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By Staff | May 26, 2017

I was thinking of government as a marching band. Every 4 to 8 years government, like a new marching band, flows on to the field led by a new drum major. The GOP had said that they had been working on their chorography in the off-season telling everyone how they have made improvements and will out-perform the band that preceded them. When the Obama-band first took the field, like every new band, there were some kinks to work out in the program. In a short time however, the lines formed and there was coherence of leadership and a band-like performance resulted. The band focused on the drum major and the drum major focused on the band. The result was a performance where they all played the same tune and the formations marched in unison able to deliver a competent program that the majority of the crowd supported when it marched off the field when its final performance ended.

Not everyone liked the Obama-band. Some hated the songs they played taking issue with the formations they marched in finding fault with the band that failed to fit their ideology. They didn’t like their uniforms or the diversity of the players or other issues picking them apart, but mostly they didn’t like what little the band was accomplishing. They wanted change. The Obama-band was replaced by a plurality vote of the crowd with the Trump-band. A majority of the crowd wanted to replace the Obama-band with a Hillary-band but the election is not a crowd result due to the electoral system and they expected a whole lot more change from the Trump-band.

They got it. The crowd had high expectations as Trump marched his band onto the field pumping the baton with enthusiasm and energy not seen before. That is where the problems began. The new drum major didn’t face the band, instead focusing on the monitor, becoming enamored with watching himself perform and the band had difficulty focusing on him. He is always in his moment and it is difficult for them to keep up.

The new drum major is intent on watching the crowds watch him, facing away from the band that was looking to him for leadership that they are not feeling. He is intent on watching the reaction of the crowd almost incogniscent of what the band is doing behind him. They did not take the time or have the will to fill out all of the formations of the band before taking the field. Their band was going to be different. It is.

There are a few competent section leaders in the Trump-band but for many in his band, this is their first performance and some, it appears, have not even seen what a marching band is supposed to look like. A good many professional band members who knew what they were doing and how to perform on the field, have been purged from the Trump-band.

There is a great inconsistency in what is happening on the field. Close your eyes and imagine the drum major facing the crowd pumping his baton energetically to the noise – as the totally disorganized band turns into a jumbled mess behind him. Instead of reorganizing, the drum major becomes a cheerleader telling everyone how fantastic they are performing and that this is the way bands will perform in the future. He knows that is BS.

While staring at the monitor looking very frustrated he realizes that unfilled formations are bumping into each other moving around the field with a total lack of unison while playing competing medleys of differing tunes some being off-key behind him.

Instead of seeing a well-practiced assertively commanded music machine march onto the field, exercising precision of movement with grace and agility, the crowd is stunned into silence by the shear ineptitude and pathetic incompetence unfolding before their eyes.

The Trump-band doesn’t look or sound like any marching band they have ever seen before. Some are embarrassed, some are dumbfounded, some want to just find a hole and crawl in and others would like to help with the Trump-band showing them some marching techniques or at least get them all the same copy of sheet music while turning Trump around to face the band on the field to shift his focus from his twitter account.

There are differences in opinion as to what songs should be played, the tempo used and how the band contest should be graded, but at this point, it is pretty stunning how poorly the Trump-band is performing. Trump-band opponents in the crowd are booing loudly while Trump-band supporters are hunkering down in sullen embarrassed silence and disappointment, not really knowing what to say that makes sense.

Trump, as the drum major, has gotten angry that no one on his team is cheering his performance. He is making it hard for his team to argue that the new band bumbling around on the field is better than the one they replaced. By the way, it is always the drum major’s fault. Unfortunately this drum major inherently blames everyone else for his failures. In this instance the drum major can’t be fired, so someone else will surely be thrown under the pep bus. The problem is when I tell you to open your eyes this doesn’t go away.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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