Guest Post From Poetrooper

| September 13, 2018

I normally don’t repost full articles from other sources but the following piece needs to be read in its entirety by those of you, who, like me, voted for Trump as the lesser of two bad choices, but while having come to admire him for keeping most of his campaign promises and standing up to the media, still find ourselves doing all too regular face plants at what and how he sometimes speaks and Tweets. It’s a bit of a long read for the TAH format, but I promise that this enlightened essay from American Thinker, written by aviation physicist, Chet Richards, is going to make you feel a whole lot better about your original vote and your continuing support. You may even want to write a check for his 2020 re-election.
September 12, 2018

Presidential Chaos
Chet Richards
American Thinker

The Oval Office is in chaos. Donald Trump is mercurial, scatter-brained, given to changing his opinion every few minutes. Talks all the time. Doesn’t listen. Is opinionated. Often wrong. He is interested only in today, not tomorrow. He lacks caution. It all adds up to a president who clearly is mentally deficient – insane even. Or so some say. They say it is vital for the Nation’s future that Donald Trump be relieved of his office – or at least tightly controlled.

All of the above may, or may not, be true. Only those in a day-to-day working relationship with the president know the reality, and publicly they say only positive things about the man. Whatever the truth, the simple fact is that Donald Trump is, thus far, perhaps the most productive president in American history. Only Teddy Roosevelt is a productive rival, and chaos surrounded him, as well. How can Trump’s purported chaotic insanity produce such positive results?

The simplest explanation is simple: Donald Trump may be a genius! Don’t laugh. He may be the real thing. He jokes about it, which suggests he doesn’t realize that he really is (see the Dunning-Kruger Effect). His career record certainly suggests he is a major creative talent – and a gutsy one at that.
Perhaps President Trump is the kind of genius who thrives on turmoil. If so, that explains the chaos. In my profession of physics, there have been several brilliant notables with exactly that characteristic. It is not to say that Donald Trump lacks self-discipline. He wouldn’t be where he is today if discipline was lacking. His discipline is probably very different from the norm, but it clearly works. Creative people understand chaos. They especially understand it if they have collaborated with other talented people on a difficult problem. Creative chaos is the norm in such an environment. Without that chaos productivity can vanish.
More than half a century ago, equipped with a fresh physics degree, I attracted the attention of a group of professional inventors and was hired. Most of the time the work was routine. The real fun came, most days, when things were winding down. Then a few of us would gather together for exercises in pure invention. We were led by the group’s technical boss, a master inventor. It was in these sessions that I received my training as a professional inventor. The most noteworthy things about these sessions were their chaos and their entertainment value – they really were fun. A problem would be posed. It didn’t matter what kind of problem as long as there was no known solution. Then came a great deal of discordant, often simultaneous, often loud, back and forth. Chaos. Then, sometimes popping out of the blue, a solution magically appeared. Almost always these sessions would produce at least one patentable invention (and often more than one). We usually didn’t file patent because the invention was seldom relevant to our business and patents are expensive. Given the creative ferment there it is little wonder that the group produced a series of engineering masterpieces.
Later, after several uninspiring years in graduate school, I found myself working directly for one of the aerospace industry’s great geniuses. Chaos again. I was back in my element. People change, personalities change, but the creative chaos is always the same – provided the talent is there.
Trump faces a problem: the Government. The Government is not, by its nature, a creative institution. When it tries to be it almost invariable gets it wrong. Just consider all the failed social programs if you doubt this. Government is good at routine. Routine minds are repelled by the kind of turbulence that surrounds Donald Trump. Which, of course, is the reason they have routine minds in routine jobs. Government is process oriented and rule bound. Once a routine is established things tend to go smoothly for a while. Unfortunately routine breaks down in stressing situations. Then, creative thinking is required. But the creativity is usually not there. Creative people just don’t fit comfortably in a process oriented organization.
The aerospace industry has many examples where process breaks down. One program, where I was involved at a senior level, suffered from excessive process. The program manager was a retired Lieutenant General who had had great success managing a key part of the first Gulf War. He was highly intelligent and accessible. But he did not understand the creative chaos required for success in this kind of program. What he did understand was process. Key decisions were to be made according to a detailed schedule, not for technical merit. After an expenditure of more than a billion dollars of government money, and hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate investment, the program was canceled. Process had killed the program.
The people who thrive at upper levels in Government are mostly highly intelligent conventional thinkers. Put them in the service of someone like Donald Trump and they may do outstanding work. Or, they may rebel and engage in subversion. Such rebellion seems to be a problem today. According to the notorious 9/5/18 New York Times OpEd piece by Anonymous, there exists an informal Steady State conspiracy at high levels in Trump’s administration. Reportedly, this group has interfered with the president’s decision process. It has done so by pilfering documents that were put in front of him to sign. Implied, this group also biases the information going to the president. Is this editorial factual? Or, is it just malicious disinformation from the swamp? If it is real then substantial housecleaning is in order. In any case, among a cast of hundreds, or even thousands, there inevitably will be those who will be disaffected.
In time the mix of the people around the president will have evolved to be a buffer between the productive conventional thinkers and their highly unconventional boss. In engineering terms, Trump’s senior staff should serve as an efficient impedance matching device. Given Donald Trump’s major talents, and with such a mature staff around the president, we can expect this administration to go down as one history’s greatest.

Category: Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    “Trump’s senior staff should serve as an efficient impedance matching device”

    Free of discontinuities, perturbations and tin whiskers. Slug tuned quarter wave stubs will do the trick.

  2. Comm Center Rat says:

    “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.”

    “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos…”

    “Why so serious?”

    ― The Joker in The Dark Knight, 2008

  3. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Some folks -loathe- chaos. Some folks thrive on it. Is chaos an obstacle or an opportunity? That question defines a fundamental aspect of personality.

    Trump is a “thrive on chaos” sort. Moreso, he has learned to weaponize it.

    Patton is another such chaos-rider, although very differently manifested. No surprise Trump is a Patton fan.

    Much of the left seeks to impose “order” for their own peace of mind. Many on the Right do not mind the chaos of Freedom. (There are those on both sides that do not follow that rule.)

    Look at how folks define “Freedom”. They may call it the near-unlimited freedom to act, barring direct harm to others, or hey may call it the near-unlimited freedom from any surprises, with everyone else barred from acting up “for their own good” (or permitting acting up only in carefully defined ways).

    Trump appears to have grasped the essential problem with the out of control bureaucracy, and has thrown them all under a bus called “Chaos”. The “thrivers” he will keep. The ones that panic he will seek to drive out. And so far, it seems to be working. Bigly.

    • NHSparky says:

      Or as the saying goes, “I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.”

      Amazing how “progressives” are so afraid of what they don’t know or understand.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    I understand this completely.

    Mr. Richards has more than adequately described what is generally referred to as brainstorming sessions, in which the participants have to think outside the box.

    Einstein did his best work when he was a patent clerk, because there were no procedural rules that he was required to follow.

    Out of chaos cometh invention. Plain and simple.

    Trump is a master at managing chaos. I think he is also quite adept at keeping his hand on the tiller while wading through the shallow-brained seas of people who can’t think outside the box. Imagination is their mortal enemy.

    Think about that for a moment: in a free country, there are people who are afraid of free thinkers.

    A perfect example is someone who, on reading something I wrote about shooting a missile into the Sun, said ‘You can’t do that. The missile will be deflected by the Sun’s gravitational field.’
    My answer was: “Then how come there are SOHO photos of comets falling into the Sun????”
    My critic’s anger was intense and visible.

    Game on, Mr. President! Drive them nucking futz!!!!

    • rgr769 says:

      Having served in several large bureaucracies, I have seen how hide bound they are. Anyone who comes up a different way to deal with a problem is told, “but that isn’t the way we have always done it.” Also, lower level minions hate having to make any decision for which someone else might hold them responsible. Thus, they fall back on whatever the existing process or rules mandate. So if the existing process doesn’t solve the problem, well that is just the way it is.

  5. Roh-Dog says:

    Observably the President has some skills, nb he has a freaking jet. I’ve always admired his talent of looking at systems, or systems of systems, and finding the inefficient aspects and determining which ones to cull and the proper order. In a similar vein, working through a process and achieving the most desired outcome. As humans we have a tendency to aim for our intended goal, be damned the consequences, to the detriment of our ‘bottom lines’.
    Also, being able to surround yourself with a good team… unfortunately politicos use influence as currency as noted.
    Great article, but “[i]t’s a bit of a long read for the TAH format”…?
    You calling me and illiterate hick? I’ll have you know that I DIDN’T pass out in the back of the pick up last night, drunk on shine. That’s saved for the weekend!

    • Poetrooper says:

      Um, Dog, apparently you didn’t clear the alcohol fumes from your hick brain sufficiently to take note of the fact that I said it was a bit of a long read for the TAH “FORMAT” not TAH “READERS.”

      If I’d had you in mind when writing that prologue, I would have correctly said, “An impossibly long and incomprehensible slog.”

      There, is that better?

  6. Graybeardc says:

    Interesting read, good insights, and now that I think about it it fits my experience.

  7. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    I wish I would have saved the email about Trump is like a salty Sailor who is crude with his language doesn’t give a shit about what people say about him Etc. BUT GETS THE JOB DONE. I think that the salty Sailor was from before the Navy went politicaly correct but I maybe wrong.

  8. 5th/77thFA says:

    I didn’t have to GUESS that is was a post from Poetrooper, he signed/typed his name to it. I GUESS that Aviation Physicist Chet Richards was a GUEST of Poe. Or it would be my GUESS that American Thinker GUESSED that the readers of TAH would enjoy having a post thru Poe by Chet Richards as their GUEST. Would you like to make a GUESS? I GUESS that it was a fine post, no don’t have to GUESS, I read and comprehended the post in it’s entirety: and it was a dandy. President Trump will make his friends and enemies GUESS as to what outrageous thing he will tweet next. For someone with no military training he is following one of the basic concepts; keep your enemy off balance and make them GUESS as to your next move. Strangely enough, that concept is a good business model also. The Donald knew that the true enemies of this country were on both sides of the aisle, and the swamp was full of them. No, he was not my first choice in the primaries, and neither were any of the established politicos. I honestly was supporting Dr. Ben Carson, mainly cause he was an outsider. When it came down to that lying, conniving, back stabbing, no cooking baking, murderous trash from hell bitch of Bengahzi, Wide Load Canckles McPantsuit and dTrump, well duh huh. The evil we didn’t know, in this case, was better than the evil I DID know, may she finally rot in hell. In agreement with Dr. Richards, pure genius is dangerous to folks who can’t understand it, or are skeerd. Keep up the winning Trumpster, unless Dave and ExPH-2 decide to run in 2020, I GUESS I’ll vote for you again.

    • 5th/77thFA says:

      O K who fixed it? I GUESS we’ll never know, and I GUESS no one will understand my posted comment. Oh well, it was fun for me.

      • Poetrooper says:

        Three GUESSES…

        The other readers will just think you missed your meds this morning.

        See what happens when you go outside the box with your chaotic humor? But no problem–all of us chaotic thinkers here will see what you were doing.


        • 5th/77thFA says:

          Gawd I Love this place. I’m thinking that C.H.A.O.S.(T.I.C.) fellow, wasn’t that the ones that my U.N.C.L.E and the man from was up against? Or was that the S.M.A.R.T that never was get? Must ask Hondo, he’ll know. I’ll double self medicate this pm. You take care Poe; lots of us here are concerned about you.

    • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

      I guess that’s a lot of guesses on the above comment I guess to say, or should I diguess on that.

  9. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    IMHO Washington DC has long been infested with those who have spent their lives entrenched in the was of the proverbial swamp and President Trump has shaken their proverbial apple cart so of course they’re going apeshit, everyone from bureaucrats to lifelong politicians!

  10. OWB says:

    Absolutely spot on analysis of both the creative process and the swamp. Whether it’s called brain storming or something else, advances are never made without somebody or a group coming up with something that was not there before. “Group think” is the antithesis of creativity.