Pragmatism and Ideology – Leadership In Government

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Written by: George Burns III


I have to say that I am a bit surprised by a more than a few headlines over these last few weeks.  Throughout the election season, Donald Trump, and to a similar extent the other candidates, stuck to ideology claims as a means to ignite base base of voters.  I think that many of us had assumed that he would continue his onslaught of insane claims and divisive rhetoric, but, he has, again, left me surprised.

Following the conclusion of the election, Mr. Trump spoke out with an intent to unite a divided public, a claim which many, including myself, assumed to be more unfounded political rhetoric.  Recent events, however, have left me with a somewhat optimistic outlook for what a Trump Presidency will mean for the great nation of ours.

Yes, we have heard that there will still be a wall built along our border with Mexico.  Yes, we are still being told that our immigration policies could be modified to select-out individuals based on principles that our national was founded upon.  And, there is still the very real possibility that our diplomatic relations with Russia could change, something that should strike a fear into the minds of all of us.

Diplomat-In-Chief

When I think back to learning about government and the structure of each of the three branches of our Federal government, I distinctly remember hearing one of my social science teachers telling us how one of the most important responsibilities of the Executive Branch was that of determining and influencing foreign policy.  Interfacing with foreign governments, and using those interactions to further trade, human rights, legislative and other priorities, the President and his team of Diplomats can have significant impacts around the globe.

Donald Trump has, more than once, proclaimed admiration for President Putin and the Russian government, remarking that he was impressed by the leadership styles, and how their Russian government has united the Russian people.  To me, this claim is extremely superficial.  On the surface, sure, the Russian government appears to have united the voice of the Russian people, at least according to the Russian media.

President Putin’s grasp on Russian extends beyond governance, and has grown into, what has amounted to, full control of the press.  Putin has silenced media outlets that were critical of him and his associates, something that President-elect Trump has eluded to in his comments on the Press.  President-elect Trump has, again more than once, expressed an interest in loosening libel laws to allow public officials to sue news outlets for their coverage.  In my opinion, Trump is looking to extend libel laws to not only false claims, but also to damaging claims, an obvious affront to First Amendment protections of the media.

Economic Stimulator-in-Chief

Regardless of your personal opinions of Donald Trump, it is impossible to ignore the fact that he has a way with business.  The empire that he has built is impressive, profitable and international.  His business ties extend far beyond our borders, and his financial holdings are larger than most of us can even dream about.

Donald Trump’s way of structuring deals is well documents, be it in his own book, or in countless other narratives of business dealings he has been a party to throughout his long career.  He likes to take every opportunity to stack the deck in his favor, he likes to intimidate people into siding with him, and he likes to start negotiations by throwing out exorbitant claims, and then using that to negotiate down to a settlement that favors him as much as possible.

All of that being said, I have been impressed with the movement that President-elect Trump has been able to achieve with jobs and the economy so far.  From the Carrier deal, to the SoftBank fund, Trump has had a positive impact on economic trends, at least this week.  CEOs and other leaders of industry appear to be impressed with Trump, and so far, market forces are responding in-kind.

What To Expect 

So, does all of this mean that we can expect rampant economic growth?  Or, the collapse of modern media political and business reporting?  I think that we can safely say to to either one of these options.  But, nonetheless, I am more optimistic than I was immediately following the election; optimistic that the Trump administration will help to create an economic windfall that ushers in a new generation of progress.  Everything we do, every freedom we have, is possible because of many factors, including our economic dominance.  Everything that we will be and do in the future is dependent upon this, and today, I am optimistic that will happen.

Candidate Trump was more than slightly unpredictable, and President-elect Trump has kept up that pace.  I can safely tell you that you will sooner win the lottery than be able to predict President-elect Trump’s next move.  So, sit tight, I can guarantee that we will have plenty to analyze as events continue to unfold.

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