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Hinckley: Dear Sir, You Are Embarrassing Us…

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Barry Hinckley

America has deep systemic, financial, structural, and social problems. We all know it. Problems that have largely been created over decades by career politicians, from both sides of the aisle, who primarily care about two things, re-election and climbing the power ladder of their respective parties. At the federal level, incumbent politicians are largely actors (save a few) in a two party play who pit we Americans against each other, with red meat issues, driving money into their campaign coffers, which combined with the power, purse and staff of the federal government, make re-election about a 95% probability.

In fact, the only way one can rationalize a system where on a good day, the combined houses of congress struggle to maintain a 14% approval rating, yet we send roughly 95% of them back to office (according to Politifact), is that they have the system rigged. My first hand experience can confirm this.

The division seems to be fairly clear, the left is the champion of Big Government taking from the private sector with the aim of lifting the “middle class” through government programs, while the right is the champion of the private sector fulfilling  the “American Dream” through increased opportunity and work, thus strengthening families and our nation. You all know where I stand on these issues and we can debate them in coming articles, but today we are going to talk about a blown opportunity.

So along comes an outsider, a guy who doesn’t spend all his time begging for money and largely funds his own campaign, he’s his own guy, the anti-Politician, the anti-Washington. This guy is filling stadiums in blue state Massachusetts with comments like “let’s drain the swamp”…and the fans go wild. This is BIG!  A true movement not baked and served up by the two-party duopoly. Warts and all, after saying and doing some of the most hideous things ever on a campaign trail, we held our noses and backed this out-sider, because we were sick of getting lied to by insiders. America was voting for the “real” private sector after years of big-government, a soaring national debt and an economy where crony capitalism (big-business) and Wall Street were killing it, while Main Street and the “fly-over” states were left rotting in the rear-view mirror.  The excitement for a “non-career” politician, the profile our founding fathers espoused, of “citizen legislator “was palpable. We’d hired a CEO to fix our problems.

And then it started to unravel in front of our eyes. The difference between a great CEO (Steve Jobs) and a horrible CEO (“chain saw” Al Dunlap) began to unfold on the world stage.

Steve Jobs and many other great CEO’s are known to have said that the secret to building a great company or organization is hiring people smarter than you, listening to them and then letting them do their job. Bad CEO’s act like dictators, hire yes-men to surround them and can’t take constructive criticism or feedback. They are men ruled by their ego rather than their sense of humility. Sadly, we have hired the latter. Instead of seizing the opportunity to fix the many things from our deeply failing government schools, to our national debt and trade imbalance, we are witnessing a man with the temperament of a 13-year-old boy have a daily temper tantrum on Twitter with the recurring theme of “mom-she started it!” 

Mr. President, your entire message, our message, of reforming government, fixing broken entitlement systems, rebuilding America and making it great again by getting people back to work and off the system is lost in your knee jerk decisions, petty behavior, constant self aggrandizement and historical fiction. I’m sad to say, it’s really that bad and you are unraveling in front of the entire world. You ignored the number one rule in politics and picked a fight with “people who buy ink by the barrel”…and they are winning. Do us all a favor and pull it together, the way it stands now, it looks like you just aren’t cut out for the job and don’t have the self- control or temperament to be President of the United States, it’s that obvious. Not only are you making us all look really bad, you are wasting a precious opportunity to do the work we sent you there to do. It’s not about you Donald, it’s about making America great again and that’s clearly the point you are missing. 

Former U.S. Senate candidate Barry Hinckley is an entrepreneur, most recently founding the party app Yotme and Bullhorn, Inc. before that. Bullhorn was sold in 2012 to Vista Equity Partners. Hinckley, a free market libertarian, lives in Newport. 


Related Slideshow: Trump’s Win - What Does it Mean for Rhode Island?

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Jennifer Duffy

Cook Report

"We don't really know what a Trump presidency means for the nation, never mind the smallest state.  One of the unintended consequences of last night's results is that Sen. Jack Reed won't be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Chalk that up as a loss for RI."

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Pam Gencarella

Head of Ocean State Taxpayers' Association

"Trump’s win means that his signature issue, illegal immigration, could have a big impact on RI, hopefully reversing our course as a sanctuary state and saving the state taxpayer millions of dollars.  While we agree with his 'repeal and replace' Obamacare stance, we have no idea what that means to the RI debacle known as UHIP.  It is not a stretch to believe that federal funding for this kind of system will be off the table so, will RI be stuck with this massively expensive system that still doesn’t work and that is expected to cost another $124 million to fix?  

Trump's belief that there is significant fraud in the Food Stamp program and the policies that may come from that belief could have a negative impact on RI's local economy since there are businesses in certain cities that rely heavily on this program, fraud and all. On the upside, we may be able to ditch the UHIP program if there is significantly less need for processing welfare program requests (ie. Medicaid and food stamps) resulting from fewer illegal immigrants and less fraud.  While we are ambivalent about his touted child care policies, if enacted, it may force our legislators to revisit the ever growing state cost of subsidies in this area and possibly reduce the fraud and abuse in this system." 

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Kay Israel

Professor at Rhode Island College

"With a Republican President and Congress, Rhode Island will probably be excluded from the 'fruits of victory."  

The congressional delegation will be able to vocally make their presence felt, but in the long term it's more symbolic than substantive.  

For Rhode Island it's a matter of holding on and waiting until '18 or '20 and a surge in Democratic influence."

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Jennifer Lawless

Professor at American University

"The RI congressional delegation just became even less powerful than it was. With unified government, Trump doesn’t need to quell Democrats’ concerns or acquiesce because he’s worried about a Democratically-controlled Senate.

His appointments will reflect that. His executive orders will affect that. And the conservative policy agenda he puts forward will affect that."

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Len Lardaro

Professor at University of Rhode Island

"Well there's a few things -- because there's not going to be gridlock, that's a big difference if it had been Hillary and a GOP Congress, in which nothing would got done. We'll at least get a half a billion in infrastructure that's going to pass which will have an impact.

I think you'll see there will be reduced reliance on government nationally -- and that's where we'll stick out like sore thumb. We've relied way too much on government -- and our government is highly inefficient and ineffective.  Maybe, just maybe, in this who cycle of things we might be forced to be small and more efficient for once.

A couple of other things -- interest rates jumped. The one to follow is the ten year government bond rate -- which is tied to mortgages. It went from 1.7% to 2.05% in one day. The point is -- if the ten year stays high, mortgage rates will start going higher -- and in the short time people will run to re-finance. 

That's the short term impact -- but then if rates stay hight, that will make mortgages more out of reach. And we just passed a bond issue to limit open space -- housing has limited upside here.
The next thing -- the Fed Reserve will go ahead with tightening next month. A strong dollar will hurt manufacturing. When the dollar is strong our exports become more expensive overseas. 

Our goods production sector -- manufacturing and construction -- in the near term will do a little better, but as time goes on will be more limited. But something you won't hear, is there are lags in fiscal policy, of six months to year. So we won't really see the effects until the third our fourth quarter of 2017, going into 2018."

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Mike Stenhouse

RI Center for Freedon and Prosperity

"As the unbelievable turned into reality this morning, it struck me that the presidential election was not really all about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was about a fed-up people, revolting against a corrupt system - the "beast" - that relentlessly favors insiders. Hillary personified the beast, while Donald personified the slayer.

Sadly, based on election results in our state, Rhode Island's version of the beast lives on. I fear our political class has not learned the lessons from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump movements - and will continue with their government-centric, anti-family, anti-business status quo."

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Kristina Contreras Fox

VP of Young Democrats of America

"A Trump Presidency means the validation of the ugliest part of America. In RI, as with the rest of the country, the hammer of his hatred will fall hardest on minority communities. Being a blue state doesn't make us immune from this danger.

Trump won over 35% (39.5) of the vote here! We need to look in the mirror, and not lie about what the reflection shows us. No more hiding underneath a blue blanket. I expect those who claim Democratic values to be true to those values. The gulf between words and actions have turned into fertile ground for Trump's message to grow here in RI. If you call yourself a Democrat, if you claim to stand in opposition to Trump, now is the time to prove it. Show up and fight back."


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