unfortunately, the concept of P2P doesn’t confine itself to the world of real estate developers…it is everywhere! It is in your child’s classroom, your community hospital and yes, it is even in your Sunday sanctuary…the churches! It is no wonder our world is a mess! Look at what we have allowed to come between or teachers and their students, our doctors and their patients and our pastors and their God!
So when I hear all of the excitement around a possible Trump candidacy, I cringe to be perfectly honest. Wouldn’t a Trump Presidency be a virtual guarantee of more of the same… with a different flavor perhaps? The fact is that we long for courage in our leaders and Trump delivers on that score! But courage is an offspring of Principle, not the other way around.
The fact is that we desperately need a leader as principled as the one who led us from the birth of our nation. And that my friends, is not Donald Trump! Washington stood above most men in every measure of a man. He possessed a combination of courage, wisdom and moral integrity that was well above reproach. We can only surmise where a lesser man might have led us!
Today, we are at the most critical crossroads in our entire history. Many names have been discussed as we move towards 2012. You will hear comments like, “Will the political class accept him?”…which translates to “Will he pay to play?” There is only one star I see in the political firmament that shines beyond the choking grasp of the garden weeds…and his name is Allen West!