Thursday, November 10, 2016
The Art of the Deal: The Trump Presidency
I almost wrote "I told ya so" at the end of yesterday's blog and left it at that, but I guess I'm just too loquacious. Congratulations to our new president, it will be a welcome relief to have an American in the White House again.
During the election, Mr. Trump made quite a few promises, as all candidates do. Whether or not he will be able to fulfill them is another matter. I have absolutely no doubt that he intends to keep his promises, but I think he's going to find that running a country is very different than running a business. Not that he's not up to the task.
Businesses are competitive and to maintain a competitive edge they must be efficient. Governments are the opposite. They are designed to be inefficient to ensure that mistakes are minimized. Obama used executive orders, his "pen and phone" to get things done- in effect bypassing Congress. It would be a shame to see President Trump do the same thing. As corrupt as the Obama administration was, it is incumbent on Mr. Trump to reverse this trend and return to a Constitutional Republic rather than Obama's self-imposed dictatorship. In other words, Trump has to do it right, or he is no better than Obama- regardless of how noble his intentions. Trump's voters were Americans who demanded our country back and that means our Republic.
I know that it will be tempting to undo the damage inflicted by Obama by employing the same methods used to do the damage in the first place, but I have faith in Mr. Trump as well as the democratic process- after all it's worked pretty well for the last 240 or so years. Having a Republican Congress will help providing that as president Mr. Trump can persuade the Republicans to overlook their obvious dislike for him and put the country first. It will take all of President Trump's deal making skills to make it happen. If he uses the bully pulpit effectively, he will succeed. Remember, just because we have a businessman in the White House, one not beholden to special interests, the politicians in Congress will in all likelihood continue to operate as they always have.
Not being a part of the political culture will work to "The Donald's" advantage, if he plays his cards right. He can shame Congress into doing what he wants by using their culture of corruption against them- to do so he must use the media effectively. He should, also, not use Ronald Reagan as a role model. Reagan wasn't a very good president, he had the good fortune of being in office when the USSR fell which made him look presidential, but all he really accomplished was to deregulate industries that benefited his backers. Before anyone says: "He was a lot better than Obama," remember, so was Jimmy Carter.
Trump can make America great again if he keeps his promise to renegotiate our trade deals. Being a businessman will help immensely in this. He didn't amass a fortune by being stupid. He must also follow through with the investigation into the corruption of the Clinton political machine. This includes their foundation and Obama who was complicit. He should also investigate the DOJ, including Eric Holder and "Fast & Furious." This will go far toward securing our Southern border.
It is extremely unlikely that he will be able to enact term limits given the hegemony that money holds over the political process. I doubt that he will be able to do much about the Federal Reserve- the last president that tried was assassinated. But with some luck, he may at least be able to audit it. If all the bureaucrats that have promised to quit keep their promise, Mr. Trump will have succeeded to cut the size of government, although I can hardly imagine anyone quitting a government job.
One thing is certain...he can't do worse than the man he's replacing. Obama has set the bar very low. If President Trump remembers that he was elected by us, the people: and that he was elected in spite of the political establishment, not because of it, he will be successful. I hope he takes Jefferson's advice and remembers: "That government is best that governs least, because its people discipline themselves." Although given the behavior of some of our citizens following his election, the last part seems questionable.