Trump: The Art of the Deal is Not the Art of Governing

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Sue Meadows May 5, 2017, Washington, D.C.
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I’ve been reeling in the dark, walking into walls and stumbling over shoes on the floor, trying to make sense of tRump and his administration.

In the few months since his inauguration, tRump has issued a number of executive orders and proposals that are peculiar for anyone in a government position. He’s also made bizarre statements on a variety of subjects that are just untrue. I’ve tried to make sense of their genesis, and I think I have it. Trump’s experience prior to reality television has been only in the business world. The tv show itself centered on the corporate, for-profit world. It is this point of view that makes the administration’s activities so sorely out of place in the White House.

“Is there a doctor in the house?”

In his world, all is done for profit. Companies compete for market share; for the most dollars coming in at the least cost. Beating the competition is key. And executives can issue orders and statements with as little outside input as they please, unless there is an active board of directors ready to rein them in.

His thinking skewed by this very narrow experience base, tRump believes there is no reason to not make statements and promises and orders as though this nation were a for-profit corporation. But it doesn’t work that way.

Cutting taxes as he proposes would be like cutting prices, which can make a company more competitive. But a government’s purpose is not to make money; it is to provide service. This tax cut could cripple our government while further enriching businessmen.

Negotiating a deal and true diplomacy are very different, and serve different ends. Diplomacy is an ongoing process that can leave the nations involved in a far healthier state than would war. Businesses negotiate deals to get what they can, often regardless of the outcome for the other party.

Truth for many businesses is not an important matter. What is important is the relationship of the moment. But what happened in history, or how absolutely good a product is, matters little unless it affects sales. A government disregarding truth cannot be trusted by its people or other nations.

Services for people, such as healthcare or research or monitoring food and drug safety, are provided by governments for the good of the country and its people. For a corporation these might be regarded as “benefits,” not the core business and therefore optional. Benefits are only offered when a business must to be competitive.

Assets of a business can be traded for dollars, and are often sold if they are not aligned with the core function. But a government selling outright, or various uses of, its assets like national parks and monuments without being in survival mode is dangerously off track. It is trading future real meaning and value to its constituents for some dollars going to a few billionaires now.

Trump does not recognize the differences between the United States of America and another sort of tRump company. This is dangerous, leading to disastrous, for us all.


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Michael Matheron

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I'm partisan here, an "aggressive progressive." I'm a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matheron, contact me at

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