There are two assumptions made about Donald John Trump. Number one: he’s smart. You don’t get to his level of success without being a ‘smart cookie,’ which is how he described North Korea’s supreme cherubic despot, Kim Jong-un.
Number two assumption: He’s a business man, not a politician. Doesn’t talk like a politician as in “Get him the hell out of here. Or, I”d like to punch him” and “I’ve got the best words,” which he surely orders from the Winston Churchill School of Fine Oratory. And he doesn’t look like a politician with his mutated ducktail, yellow hair, sprayed-on tan and eye make-up.
DimDonny also taps into the political myth that government should be run as a business, first expressed by the lethargic Calvin Coolidge, who famously said, “The business of America is business.”
Let’s deal with Dim Donny’s ‘smart cookie’ assumption. The man is illiterate. It’s hard to have respect for a president who says he doesn’t read. He gets all his information from cable TV. He’s clearly not watching The History Channel because DimDonny thinks Fredrick Douglas is alive, that slave-owner and dead Andrew Jackson could have prevented the Civil War and he doesn’t know why we even had a Civil War. What channel is he watching? Don’t you assume it’s the toxic prism of Fox News which means he’s speaks and thinks in soundbites. Since the average length of a TV news story is around 2:00 minutes and less, is it any surprise that the man has the attention span of a fly? Watching Fox may explain his wonderment when he says, “Who knew healthcare was so complicated?”
Now let’s deal with his businessman qualifications, the ‘government as business’ meme. It might be helpful to ask how other businessmen who became presidents faired as Commander-in-Chief.
Of our forty-four presidents, only eight had previous business experience:
Warren Harding was a newspaper publisher.
Calvin Coolidge, a bank executive;
Herbert Hoover a mining engineer and executive; Harry Truman a haberdasher.
Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer.
George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush both oil industry executives.
Donald Trump, real estate.
Of these eight men, six of them went on to run and serve in elective offices BEFORE they became president.
Harding was first a senator.
Coolidge was a vice-president
Truman, a Senator.
Carter, a governor.
George H.W. Bush, a congressman and Vice-President.
George W. Bush, a governor before becoming president.
Among the remaining businessmen, only two never held elective office before becoming president, never had to deal with a legislative body, never had to comply with a federal court system or an inquisitive media. DimDonny might be a clever real estate developer and he likes to compare himself with Andrew Jackson. But the reality is that he compares with the only other businessman-turned president: Herbert Hoover, and we all know how that turned out.
Next time a Trump, Ross Perot, Steve Forbes or Mark Zuckerberg tries to sell us their business prowess as a natural prerequisite for the presidency, here’s the nub: Governance is NOT business and business is NOT governance. Believe me.