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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The CEO

The extent to which Trump views himself as the CEO of America became even clearer recently, when he offered to buy Greenland from the Danes.

That's what CEOs do, make acquisitions.

They negotiate, as Trump is doing with the Chinese.

And they try to get their partners in joint ventures to pay a larger share of the expenses, as Trump is doing with the other members of NATO. (CEOs hate being taken advantage of.)

So far, at least, Trump has avoided the needless expense of another war.

CEOs have a tendency to frequently look at how their stock is doing, since this is usually a fair barometer of their own performance. In Trump's case, his "stocks" are the Dow, the NASDAQ, and the S&P 500.

And CEOs hire and fire people at will. (Trump doesn't seem to be one of those CEOs who feel obliged to give their departing minions flattering letters of recommendation.)

When you think about it, all of this is only natural. Trump has spent his life as a CEO, so sees our country as America, Inc.

Obama, whose previous experience involved doling out money from the Annenberg Foundation, saw our country as a big foundation, with largesse to be distributed among his favored groups. He had also worked as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, and at times, seemed to regard his Presidency as one big "teachable moment."

If we had elected, say, Bill Belichick as President, he'd have seen the country as a larger version of the New England Patriots. He'd have assembled his ideal team for the Cabinet and tried to come up with winning plays. America might have had to suffer through a Deflategate or two, but sometimes that's the price you pay to get a winning coach.

If we had elected Steven Spielberg, he'd have been a bit of a micro-manager, wanting to direct every last detail. Whether you'd have liked the resulting production would probably depend on whether you approve of the sometimes not-so-subtle messages in his actual movies. (Alternatively, we could have elected Clint Eastwood.)

Maybe we should have people from different professions rotating through the White House. Not only would it be more entertaining, but the diversity of viewpoints (real diversity) would be refreshing.

In the meantime, it's refreshing to have a guy who's negotiating on our behalf. Trump's arrogant CEO-like personality doesn't sit right even with a lot of his supporters, but at least he's on America's side. (Name another country whose prospective leaders campaign by promising to do the best they can for foreigners rather than the nation's citizens.)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

John-Absolutely great explanation of who Trump is, what he does and why. Like him or not I always thought he was the right fit for the job based upon his nature and instincts. I like him because he's doing right by America and hopefully he'll be reelected! Thanks, Brian

John Craig said...

Thank you Brian. It was that Greenland thing that drove home what a real estate guy he is at heart. Agree, he may be a hyperbolic narcissistic blowhard, but he's doing right by the US in a way his predecessors didn't.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who followed and remembers the Unqualified Reservations blog by Mencius Moldbug, in many ways Trump exemplifies the _substance_ of the type of government Moldbug promoted but without the form.

The overarching point of Moldbug's entire blog was that, if a country was treated like, and restructured to in fact be, a joint stock company, the leader(s) would act to maximize shareholder value. And that is in fact - as John points out here - exactly Trump's approach.

Of course, with Trump, we did not require an actual restructuring of the form of government: Trump already _thinks_ in those terms, so he _acts_ in those terms.

Moldbug called the system "formalism" and he identified the flaws of democracy and this solution from his very first post.

So Trump can be considered our first Neoreactionary president!

https://www.unqualified-reservations.org/2007/04/formalist-manifesto-originally-posted/

John Craig said...

Samuel --
Thank you. Just read that piece althoughI"m not sure I completely understood it. It's late in the evening where l live, and my brain doesn't function well at this hour.

I like that, the idea that we're all shareholders.

BTW, speaking of where I live, where you live there's been an awful lot of unrest recently. Hope you've remained unscathed. (Or do you not live there anymore?)

Anonymous said...

Moldbug is not known for his brevity or clarity... And reading through more of the blog may be necessary in order to absorb it all. And it's not everyone's cup of tea. If I were starting afresh with his blog, not sure I would have the patience for it.

I am still in the same place. I've been unscathed, but things are indeed heating up. I can email you about it more if you like. I don't think I can access my prior email account (in fact, I don't even remember the log-in ID...), so let me know how to reach you if need be.

John Craig said...

Samuel --
Send me your new email address in a comment (I won't post it), and I'll write you.

Pangur said...

Trump's biggest accomplishment to date: separating the base from its donor class, who see the base as sheep to be fleeced (at best).

No new war isn't too shabby either, despite the bests efforts of the usual suspects.

John Craig said...

Pangur --
So true; Trump truly seems to be on the side of the middle class vs. the globalists who want to export jobs and import cheaper labor.

And yes, of course he gets no credit for having avoided war and bloodshed, despite the wishes of the neocons. When you think about it, on that issue, too, he's on the side of the lower and middle classes vs. the elites.

Anonymous said...

"Name another country whose prospective leaders campaign by promising to do the best they can for foreigners rather than the nation's citizens."

Sweden.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Good point.

Contra Jewish Correspondent said...
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John Craig said...

Contra Jewish Correspondent --

Trump is German (and not Jewish) by descent, and most of the Jewish people I know (and those I see TV) mostly seem to hate him. To them, he seems to represent the faint glimmering of a white racial consciousness and pride which they prefer to discourage.

Contra Jewish Correspondent said...
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Contra Jewish Correspondent said...
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Steven said...

Hi John. Trump should remain in the White House in perpetuity as you can't really improve on great and unmatched wisdom.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Is that something he said? (I hadn't heard him say that, though it's not too far in spirit from his "stable genius" comment.)

Every time he says something off-putting and I'm ready to dislike him, the media attacks him baselessly and that makes me sympathize with him. One thing that's become more apparent than ever since he's become President is the swampiness of the swamp. They just can't bear the fact that he won't kowtow to them.

Steven said...

I thought the very stable genius line was kind of funny but the great and unmatched wisdom tweet sounded like he's reaching worrying levels of narcissism. It made me think of the Persian God-King from 300 who says "I am a merciful God".

How has he done would you say? Has he achieved any of the things you hoped he would?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Ah, so he did say that. Yikes. I wrote a post once about how he was basically a parallel King Midas (who wanted everythin

I'd say he's done pretty well overall, though he hasn't done everything I'd hoped. I'm glad he reduced the corporate tax rate, we needed that; I'm not so happy he reduced the maximum tax rate, and I don't think that increasing the exemption on estate taxes was the right thing to do, either. He's done an excellent job of keeping us out of those "endless wars" in the Middle East he referenced, though I think his timing on getting out of the way so Turkey can subjugate the Kurds is not good, considering what loyal allies they've been to the US over time.(Hillary would have had us embroiled in war with Iran by now.) And I think he's done his best on immigration; pressuring Mexico to stop Central Americans from coming through Mexico to our border seems to have finally slowed that down, and he actually seems to be building the Wall, in a quiet (and slow) sort of way. He's also done an excellent job with employment in this country. So, overall, despite his personality, and despite the constant onslaught from the Democrats who've basically been trying to impeach him since he got into office, I'd say he's done well.

c matt said...

Name another country whose prospective leaders campaign by promising to do the best they can for foreigners rather than the nation's citizens."

Sweden.


And France, and Germany, and . . . .

John Craig said...

C Matt --
Good point, there are a few other countries in the West which are similarly masochistic.