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Ben Franklin & Trump: Bringing Business Smarts & Pride in Workmanship to Government
5/8/2016 | Pocono Pundit

Posted on 05/08/2016 2:51:54 PM PDT by poconopundit

My FRiends, congratulations to Mr. Trump on his pending Republican nomination!  And what better way to celebrate than to compare Trump with the so-called "First American" and Founding Father, Ben Franklin.

On Google Images, I ran across an amusing New York Magazine portrait of Trump wearing an 18th century hair style.  Then, shortly thereafter I found the splendid painting of Ben Franklin by David Martin.  I said: "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to GIMP those images together?" so Trump and Old Ben could sit together at the same table and shoot the breeze.

For the story, I searched Wikipedia and Wikiquote, and cataloged a few parallels between the lives of Franklin and Trump.

Was Trump inspired by the life of Ben Franklin?  I have no idea.  But it's intriguing that the famous sculpture of Franklin in Washington DC stands in front of the Old Post Office, the iconic building the Trump Organization is renovating and turning into its luxury hotel.

Masters of Many Trades

Both Trump and Franklin are known for their diverse accomplishments in many fields.

Franklin was a leading author, entrepreneur, scientist, inventor, and statesman.  As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove.

As deputy postmaster of the British North America postal service, Franklin reorganized the service's accounting system, then improved speed of delivery between Philadelphia, New York and Boston.  By 1761, efficiencies led to the first profits for the colonial post office.  Later on, the Constitutional Congress appointed him as the first postmaster of the US Post Office, the 18th century's equivalent of the internet.

Trump, likewise, has succeeded in many business ventures: hotels, apartments, beauty pageants, wine, golf courses, and television/mass media.

Media pundits are fond of telling us how "inexperienced" Trump is in politics, but if government is about making deals, then imagine the challenge of getting the approvals and financing needed to build skyscrapers in New York City!  That's a monumental political challenge.

Truth is: the pace of business change is probably ten times faster than it is in government.  Business is a juggling act, for it requires: hiring the right people, keeping them motivated, putting a lid on costs, financing growth, covering your risks, and moving to new opportunities as you milk yesterday's cash cows.

Business competence like that is mostly alien territory for politicians groomed to give speeches and negotiate 1,500 page laws like the ObamaCare bill.  So if Trump gets elected, expect a culture clash as the slow, bloated federal government is prodded by an entrepreneur who knows the value of flexible strategies, customer responsiveness, quick action, and lean operations.

And consider this: there's no bigger organization in America than the US federal government which employs 4.1 million people.  The second biggest, Walmart, by comparison, employs 1.2 million US workers [2010].

Parallels between Franklin's and Trump's Lives

Besides the similarities already mentioned, here are some other interesting parallels I found:

  • Keeping Pride in Check -- When you're a guy with as many accomplishments as Trump or Franklin, it's hard to be humble!  Nevertheless, both men are quite conscious that people resent braggers.  In the September 2015 Presidential Debate, Trump introduced himself this way:

      I'm Donald Trump. I wrote The Art of the Deal. I say — not in a braggadocious way — I've made billions and billions of dollars dealing with people all over the world, and I want to put whatever that talent is to work for this country so we have great trade deals, we make our country rich again, we make it great again.

    In his Autobiography, Franklin also talked about conquering his Pride:

      There is perhaps no other natural Passion so hard to subdue as Pride.  Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself.  For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my Humility.

  • Authors of Self-Improvement Books -- Franklin practically invented the category of self-improvement books.  In 1758, he wrote and printed an the essay entitled "The Way of Wealth" where he discussed frugality and the work ethic. He began writing his Autobiography in 1771, first printed after his death.  A couple centuries later, Trump wrote his own autobiographical business book entitled The Art of the Deal, and it has become one of most successful business books ever sold.

  • Media Mavens -- Both man became masters of the mass media of their time.  Through the power of his publishing, printing, and postmaster work, Franklin was widely influential.  He published a magazine, the Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard's Almanack.

    Trump, of course, become his endless courting of the press and book writing, become the most widely known real estate developer of his generation.  He then gained national celebrity status when his Apprentice TV show ran for 15 seasons on NBC. And today he continues to break new mass media ground in social media, his rallies, and constant media coverage.

  • Temperance is one of Frankin's 13 Virtues ("Eat not to Dullness. Drink not to Elevation").  And Trump doesn't drink alcohol -- despite owning the biggest winery on the East Coast.

  • Cleanliness -- Franklin's 10th virtue is cleanliness ("Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habituation").  Trump says, "I’m a very clean person.  I like cleanliness.  I think you’re better off going to [McDonald's] than someplace else where you have no idea where the food is coming from."

  • Reluctant Politicians -- Both Franklin and Trump had made their mark in other fields, and both felt compelled to get involved in politics to stop government corruption and prevent it from dragging the nation down.

    Franklin deeply cared about improving the moral virtue in American life.  He had lived two decades in London where he made many friends and acquaintances, but he nonetheless knew that British control over the Colonies was too oppressive so he contributed to the Revolution through his publishing/printing activities and writing.

    Likewise, though Trump has become a very rich man, he sensed a moral obligation to make America great again.  Besides, he probably feels the long term prospects for his Trump Organization would decline if American society continues to stagnate.

Franklin's 13 Virtues

Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of 13 virtues, which he developed at age 20 (in 1726) and continued to practice it in some form for the rest of his life.  And apparently he tried to tackle these virtues one at a time.  He wrote in his Autobiography: "I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit [of these virtues]."

Trump's Business Principles

Trump's business self-improvement tips are contained in the "Trump Cards" chapter of his Art of the Deal book.

Below is a snapshot of those business success principles.  And, for a slightly analysis of it, see my FR article entitled Trump: From Art of the Deal and Art of the Campaign.

TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: 2016election; benjaminfranklin; boston; business; election2016; massachusetts; newyork; pennsylvania; philadelphia; trump
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1 posted on 05/08/2016 2:51:54 PM PDT by poconopundit
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To: HarleyLady27; Be Careful; Fiddlstix; JoSixChip; kanawa; Yaelle; SubMareener; Vision Thing; ...

Hope you enjoy reading about the parallels in the lives of two great businessman patriots.

2 posted on 05/08/2016 2:54:41 PM PDT by poconopundit (When the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government. Franklin, Const. Conv.)
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To: poconopundit

Very interesting article. Thank you for posting it.

3 posted on 05/08/2016 2:56:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: poconopundit

And for people who haven’t voted in a primary yet, just remember, it is not over! Who knows what the Republicans are plotting? We need to get him to 1237! New Jerseyeans, I mean you!!!

4 posted on 05/08/2016 2:56:47 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard the Third: With my own people alone I should like to drive away the Turks (Muslims))
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To: poconopundit

Both Franklin and Trump are quintessential Americans. However, Trump will pass up Franklin once he becomes president. And if Trump restores the nation, he will end up on the $1,000 bill while Franklin remains on those Benjamin $100 bills.

5 posted on 05/08/2016 3:03:37 PM PDT by Vision Thing (Vote Trump!)
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To: poconopundit
Fabulous article!!!

They are almost alike in so many ways...

Thank you!!!

People don't forget to vote:

California; Oregon; Washington; Montana; South Dakota; New Mexico; New Jersey; West Virginia...

We need Trump to be way over the 1237 delegate count so they can't take this away from him our us...

6 posted on 05/08/2016 3:06:30 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 ('THE FORCE AWAKENS!!!' Trump; Trump; Trump; Trump; 100%)
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To: poconopundit
"[T]he Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably [sic] very small… . I could wish their Numbers were increased…. But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind. [W]hy increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America?" - Benjamin Franklin
7 posted on 05/08/2016 3:12:28 PM PDT by ghosthost
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To: poconopundit

Good read. Well done! :)

8 posted on 05/08/2016 3:18:41 PM PDT by hawaiianninja (Palm note to self: "Prepare for some 2016 house cleaning. Trump/??? 2016!")
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To: poconopundit

Thanks, I needed the laugh.

9 posted on 05/08/2016 3:19:00 PM PDT by Roos_Girl (The world is full of educated derelicts. - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: hawaiianninja
Aloha and thanks,

I lived for a couple years in Kailua when I was served at the Kaneohe Marine base. Love that liquid sunshine :-)

10 posted on 05/08/2016 3:40:33 PM PDT by poconopundit (When the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government. Franklin, Const. Conv.)
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To: poconopundit

Thanks for the ping PP. True, at first glance the two have a good many similarities. And if Ben rather than George Washington had been elected first president what would now be different in the way our country is seen (if anything).

Looks like another storm coming thru. Signing off for now.

11 posted on 05/08/2016 3:41:13 PM PDT by V K Lee (uTRUMP TRUMP TRUMP to TRIUMPH Follow the lead MAKE AMERICA GREAT)
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To: poconopundit

The Virtue of Frugality is worth mentioning, since the anti-Trump crowd loved to call him a “cheapskate” when it came to buying TV ads, etc but in fact we now see Trump has reinvented how the “ground game” is played, relying on social media and free news coverage by being the thought-leader who dominated every news cycle. To borrow Linda Grahams horrible example, if they shot Ted Cruz on the Senate floor...the news channels would be talking about Trump calling some poor protestor a naughty name.

12 posted on 05/08/2016 3:42:45 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: poconopundit

Some one here, I forgot who, compared Trump to the Biblical judge Sampson.

They both have notable hair
Neither drink alcohol
Both chased foreign women
Neither respond well to insults
Both are patriots who put their nation first
Both are men of direct action
Both are somewhat crude
Both wanted to get rid of Philistine invaders

13 posted on 05/08/2016 3:43:49 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Marvin the Paramoid Android is My Hero)
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To: Vision Thing
Trump is William Wallace of Braveheart and Captain America all rolled into one!

Trump is the only one who can pull us back from the edge of falling into the dark abyss!

14 posted on 05/08/2016 3:49:35 PM PDT by Democrat_media ( Only Trump will stop TPP and China and the socialist illegals' invasion of the USA w Wall!)
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To: poconopundit

Terrific job. A tad sycophantic perhaps, but otherwise near perfect. Thanks for sharing.

15 posted on 05/08/2016 3:57:17 PM PDT by be-baw (still seeking)
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To: Fai Mao
It's an interesting comparison. And your background in Asia is even more interesting. 

Owning to my Navy service in late 1970s and early 1980s, I traveled around Asia, saw Hong Kong in that previous era and lived in Japan where I met my wife.  Still stay connected to Japan through NHK satellite.  My daughter studied in Taiwan and Beijing and learned to speak Mandarin fairly well.

I always found Alan Watts to have a compelling view of philosophy and religion in Asia.  I'm sure if Watts was alive today he would laugh hilariously at Trump's schooling of the politically correct.

16 posted on 05/08/2016 4:06:49 PM PDT by poconopundit (When the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government. Franklin, Const. Conv.)
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To: be-baw
Thanks very much.  Writing these and doing the graphics is a fun diversion for me.  As long as I hear a few people liked it, it was worth it.

I suppose the price of perfection is time.  Given enough time, any story can be trimmed of the non-essential and poor word choice can be substituted with something better.

But I notice that when I near finishing one of these FR vanities, I don't have the patience to edit it rigorously so I end up posting some foolish errors.  Too bad, you can't correct the errors on FR.  Then again, if you could, maybe I could never finish it :-)

17 posted on 05/08/2016 4:20:00 PM PDT by poconopundit (When the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government. Franklin, Const. Conv.)
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To: poconopundit
Good article. I learned a new word today. Venery. Thanks Ben Franklin!

Trump's 5th "Art of the Deal" Principle explains a lot.

18 posted on 05/08/2016 4:26:21 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (Delegates So Far: Trump (1,068); Cruz (564); Rubio (166); Kasich (153)
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To: poconopundit

Thanks for the blast.....great info and very inspiring

19 posted on 05/08/2016 4:30:58 PM PDT by Be Careful
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To: poconopundit; HarleyLady27
Very interesting comparison of rough and tumble patriots.

Two California Republican primary votes for Trump in June, pedal to the metal until he's got the nomination.

20 posted on 05/08/2016 4:38:39 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (America, a Rule of Mob nation)
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