Much of what is terribly wrong with running the Presidency of the United States as a business can be found with how Trump’s most personal lawyer put matters when it was found that he had many meetings trying to close a business involving billions with a Russian official. “Business as usual and nothing more.” Only, the head of Trump Enterprise was about to become the President of the United States, POTUS, President Trump, making “the art of the deal” with Russians at the very least distasteful, and at its worth deeply suspicious of possible Russian interference in the American election which is the subject of a Congressional investigation. Somehow, the hopes placed in government run along business principles seem now sadly misplaced. How did an idea that had seemed so promising turn so sour?
Let’s trace this deal going down to the Art of the Deal (2009) which gives us tantalizing details about a big deal which came to nothing at the time. Trump wanted the government, still Communist to give him a property deal and partnership of the kind he had enjoyed in his early days when governments in New York and New Jersey entered with him lucrative public-private partnerships ran much broader than the metropolitan area. Near the start of the book, he writes of arranging to seat next to the then Russian ambassador and making a proposal that led in the end to a trip to Moscow and a royal treatment by America’s bitter enemies discussing of all things building a Trump Tower in front of the Kremlin. That deal going back to the last days of the Soviet Republic fell through. Still, the style is unmistakably not “free-market’ but deeply underhanded, protectionist and unprincipled. It is based, Trump tells us in his book, on The Art of the Deal on gaining political support zoning variances, offering generous tax base and in one case actually buying the land on which Trump built a convention center. In sum, a lifetime of using and getting the better of government and its regulations is a very poor preparation for the very highest post in the land.
How Trump got to where he is, oddly enough, is precisely what makes him the least suitable for the job. His announced his campaign in the he expensive pink marble and extravagant architecture lobby of Trump Tower, with subsequent campaign events staged on the cheap and giving free advertising to Trump properties around the country. His much celebrated and envied private Boeing 757 was a backdrop at several of his rallies. Trump bragged. lied and exaggerated his accomplishment, somehow forgetting multiple corporate bankruptcies and a more than $900 million loss. He had the money needed to finance his own campaign, a seasoned media entertainer at ease in front of large audiences, and above all knew how to package complex ideas in simple if incendiary terms as negotiator and a successful businessman who has built an international empire. Again, a world-class statesman does not make a statesman as in some classic lines confusing his business life with political power, a very dangerous combination: “I love the Saudis. Many are in this building”, “I just sold an apartment for $15 million dollars to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?” and “The largest bank in the world is a tenant of mine.” ( Cassel, n.d.)Trump was obviously set on the precise message he wanted to share and t of Trump Tower was a shining example of his message. Trump, in fact, continues to profit from his business empire, the possibility that Russia or Saudi Arabia will attempt to affect his policies by profiting his business enterprises which are, after all, global in nature.
Trump, it will be remembered was the host of a television reality show, “The Apprentice,” where Trump became known for his extensive use of “You’re fired!’ Now, in real life, he had let go a goodly number of his closest advisers who had common sense and qualms about the ethics and conflict-of-interest concerns, lawsuits and embarrassing headlines. For although may on paper have stepped down from his businesses and put them in a trust, he continues to own them. Even more worrying, his debts and actual sources of wealth remain unknown. It has been widely noted how the President hosts foreign dignitaries on his own property, adding to free advertising and profit at the public’s expense.
A sure sign of the failure of the business model of Presidential conduct was Trump’s famous midnight tweet concerning a fascist mobilization in Charlottesville that led to his entire advisory councils collapsing, major organizations boycotting Trump properties for conventions and the stock market falling at the thought of having a President run his country as it were co-extensive with his business, his own worldwide Trump Organization, now run by his sons. (Selyukh et al. 2017) .As Trump withdraws for advice to the security of his family circle, it should be remembered that CEO gains practical skills directing large, multinational corporations with different locations, divisions, and goals, while as publicly traded companies, t used to working under the oversight of their own board of directors as well as the government regulators. Not so Trump whose true wealth, tax benefits, in fact his business deals over the years remain opaque. It is not possible to make wise decisions at a time of dangers of nuclear war and nature’s devastation along our coasts.
We need set the counsel offered in Art of the Deal against the ongoing crisis as this is being written in the standoff with Korea and the devastation of a major hurricane. How does it help to “use leverage” with a state like North Korea. Trump put pressure on China to put pressure on Korea, pulls up an armada of military presence. “gets the word out” by fierce posturing and “fights back” threatening “fire and fury”, all advice from his book. But so far, neither North Korea nor the rest of the world is impressed because the world expects diplomacy , not deal-making in affairs among nuclear powers. Even so, appearing in devastated Houston in a campaign hat and speaking entirely about himself is a bad sign for countless suffering citizens in need of the most practical assistance that fellow citizens, not the state, seem to be providing.
From the start of Trump’s strange campaign for Presidency r the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump has enjoyed the strong backing for his business status. It was assumed that someone who can make money should be a stable , dependable personality who could through sheer deal making achieve what seasoned politicians were unable to achieve in Asia, Russia or the Middle East while getting the economy humming again. That assumption in the case of Trump was tested and found wanting. It is the business minded supporters who now begin to have doubts about government run like a business: The writer is speaking of the arduous task Trump set for himself navigating the tax code, as he promised the business community
Trump’s words are like a hungover post New-Year’s Eve reveler making a resolution to finally get in physical shape this year. The promise is the easy part; the hard part is getting out of bed early to go the gym on a cold day in February, or in this case, patiently navigating the countless, fiercely-defended corners of the 75,000 page tax code.(Weller, 2017)
- Cassel, W. Jr. (n.d.)The Tale of Two Wealthy Presidential Candidates: An Analysis into How Trump and Romney Used Their Successful Business Careers As Political Talking Points. George Washington University. Authorea. https://reddit.authorea.com/…/183858-the-tale-of-two-wealthy-presidential-candidates
- Selyukh, A., Geewax M. Frame, K. and Klaahr, R. (2017, April 18). Trump the President Who is Still a Businessman NPR www.npr.org/2017/04/…/trump-the-president-who-hasn-t-stopped-being-a-businessman
- Trump, D. J., & Schwartz, T. (2009). Trump: The Art of the Deal. New York: Ballantine Books.
- Weller, M. (2017, Feb. 10) Trump’s “phenomenal” tax reform promise reignites animal spirits…for now. Futures.