Monday, November 7, 2016

On the Road Again

Today I read Trail Fever by Michael Lewis. It's about the 1996 presidential campaign. A lot of ridiculous things happened in that race, like Morry Taylor deciding to run based on the advice of a dude named Moses. Morry had turned a scrap heap into a billion dollar company, and one of the workers overheard him complaining about washington politicians. The worker, Moses, suggested that he run, saying "Hey, Morry, you fixed this place. Why don't you fix the country?" Morry wasn't the type of person who ran for president. Morry himself said he was like an empty refrigerator - you open him up and there's nothing inside. A presidential candidate needs lots of things inside their refrigerator, to make people vote for them. But Taylor ran anyway. He thought he had a good chance because he was an honest to God American dream story, a real self made man. He wasn't soft like most politicians, he could operate every bit of machinery in his factories, and he had tens of millions of dollars. He flew to a conference where every major politician had come, and he realized that he was terrified. The teleprompter broke two sentences into his speech, and so he just said what he had to say. It was nineteen minutes of loosely connected sentences. His punctuation was the massive applause he received every other sentence. Four hundred people signed up to work for him on the spot. While famous politicians were dropping out or wasting millions of dollars on the one-way plane ticket to loserville, Morry Taylor was on every single ballot after spending just a few thousand dollars. He didn't do a thing. The people did it for him.

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