Henry Ford, Donald Trump and Displaced Horse Drawn Carriage Salesmen

Picture dated 1900 of Henry Ford, attracting the attention of bystanders as he takes the wheel of one of his brand new cars. Henry Ford (1863-1947), US car manufacturer, was the founder of the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and father of modern assembly lines used in mass production. The …
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Donald Trump is the Henry Ford of modern American politics.

Just as Henry Ford and his assembly line changed the transportation industry forever, Trump is changing the industry of American politics.

It’s well known that when Ford perfected the assembly line and began to mass-produce his motorcars, he made them more affordable for the masses and usage skyrocketed. But what is not widely talked about is that when people began to buy and then subsequently drive Ford’s Model T instead of their traditional horse drawn carriage, it turned an entire industry and American institution on its end.

One can only imagine the fervor, angst and overall hatred that those in the horse drawn carriage industry must have had towards Henry Ford. I can hear it now, “Who is this radical Henry Ford? How dare he come here and tell us how to transport people.”

The livery stables, the horse breeders, the manufacturers of the carriages all must have felt threatened by the emergence of Ford and his new way of doing things. Livelihoods were at stake. Long established revenue streams were in peril. Years and years of networking and maneuvering, done to protect this “insider” game and the vast wealth it had created were hanging in the balance.

There was even a massive protest movement orchestrated by the horse drawn carriage industry called #Never Ford, with the sole purpose of torpedoing the Ford effort and the motorcar. The goal of #NeverFord was to guarantee the survival of the industry and ensure that Henry Ford and his motorcar would disappear never to be heard of again.

The leading commentators of the day who made their living opining on trends related to transportation discounted Ford from the onset, and dug in relentlessly that he would never succeed.

OK, obviously that actually didn’t happen, but there are many similarities between the mythical anti-Ford movement described above and the motives behind Never Trump.

You see for many in the Never Trump movement, the motives are pure self-preservation. Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many whose motives are pure. They don’t like Trump. They don’t trust Trump. They oppose Trump.

But for the majority, especially those in Washington, their motives are borne out of the knowledge that if Trump wins, they stand to lose big. More specifically they stand to lose big professionally. In effect they are akin to the displaced workers created in the horse drawn carriage industry when Ford introduced his motorcar.

Their jobs as lobbyists, consultants, pundits, fundraisers and yes future Presidential candidates are being majorly threatened by the potential transference of power from the Bush/Rove apparatus to Trump. So really who can blame them for fighting back and resisting Donald Trump? What would you do if you were faced with a similar circumstance?

Sure Lincoln said, “You serve your Party best by serving your country first,” but that is easier said than done. And Honest Abe didn’t say anything about serving yourself. So much for clarity.

The Never Trump folks have pulled out all stops to derail Trump. Crucial to this has been using their years of experience and know how fighting the Democrats to coordinate their efforts in such a way that rank and file Republicans and many Conservatives have joined their cause, not knowing their true intention. That true intention being the protection of the permanent political class, and the maintaining of massive revenue streams created over the last 25 years.

How else can you explain how so many of the people who are now Never Trump actually agree with Trump and his key advisers like Jeff Sessions, on a number of issues. Immigration, building the wall, repatriation, and tax reform are a just a few issues where there is wide commonality between Trump and Never Trump.

Unfortunately the flames of discontent and outright hatred continue to be stoked with a goal being to create an atmosphere where unity is impossible.

But, just like Ford’s motorcar served a need demanded by the free market, of more efficient, faster transportation, so too is Trump filling a need created by the current political environment, and politicians who the public has deemed inefficient and unable to be effective.

The battle is simple: Trump vs. the permanent political class. What will happen? How will this all play out? Well in spite of what President Obama says, America still is a capitalist country where the free market will dictate the outcome. What we are witnessing in is many ways creative destruction coming to American politics.

As we all know, America and more specifically the free market has never looked kindly on those, or the industries they represent that do not innovate, progress or change course when faced with failure.

It has however smiled with favor on the visionary who holds the rare gift of being able to combine ingenuity with a firm grasp of what the people want. Visionaries like Henry Ford and Donald Trump.

Don’t believe me? Just ask the next horse drawn carriage salesmen you meet.