… and because perception matters

“I am from the government and i am here to help”

                                            Ronald Reagan

It has certainly been a while since the government or the career politician has received a lot of respect.  I don’t find any statistics going back more than a few decades but it turns out that US politicians, especially congressman, end up much lower in the ranking over time.

Congress approval ratings in 2017             20%

Congress less popular than                           France

I don’t really want to defend the career politician but in this day and age their job is much tougher than when some of their predecessors such as when Abe Lincoln was in office. Actually, today it is even much harder than some of the more recent office holders such as Reagan or Clinton.  With the rise of technology their previous votes, speeches, or other misdeeds that have occurred in the last months, years or decades now come back to haunt them – sometimes in the form of video.

If you thought it was tough living down something you did in your youth imagine your every move being recorded for later use by groups just looking to find discrepancies or “flip flops” of opinion.  In addition, people or groups with personal agenda’s use all of this information with the intent of causing a politician to look stupid or clueless.

If you think that dealing with facts if difficult then try to imagine dealing perception.  It is just as powerful but not always grounded in facts.  There is even a trading adage to this effect.

Buy the rumor, Sell the fact

It is because perception is so powerful that small companies as well as large companies struggle hard to shape perception.  No CEO wants to loose customers or market capitalization because the public perceives them to be ambivalent about some topic or other – perception matters.

James Comey may have been fired for a lot of reasons but the reason that most people are looking closely at is that he was investigating the Trump campaign into collusion with Russia.

Were there any good reasons for firing James Comey?  Probably. What this the right time to do so? I suspect that historians will be answering these questions for years to come but this firing could be adding to the public perception that President Trump has something to hide.

This one firing would not necessarily matter so much if it was the only thing that has occurred during President Trump’s brief tenure as President.

In fact President Trump should be happy that special prosecutor Robert Mueller has been brought in to finish this task.  If for no other reason than it helps to refute the perception that there is anything that needs to be hidden, because perception matters.

It actually does not help President Trump’s case when he is exercising his hyperbole in some of his statements about this current situation.

The people who were happy with President Trump may or may not be less happy with him now. For those people who either did not like him before or had neutral feelings the various storms whirling around the White house do make a difference in how he is perceived as well as how America is perceive abroad.

I could take a cheap shot and find some reference from Donald Trump the campaigner to try and make him look less dignified or poke fun at him.  Instead, perhaps he will take some advice from someone he truly does trust.

Well, because perception does matter.


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