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Meeting Mr Trump

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 8:43
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Running a country is harder than running a company, especially where the country concerned has a system of checks and balances to prevent the person who actually runs the country from acting in ways that are unconstitutional or illegal. Also there are differences in objectives between the two tasks. He or she who runs a company does so in order to profit and benefit a defined group of people, who are shareholders in the company. The person who runs a country should do so in order to benefit all citizens of that country and where there are conflicts between several groups of citizens’ interest the person in charge must balance and distinguish and act so as to ensure fair treatment of all.

I think that these differences between running Trump Enterprises and running the United States of America have now become apparent to Mr Trump. His first steps have in some cases been sure and in other cases have faltered into stumbling. He starts of course from a difficult position. He has not a particularly coherent set of policies which he offered the electorate; some of his ideas have not been properly defined. “Build the Wall” and “Drain the Swamp” are unlikely to be achieved by any president.

Mr Trump lost the popular vote and was elected on the basis of the Electoral College vote, so although his election was perfectly in accordance with the democratically agreed rules, he does not have majority backing from the population. Perhaps for this reason he also seems to engender a great amount of popular animosity, and I do not doubt that much of what has been said about him is not based on truth and Mr Trump responds in kind; we live in times where every private statement or half thought idea may be recorded and made public. I have no doubt that if virtually all past presidents of the USA, if seeking election today, would be capable of being despised just as much as many people despise Mr Trump. It is the nature of the beast that politicians and businessmen have serious flaws.

In the United Kingdom there has been an attempt to deny Mr Trump a state visit; such visits have been accorded to tyrants and dictators in the past with only minor demonstrations of disapproval. The Queen, as head of state, has had the misfortune to meet many tyrants who murdered their own people and committed far more outrageous sins than any Mr Trump has committed. Prime Ministers regularly meet tyrants and despots, and whatever he may be Mr Trump is neither a tyrant nor a despot.

Mr Trump will likely benefit from understanding, from the mouths of the UK’s politicians their objections to his policies  expressed politely and coherently just as UK politicians will benefit from understanding Mr Trump’s policies expressed in the same way, although on present circumstances it is hard to see either thing happening.

Filed under: climate change Tagged: democracy, despots, the queen, Trump, tyrants


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