What the next 100 days of the Trump administration should look like

— A few days ago, the Trump Administration passed the 100 day milestone, and I can’t help but think, “So what?” Yes, there are many symbolic interpretations to be taken from this time-honored tradition but I challenge you: does it really matter? Is our republic so weak as to rely, so heavily on what a man can do in an arbitrary set of days? Our founders never envisioned this in the role of the Executive Branch. Their expectations for government more broadly were never so ambitious. They were going for progression, not perfection and for that reason, I’m hopeful for our nation. So the better question the President, his allies and the Congress should be asking is: What does Day 101 look like?

There are many challenges. The President must continue to shift and show the country that he is a leader who came to Washington to govern, and be president for all. That means taking care of the business of the nation— passing laws, paying bills, diplomacy abroad; these are the pillars of the republic, and the ones we should be focusing on. I think Day 101 and the weeks beyond should be spent on three critical areas. If Trump can show progress there, he will send a strong message to the nation and the world that his is an administration that means business.

When it comes to economic growth, there are so many directions this mandate can take, but it begins with shoring up our ability as a nation to meet and pay our debts, restrain spending, and keep our debt-to-growth ratio in check. Items such as a continuing resolution, raising the debt ceiling, etc., may not be attractive in the eyes of the masses, but they are necessary for a nation where one federal department’s budget is greater than the GDP of 100 foreign countries. And here the President can certainly lead. And more importantly, the summation of these successes leads to a major goal for Trump—fundamental tax reform. He should use the bully pulpit to make that a hallmark of his first four years. Think long game; don’t pledge another bumbled blitzkrieg to jam through a measure of that magnitude. Take your time; involve bipartisan partners; negotiate a deal and then well— write a book about it. Every major tax bill has needed support from broad constituencies. This will be no different. Trump has the mind for this sort of maneuver. He should employ it.

The Trump Administration must show wisdom abroad. The next few months are critical for the United States on the world stage. A North Korean threat should be taken seriously. Desperate men do desperate things. Additionally, the Middle East is never stable, Syria needs more than rhetoric, and the Taliban seems anxious to make a comeback as the world’s leader in terrorism given the mass soldier shooting in Iraq just days ago. The president was smart to dispatch military assets off of Japan. These times call for the proper mix of diplomacy and show of force. I also believe Trump would be wise to employ his secretaries of state and defense. Use them— especially Secretary Tillerson and Nikki Haley— to be the interlocutors on behalf of the White House. They can serve as the proper channels to convey Trump’s doctrine without involving the president himself. That only makes sense given so much uncertainty and fluidity around the globe.

President Trump also needs to build out his team. This task seems insignificant for a new president but the effect of its failure has reverberations felt throughout government. In his best-selling book “Good to Great,” business guru Jim Collins writes that a hallmark of successful organizations and leaders starts by getting “the right people on the bus.” The federal government is very large, with many executive slots that remain empty. I believe to my core that small, easy accomplishments can start occurring just by having like-minded personnel at the helm channeling Trump’s agenda day in, day out. That’s a task that Kushner and Priebus can take on collectively and show others in the White House complex that they can work together for a common good.

It all goes back to governing. The American electorate is ready for this change and because the government permeates every facet of our lives, they will start to see the change even in their daily activities. “Make America Great Again” is more than a slogan. It’s a pursuit that can and must encompass even the smallest functions of government in order to live up to the weightiness of its words. That pursuit will continue well beyond any imaginary marker.

Armstrong Williams is the manager and sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and Executive Editor of American CurrentSee online Magazine. Watch “Right Side Forum” every Saturday Live Newschannel 8 TV 28 in D.C. at 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and repeats 6:30 pm EST.

Follow Armstrong Williams on Twitter @arightside.

Americans, not Moscow, are sending Trump to the White House

— Let’s distinguish fact from fiction and separate out whining from winning. Vladimir Putin did not elect Donald Trump to serve as the next president of the United States. The American public did.

Like it or not, Mr. Trump is our official President-elect, and it’s past time for brokenhearted Clinton voters to accept this reality and help our country move forward.

The fixation of some people to desperately look for a Russian scapegoat to blame for Donald Trump’s presidential election victory is further deepening already hyper-polarized political divides, a painful wedge that chips away at U.S. solidarity and undercuts the notion of a “United States” of America.

Armstrong Williams, NNPA Newswire Comumnist

Courtesy Photo/NNPA

Armstrong Williams, NNPA Newswire Comumnist

On Friday, January 20th, Donald Trump will take the presidential oath of office as a result of a strategic, successful and laser-focused plan that targeted the states Trump needed to win the electoral vote.

Americans who preferred other presidential candidates to Trump should accept the official outcome of the election results, and stop woefully harping on Hillary Clinton’s win of the popular vote. It’s not how our system works, and not a good look for Democrats.

Instead of dwelling and laying blame on others, Americans must not lose sight of the bigger picture: our country cast its votes on election day, those votes were tallied, Donald Trump won and is going to be serving as the next President of the United States of America.

To be clear, there is zero evidence incriminating the Russians in hacking American voting machines and thereby swaying the election. There is no proof to show that a single actual votes cast by an American was tampered with or impacted by the Russians.

Whether Russian hackers were behind the robbery and publication of DNC emails or not, commentary and speculation about Russian influence is simply that: commentary and speculation. Vladimir Putin did not cast a single vote in the American election, and not one of our intelligence agencies has made the audacious claim that Russians actually impacted the vote count.

According to an assessment publicly released by the U.S. intelligence community on January 6th, “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” So what? Every country has preferences based upon policy positions and personalities of other nations’ leaders. Again, that does not provide even the most remote basis upon which to claim that Moscow impacted the number of American votes cast in favor of Donald Trump.

What matters is the mathematical bottom line. Clinton lost the critical votes in the key states necessary to win the election. Game over.

It is time for some disgruntled voters and dishonest media pundits to stop this feckless speculation and make a concerted effort to transition to this next American chapter under President-elect Trump. The mainstream media should take some responsibility for continuing to stir this emotional pot.

The press, which has openly expressed its disdain toward Trump, continues its relentless obsession with churning out story after story and headline after headline alleging that Russian hacking is somehow the reason for Trump’s win.

Clearly, the haughty prognosticators who were dead wrong with their predictions are still reeling from their colossal failure to accurately forecast the election results.

Most recently, irresponsible media outlets have begun leaking unverified stories alleging that the Russians are armed with compromising information related to personal information on Trump, as well as some financial matters.

Trump has forcefully denied these allegations, classifying these false claims as part of a witch-hunt targeting him.

Despite numerous and significant questions surrounding the lack of substantial evidence implicating Russia, President Obama did not hesitate to sanction two Russian intelligence services and expelling 35 Russian officials in the U.S. last month, based on allegations that Russia launched cyber attacks against the United States. Yet, last year, President Obama chose to lift biting economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism with a clear track record and proof of lying, cheating and aggressively pursuing its dangerous anti-Western goals of nuclear terrorism. On his way out the door, President Obama is leaving a shameful foreign policy legacy behind.

As Trump prepares to enter the White House, and with the press corps continuing to try to read into the intentions of the Russian government at the highest levels, we are left with one indisputable fact: Americans, and not Russia, elected Donald J. Trump to be the next president of the United States of America.

Armstrong Williams is the manager and sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and executive editor of American CurrentSee online Magazine. Follow Armstrong Williams on Twitter @arightside.

Farming is key to economic growth in the black community

— t is clear that it when it comes to jumpstarting the economy, generating jobs and wealth for the average American, we are in quite a fix. After coming out of the Great Recession, the economy is experiencing anemic growth rate of around one percent, and labor force participation is at a thirty-year low. The problem is proving to be somewhat intractable, despite efforts by centralized government to goose the economic engine through financial manipulation.

The economic challenges facing average Americans cannot be solved by big government or big business. It is really about time that we look to the past for some solutions. One of the things we should take a hard look at is returning to the land. Around the turn of the 20th century, almost half of United States workers were directly involved in the agricultural sector – whether in terms of growing food or organic materials for textile manufacturing. As late as 1930, farming constituted about 7.7 percent of the U.S. GDP.

Today, less than 2 percent of American workers are engaged in agriculture. But more importantly, during the heyday of American farming, from 1900-1915, the majority of farm-produced products were consumed on the farm or by the local communities they served – with exportable commodities such as cotton and tobacco playing a supplemental role. Today, large farming operations control huge tracts of farmland that are almost exclusively dedicated to producing off-farm income. And American farming has become inextricably integrated into global commerce.

While farming has become less labor intensive and more mechanized and specialized it has lost some of the more robust features that made it the backbone of the American economy. Notably, American famers around the turn of the century grew at least five different commodity crops on average. Today’s mega-farms produce one major crop on average, and agriculture contributes less than one percent of GDP. Farming as a viable profession is dying out with the average age of an American farmer of 65. And it is becoming a far more extractive industry, returning less than 16 percent of revenue from farm operations to the farmer.

What does this all mean for the average American worker and the U.S. economy in general? First, it means that the core skills needed in farming have become virtually non-existent. Not only are farms largely mechanized, what farming labor remains is largely staffed by foreign workers — including millions of illegal immigrants from south of the U.S. border.

As someone who grew up on a family-owned farm in Marion, South Carolina and saw the wealth building benefits our farm brought to our community, I understand the critical importance of farming as a community-based enterprise. First was the real importance of work ethic and skilled labor. People in our community took pride in being skilled laborers – whether it was shoeing the horses, taking care of the livestock, or planting or harvesting – farm laborers developed specialized skills that made them valuable members of the entire community.

The community-supported agriculture model extended to include obviously local markets for a variety of crops – fruits and vegetables, preserves, and meat products. Farming as we knew it did involve some cash crops — we grew and sold tobacco, for example, — but we were far from a specialized farming operation. Farming created jobs, instilled youth with a work ethic, and tied people to land, family and community. This is a model that Europe has been careful to protect, no matter what the winds of globalization have blown their way. European countries understand the relationship between small-scale farming and national identity in ways that America — which industrialized much sooner in its nation’s history, can comprehend.

Our kinship with the land we inhabit is diminishing. Today’s school children are far more likely to recognize brand labels than common native plants. And yet our continued economic growth will require almost 70 percent more food production by 2050. This is a major overlooked opportunity for today’s workers. Farming is in need of just as many innovations as other industries – disruptive innovations in crop quality, soil quality, yield and distribution. There are medical breakthroughs ready to be discovered in the observation of plants.

Congress should really consider including provisions in the Farm Bill that provide incentives for young people to enter into farming. We should also allow guest workers from other countries to come to the U.S. to grow the labor pool and help transmit valuable lost skills to American farm workers. These investments must be made with a focus on innovation and sustainability. We do not need more large farming operations. We as a nation really have no choice, but to return to a community model of farming.

The reasons for this much-needed shift in emphasis are clear. First, we are going to have a greater need for food in the future, and this cannot be secured with large cash crop operations. Second, focusing on soil yields and innovations in farming that will improve quality require that more people enter the field, not less. Increasing the labor intensity of farming may seem to be less efficient up front than highly mechanized processes. But on the back end it could yield major technological breakthroughs that will help us meet our future needs.

Read Armstrong Williams, author of the brand new book Reawakening Virtues, content on RightSideWire.com and Come join the discussion live at 6-8 p.m. and 4-6 a.m. est. on Sirius/XM UrbanView 126 , Become a fan on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

A line crossed in Wichita

— As we have seen from recent events in Paris, Brussels and all across the world, terrorism is not an obscure phenomenon that only impacts the Middle East. No longer can Americans ignore the threat of terrorism as primarily a European problem.

Although attacks in the United States are less frequent due, in part, to our distance from the region, increasingly, leaders associated with terrorist groups are now finding their way onto American soil.

Not only must we be concerned about terrorist cells hiding in communities around the United States, but we now also have to worry about domestic Muslim organizations, such as the Islamic Society of Wichita (ISW), providing an outlet for terrorist recruitment and incitement. These very groups that seek to cause us harm now have a place to spread their hateful rhetoric in the United States.

Recently, ISW invited Sheik Monzer Taleb, a man with a long record of fundraising and support for the designated terror group Hamas, to speak at the mosque on Good Friday. Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which gained international notoriety for unleashing suicide terrorism against Israelis. It advocates not only for the complete destruction of the Jewish state, but seeks the genocide of the Jews worldwide.

Taleb is captured on a promotional-videotape affirming his allegiance to Hamas, which murdered scores of innocents and has long been deemed a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government. As stated in a press release released by the office of Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), whose district includes ISW, Talib was named a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance case, in which millions of American dollars were funneled to Hamas.

What is most troubling about this Talib situation is that the Islamic Society of Wichita apparently does not find his Hamas affiliation problematic. In fact, the ISW likely would not have cancelled his appearance were it not for Congressman Pompeo’s vehement and vocal opposition.

At the core of our democratic society is free speech, an ideal that traces its origins all the way back to ancient Athens. It is a cornerstone of our society and one of the markers of the land of the free. It is disturbingly ironic that IWS has taken this perennial symbol of American freedom and twisted it into a pulpit for hatred and oppression. After all, free speech is nonexistent in a place like Gaza, where Taleb’s vaunted Hamas rules.

We cannot permit radical jihadists to utilize our most sacred values to support their perverse outlook. We should not welcome them into our country, and must deny them the microphone they seek to spread their hateful vitriol. Proponents of this radical Islamist mindset view the West as a “kurrfars,” or infidels who aren’t worthy of life unless they submit themselves to Islamic law as subjugated “Dhimmis.” We must use our freedom of speech to shed light upon and denounce this vulgar hatred.

We simply must not allow freedom of speech to be used against America to recruit new adherents to the warped ideology of terrorism. There is no easy way around this. We need to defend our Constitutional right to speech— yes, even speech we find detestable, but we also must protect our nation and our people from the scourge of terrorism.

Most Muslims in America may be good citizens who renounce violence. However, organizations like the ISW, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the now-defunct Holy Land Foundation have proven themselves terrorist sympathizers at best and terrorist co-conspirators at worst. If we cannot find a way to cut off the radical indoctrination these organizations espouse, then we could be facing a bloody future that looks more and more like Europe in 2016.

Read Armstrong Williams, author of the brand new book “Reawakening Virtues,” content onRightSideWire.com.

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

— Time is one of those magical dimensions of the human experience. At certain instances it seems like there is not enough of it. And at others, it seems like the moment lasts forever. The intellectual and emotional experience in the passage of time is one of those unique aspects about being human that sets us as a species apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Since were are blessed with that perception we should engage it and contemplate ways in which to make time an ally in our quest for personal and societal growth.

One of the interesting things for me, looking back over the past decade or so, is how quickly our business has grown. And yet, as I look back, it seems that a lot has remained the same. I still get up at the same time almost every morning. I rise well before the sun, usually starting off my day at around 4:30 in the morning with a prayer and call to my folks in South Carolina. I then arrive at the gym just before five a.m., and work out for about an hour before arriving at my office at precisely 7 o’clock. The end of my day is similarly bounded. It is exceedingly rare that I get in bed any later than 9 p.m.

And so as I look back on my work life, it is apparent that while our business has expanded and we have been able to manage an increasingly complex organization, we aren’t necessarily spending more time doing it. Time has gone from being our enemy in the early stages of running a company, to being our friend today. Why is that?

In some respects, it comes down to how we conceive of ourselves in the marketplace. If you consider yourself an employee, you are looking at time as a finite resource. You expect to arrive at work on time, to leave on time, and be paid on time. You essentially are tying your income to a fixed, linear relationship with time. But entrepreneurs view time much, much differently. For one thing, the entrepreneur’s perception of time is not linear, it is pivotal. For example, as an entrepreneur I am willing to spend a lot of my time not directly earning income. I spend it building relationships with key allies and future business associates. I give time to worthy causes and public issues that I support. And yet I see these activities as worthy investments of time because of the potentially outsized payoffs in the future. Two hours on the tennis court or having dinner with a key ally could potentially lead to opportunities to make millions in the future.

This is admittedly a difficult concept for many people with the employee mindset to grasp, let alone put into practice. The reason for that is that the entrepreneurial mindset exposes us to uncertainty. There is no guideline or formula or time-table that dictates when an idea or a relationship will bear fruit. That can be frightening to some people. But my entrepreneurial mindset is guided by a deep faith and belief in the laws of creation. I know for a fact that if you sow, you shall reap. I believe that in life there are definite seasons, and that the pattern is inexorable. The spring precedes the summer, which precedes the fall and the winter. In the spring one plants, and in the fall one harvests. In the winter, one relies for sustenance upon the storehouse of goods harvested in the fall that grew from the seeds planted in the spring.

It is somewhat counterintuitive to tell someone with an employee mindset to save some of their seeds and use them to plant a new crop. They are accustomed to having their needs taken care of by their employer. But we are experiencing a new economy in this country where jobs no longer offer either the degree of certainty of the financial rewards they once did. No longer can one rely on working the same job for one’s whole career. People need to become more entrepreneurial these days to survive. But what they don’t often realize is that doing so requires using mental and psychological tools that may be unfamiliar to them.

One of the major tools, to which we have already alluded, is the relationship with time. But another psychological skill is managing customers and clients. In a situation in which one is an employee, one essentially has only one customer or client. And the relationship with that customer is not generally subject to change – for better or for worse. But when you are an entrepreneur and the world is potentially your customer, you have to pay extra close attention to the creation and exchange of value.

Getting paid as an entrepreneur requires an extreme degree of concentration and emotional strength. You are not getting an automatic payment sent to your account on regular intervals. No, an entrepreneur often has to confront his client to make sure the payment is received. Doing this effectively requires both boldness and tact. It is not for the faint of heart. But the trade off is that if you are successful in managing this client-oriented relationship, you are in the driver’s seat in terms of how much you can earn from your time and effort. This is why entrepreneurs are willing to sacrifice the certainty and security of working for someone for the uncertain and potentially infinitely rewarding job of charting their own course.

Armstrong Williams is the manager/sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and Executive Editor of American CurrentSee online Magazine. Watch our Right Side Forum every Saturday Live Newschannel 8 TV 28 in DC, 10:30 am – 11:00 am and repeats 6:30 pm EST. Follow Armstrong Williams on Twitter @arightside.