Let's get personal. In a prior life I was a school board trustee, from 1979 to 1985. Our small town New Jersey “district” was one 1,400 student regional high school serving two towns. I spent six years on that board.
As the only new member of that board I was immediately given the “honor” of chairman of the negotiations committee. That's right, 1400 students, 150 employees and five unions, the biggest being the teachers union with 110 members. This is that story.
We, our three person team and the teachers' two person negotiating teams, agreed to a one night a week meeting until each side had a contract draft to take back. The previous contract was 33 pages long. They never shrink. The first night was a doozy. I knew nothing and the teachers had a wish (demand) list a full page long.
I took the high road. They explained and I listened and took notes.
This story is about one of those issues: The teachers lounge.
The high school was two large two story buildings with a grassy area in between, otherwise known as the students smoking lounge. This was 1979 and our students could smoke if their parents gave written permission.. The smoking area was outside to protect the bathroom sinks which were destroyed when kids would sneak smokes in the johns.
So why is this a negotiating item?
Because the (students') smoking area (outdoors) overlooked the teachers lounge (indoors). And, the teachers lounge had no curtains or drapes on the windows. Now you get the picture. The students were forever gawking at the teachers who only wanted a little peace, quiet and privacy.
The teachers union reps asked for curtains. I took notes. The next day I took my notes to the district superintendent, “Doc.” I went down my list. When I got to the teachers lounge issue I asked Doc (every school superintendent has the same first name Doc, “Is it true that the smoking kids are looking in and the teachers lack privacy?” Doc answered, “Yes,” and I continued: “Then why don't they have curtains?” Doc answered: “Because we don't want to give the teachers anything without getting something in return.”
I gave Doc my lecture on dignity and how those teachers were now my employees and that entitled them to be treated as adults, regardless of other issues that may exist. I then said: “Doc, you and I are now making a secret deal. You're going to get curtains put up in the teachers lounge. Let me know when they appear.”
You can guess the rest. About one month later (this is a government school) the curtains appeared. The teachers were euphoric. I was “the man.” I always said that those curtains cost the teachers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But for them it was worth it. They got their dignity.
And why am I telling you all this? Meet Abe. Abraham Maslow was a Brooklyn born management psychologist. He wrote one of the most famous business articles ever: “The Hierarchy of Needs.”
Go read it. The essence is: People have a set of needs that are hierarchical, not equal. If you are not satisfying a base need it doesn't matter if you are solving a “higher” need.
Teachers who feel disrespected aren't very appreciative about a raise. Respect is a baser need. Maslow's insight created one of the most powerful political playbooks ever.
Nobody knows it – until now.
And citizens who fear for their lives don't care about your tax plan. Or gun control. Or global warming. Or deficits. Or trade agreements. Or the Dow. The 2016 presidential election is right out of Maslow. “Security” trumps (pun intended) everything.
And America is scared. The issue couldn't be clearer: Life or death. Donald Trump says no more Muslims until they can be properly vetted. Hillary say we want five times as many. It's a no-brainer Even some Democrats want to live. We all “get” Orlando, and Paris, and Brussels, and San Bernardino.
But isn't Hillary up a solid five points in the polls? Yes, but she never met Wayne. Wayne Gretzky was the greatest ice hockey player of his generation. When asked the secret of his success he replied: “They go to where the puck is. I go to where the puck will be.”
And where the puck is is plus five for Hillary on Independence Day. But by Election Day the plus five will have met more global terrorism, a national discussion on Hillary's “importing terrorism” immigration policies, a greater awareness of catch-and-release programs for felonious illegals, violent protests at Trump rallies, Mexican flag raisings and a global rebellion against the Western civilization ruling class.
Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. He is the pro-life candidate. And we're not talking fetuses. He has four months to let the brilliance of Maslow and the insight of Gretzky come together for a landslide Election Day victory.
Donald Trump is not a man for all seasons. But he the man for this one.
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. He founded JBS Associates, a 600-person financial service company, and currently combines politics and business with Niger Innis in Inclusive Elections LLC, a firm that brings urban electorate voters to the GOP. He is the author of "Adults Only: For Those Who Love Their Country More Than Their Party." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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