Exclusive: Dan Cummins uses tipping-ox-cart story to warn president-electIn the nation’s capital, “personnel is policy,” and the success of Trump’s presidency is being determined right now with his selections for Cabinet appointments. Once the president takes the oath of office on Jan. 20 and the political hostilities begin, that old proverb, “When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s easy to forget that the goal was to drain the swamp,” explains why so many idealists who come to The Swamp abandon political principle for self-preservation.
In the dog-eat-dog construction world, Trump knows you’re only as good as your sub-contractors, and if he’s to conquer the take-no-prisoner political world in Trump-like manner, he’ll only be as successful as the character and steel of those Cabinet members he appoints.
If President Trump is to blast through bureaucratic barriers and part the regulatory skies as he’s done with his new Trump International Hotel – his five-star revitalization of the old Post Office, the most iconic symbol of the oldest of government institutions analogous of bureaucratic red tape – he must hire the most qualified subs.
One can only hope for such a Renaissance repeat of his “ahead-of-schedule and under-budget” miracle at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Maybe his D.C. hotel billboard “Coming 2016 – TRUMP” was a prophetic handwriting on the wall or a sign of the times. “Even so, come, Donald Trump, come.”
David, the greatest king of Israel, experienced precisely what wrong cabinet appointments can produce at the beginning of an administration. He campaigned on the slogan “Make Israel Great Again” – and for David, and all of Israel, that meant restoring the Ark of Covenant, the repository of the Ten Commandments, back to its rightful place in government and the town square. You know, the Ark of the Covenant – the one Indiana Jones rescued from those evil Nazi socialists.
King David had the task of restoring the Ten Commandments, Israel’s Constitution, from 40 years of obscurity from the public arena, the result of the socialist redistribution policies of King Saul – the people’s king. (By the way, while researching the Hebrew text for this column, I discovered King Saul’s last name – “Alinsky.”)
But David’s first attempt to restore their Constitution to the center of public life and governmental policy ended in a deadly and disastrous debacle at the threshing floor of Chidon as his oxen stumbled and his cart tumbled (1 Chronicles 13:9).
If King David, a man after God’s own heart, the ultimate political outsider, failed at his first attempt to restore all that had made Israel the most exceptional nation on earth – the first nation to allow its free citizens to own private property and practice free trade in a capitalistic economy – can we expect any more from Trump than Israel did of David? After all, David was not the “lesser-of-two-evils.” Spiritually, he was “head-and-shoulders” above Saul.
David’s inaugural attempt to make the nation great again failed because of the advice he received from his cabinet appointees – which in this case were primarily the priests and elders (1 Chronicles 13:1-6). That’s right: The preachers gave the king bad advice – advice they would not have given had they been “well versed” in the Scriptures, advice that publicly embarrassed the king and cost one man, Uzzah, his life. And in the end, it was the politician, King David, that put the preachers in their place, enabling the nation to find its restored glory.
The answer to Israel’s restoration wasn’t, after all, politically correct policy but sanctified priestly prayer. This is always the lesson God is teaching the nation – prayer, not politics, is the answer. It will, in the end, be prayer and not policy that drains The Swamp!