By Michael-Leonard Creditor
No, I don’t like it. But that’s just because what’s occurring in the new administration is against my politics and social outlook. Nor do I agree with it. This is a wrong thing to do from the get-go, but you’ll hafta read all the way through to see why I think so. But I think I can shed some light on what Trump is doing.
Some pundits and commentators are saying that Trump is basically playing us all; just showing what he can “get away with.” This takes him from merely being a con-man (Trump U., Trump steaks, etc.) to being a swindler who would co-opt the federal government. And, this line of thought portrays Trump as tipping his hand by making outlandish appointments before he even takes the Oath of Office.
I think that is absurd. I think he simply and genuinely wants to make government work like a business model; business is the only model he knows.
Having never held any elective office (nor any appointed office)—having spent his entire life in the private sector, the world of business—the ways of business are really all that the Businessman President knows. And yes, those are the ways of production, mechanization, exploitation… diametrically opposed to the ideals of the majority of voters, who actually did not vote for Trump.
Nevertheless, I think he is only doing what he genuinely knows how to do. He is appointing businessmen like Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, and restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder to these positions because those are the people he knows and respects. Knows them because his companies do business with theirs. Respects them because they do business the same way that Trump does. The Businessman-in-Chief is also trying to make Washington in his own image, he is making it in the way he has always done business: art of the deal, cutthroat, manipulative and Machiavellian.
Also, he does not trust people in public service. Remember, he knows that the game is rigged and he knows who rigged it—those politicians. (I must admit, his appointment of Rick Perry is interesting and puzzling.)
I think our Businessman President is simply and tragically re-making something he finds wrong into something he knows and is right with: the world of business, Trump style. He wants other businessmen, not politicians, in positions of high power. If D.C. is really the politically corrupt swamp everyone says it is, this is his way of draining the swamp. Out with the old (Romney) in with the new—true political outsiders.
Part of the wave that swept Donald Trump from reality TV to the Oval Office in a single bound is his status as complete political outsider.
Now, he is appointing others just like himself; non-politicians, businessmen.
Yes, there’s one woman so far (the wife of the leader of the Senate, f’goshsakes; she served under W, too). I don’t think there will be any more.
Here’s another reason I think Trump is being real: the understandable thumbing-his-nose at all of us, Republicans too, who are still amazed that Trump actually … is … president-elect. Face it, this candidacy has been the epitome of “I did it my way!”
Ever since he declared his candidacy, Trump was ridiculed for just being a businessman out of his depth and given no chance of winning. Now that he has won the White House, Trump continues to do exactly what the common wisdom declares cannot be done. The Donald will do as he wishes, select whom he pleases, and show all those nay-sayers.
It’s like a perfect storm of sociopolitical angst. And he’s our president.
I don’t think the business model a la Trump will succeed in D.C. Here’s why:
Simply and simplistically, the function of business is to provide goods and/or services and to make money while doing it. The function of government, on the other hand, is to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.” While it is always a good thing to stay within a budget (read: not run a staggering deficit) the Constitution did not intend for our government to make a profit.
No, I don’t like what’s going on, nor do I agree with it.
- Born in Tucson AZ; reared in Brooklyn NY; lived in Portland OR; currently resides in Clairemont
- Three main professions: photographer, folklorist, radio program host
- Philosopher and life-long Liberal
John Lawrence says
Interesting take, Michael-Leonard. But are you forgetting Betsy DeVos, the other woman in the Trump administration? Trump like everyone else has his own idiosyncratic views on everything. He’s all over the board because none of his views mark him distinctly as liberal or conservative. Case in point: he agrees with Bernie on free trade.
His foreign policy is all over the place as well. While the conventional political wisdom says Putin is a bad guy, Russia is bad and we should start another Cold War, the Donald is all for rapprochement with Russia. I think this could be a good thing regardless of Rex Tillerson’s past as an evil corporate executive. I would like to see Russia treated as just another country rather than as a pariah and perhaps cooperation with Russia could go a long way as far as fighting terrorism is concerned.
Yup, I sure did omit Ms. DeVos, sorry. Also Linda McMahon (SBA).
And, yes, I agree that those all-over-the-board positions are a sign of (some) hope, especially Trump’s views on TPP, Middle East affairs and Russia (tho’ Putin is still the pariah, imo).
bob dorn says
To extend the metaphor a bit farther, Chairman Trump owes his investors returns on their investment; he owes nothing to the people he rules. In fact, they are to be manipulated and deceived into buying the toothpaste he says will whiten their teeth, the car that will drive itself, the Russian cowboy… He’s not interested in serving people, he’s probably more interested in eating them. The model he’s following includes the notion of “creative disruption,” which provides the creator an opportunity to grab the marbles while everyone is reacting to a distraction. The model he’s following also has at its apex the one man (and it’s always a man) who has outsmarted his rivals and grabbed ALL the marbles. None of the historical figures this Libertarian construction depends upon have survived and left their legacy, and neither will Chairman Trump.
“To extend the metaphor a bit farther, Chairman Trump owes his investors returns on their investment; he owes nothing to the people he rules.”
In that way, the incoming administration is further like a business. Corporations are legally bound to make money for their investors, the people they serve (customers) don’t matter. So it will be for mere citizens.
Capitalism gone wild.