May 8, 2017

A Businessman in the White House, Revisited

It was a year ago today that I questioned whether we needed a businessman in the White House.

You know, I wrote
someone who's actually run a business, met a payroll, fought through countless ridiculous regulations, someone who knows how to balance a budget, someone who understands the real world ramifications of what policy changes mean, someone who is accountable to auditors... And maybe most importantly, someone who is accountable to customers and shareholders.
Over the course of writing the post last year, I talked myself out of the idea, based on the words and actions of candidate Trump.
So - is this the businessman we need in the White House, one who's unaware of the laws, unclear on the situation, and who in response to just about every question anyone asks can only say how much he "loves" some bucket of people, or how much some bucket of people love him, and who can only point to what he did as a businessman? One who would even suggest putting the full faith and credit of the United States government on the negotiating table?
Since he became president, my opinion that Trump was the wrong one has only been confirmed, and he may have forever ruined the chances for any future businessman-candidate in my eyes.
  • How many more times are we going to hear about how hard it is to do this job? 
  • How many more times are we going to see him traipse off, leaving our House to go spend time at one of his houses, making money off his presidency?
  • How many more times are we going to hear him praise despicable people, despots and dictators, and proclaim it would be an honor to be in their presence? 
  • How many more times will we hear him blatantly lie about things that are of such little consequence they are unworthy of even the tiniest exaggeration?
  • How many more times will we see him blur ethics lines, see others in his administration blur the lines, members of his family blur the lines between what most people intuitively know to be wrong and what is legally ethical? (Ethically legal?)
  • How many more times will we hear him or see him shove blame onto someone else - another politician, someone on his staff, someone on Fox News - when he's called out for one lie or another? Does the buck not stop with the man at the top?
There are so many other reasons why he's not what we need. but don't take my word for it. Here's another opinion, published in The Week back in March.
But at any rate, the government is not a business, and not simply because its basic structure and function are dissimilar to that of a corporation. The really bedrock difference, as Charles Peters writes in his new book, We Do Our Part, is that quality government requires a sense of public spiritedness and a moral conscience. Sociopathic pursuit of profit at all costs - the defining characteristic of the modern American businessman - is a route to corruption and disaster. 

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