I keep wondering why people I typically consider reasonably intelligent, if not gifted, and reasonably sensible continue to act as if they are in a dark corridor with no lights when it comes to the current President of the United States. I now understand. It’s the art of the deal.
I owned and operated a very successful business for more than thirty years. I’ve found most people agree that business has dramatically changed over the past few decades, and that most understand that being successful in any business that relies on clients and customers must be a “win-win” proposition. But, there are the outliers to that general business practice. You know, it’s usually business like liquor distribution, waste management, and real estate transactions. These are the kinds of businesses where one party has more leverage than the other, there is a scarcity of available commodity, a strong desire to purchase said commodity, and competitors who will gladly make the purchase if the one standing in front of the line will not. These businesses tend to be quite lucrative because there is less competition to force the price to entry down, meaning profit margins can be higher than the general scale.
As business goes, that’s a prime field to play. There are greater risks, and consequently greater rewards. It’s a game. It’s not the game to play in global relations. Not if you want to be respected. Not if you want to lead. Not if you want the unconditional cooperation of other countries. We’re not in this game for profits, nor domination, and we already have the power. Or have had. When you have to win every time at the expense of other countries, they begin to catch on. They resent it. Their leaders have a responsibility to their citizens. To look out for the common good (unless it’s a dictatorship). If they are being taken advantage of, they look to the east.
That’s the hazard of “Make America Great Again.” It’s happening. It’s why Trump’s base continues to support him. Remember him saying “We’re gonna win so much you’re gonna get sick of it?” We weren’t losing. We were trying to play fair, but moguls see this as a loss, the failure to maximize profits. And the base wants to win, so they see no wrong in policies designed to reduce America’s exposure in the global marketplace. This includes climate control, immigration, and countless other policies that fail to acknowledge the world has become homogenized and, thus, lacks the vision to lead America into the rest of this century.
Hark, this is the philosophy that is taking this administration down. You can’t operate a government in a vacuum like you can a business. The only options for recourse in a bad business deal are to back out of the deal, don’t do business the next time, or litigate. You can’t just go around doing whatever it takes to win and not either win big or suffer the consequences.
It’s obvious from the testimony today of former FBI Director James Comey that Trump has played the same hand in trying to run the country as he has all these years in business. Say anything, do anything to get the win. Declare something is “fake news” and expect people to believe it because you say it. Demand loyalty because it’s executive privilege. What Trump doesn’t realize, and he’s too much of a “know-it-all” to listen, is that what works in the business world does not work in governing, much less with career officials who have devoted their lives in service to the country, where the almighty dollar means less than country, and where the road to wealth lies outside of the halls of government.
The President obstructed justice, or at least tried. He thought that was part of the game. His supporters, including the base, know he’s wrong, too. If they don’t admit he broke the law, they will admit he came close. But, they’re all playing the game. If it’s close enough to the tail, but not exactly pinned in the exact place, you might win and you might not.
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