[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] P [/yt_dropcap]resident Trump has been in the White House for a total of one month. He came in reassuring us all that he would be a strong, efficient CEO who would hire the best and manage successfully just as he had managed his business empire (never mind tax return disclosure or a half a dozen filings of bankruptcy). So, perhaps as assessment is already due.
Were one to ask an efficiency or management expert to settle on one adjective to describe Trump’s performance so far, he would probably opt for “tumultuous,” and he would not be too far from the target. The team Trump has assembled seems hardly equipped to produce a coherent management philosophy. It is no dream team able to withstand internal debates geared to solve complex political problems. Why is that?
For one thing, most CEOs and executives would advise against management by chaos accompanied by the berating of constituencies as an effective mode of running any kind of business.
In a little more than a month, the Trump administration has seen a key Cabinet secretary sunk by bipartisan opposition, a national security adviser asked to resign after misleading the vice president and potentially lying to the FBI, and a refugee and immigration travel ban hastily written then halted by courts. Also, a rambling news conference.
These questions arise: given that those mistakes were eminently preventable, is anyone able to say no to this president? How will the administration react to a real and unpredictable crisis? Is dissent allowed or are the only points of views permitted the ones that Trump wants to hear? Are there any checks to an impulsiveness characterized by the firing off of bizarre tweets declaring the media the enemy of the people? Is the White House really running “a well-tuned machine” as it claims?
Are there mechanisms in place to deal with an acute crisis? In that case, who would Trump bring in from the outside for help? Right now Trump relies on a small group of aides, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared. What can be observed are diverse personalities jockeying for influence, chief among them Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, and Rick Dearborn. There seem to be two competing groups with competing ideologies: the Bannon radical right-wing which wishes to pull out of trade agreements, strongly nationalistic, championing anti-immigrant sentiments, and the Priebus and vice-president Pence faction, on the right ideologically but more pragmatic and even more rational, focused on tax relief, cutting down regulations, reassuring foreign allies alarmed by Bannon’s far right nationalistic ideology.
Bannon’s former news organization has published an anonymously sourced piece alleging that Priebus is on his way out. It is no wonder that, faced with such a tumultuous spectacle, Vice Admiral Robert Harward refused the offer of replacement for Michael Flynn as head of the National Security Council.
If one looks at Trump’s business career, that seems to be the way he has run his business: by pitting one group against the other. That may work if each group represents a different area of expertise. They can offer a different perspective from that of the opponent. But it will not work very well if debates turn ugly and competing factions emerge. Then boundaries become hard and sub-groups become toxic.
This invariably happens when the boss on top does not welcome diverse points of view and favors sycophants who tell him what he wants to hear. Too many have seen Trump fire those who disagree with him, to feel safe in doing so. Take the example of acting Attorney General Sally Yates who declined to defend Trump’s immigration order believing it unconstitutional. She was right, of course in her civil disobedience, as confirmed by a panel of federal judges that came to the same conclusion and halted the order. She got fired anyway and Trump called the judges “so called judges.”
What Trump does not have the foggiest notion of, is that it’s not about searching for sycophants who tell the boss what he wants to hear, but about searching for truth and creating an environment that permits such a search, wherein all angles can be explored and discussed. That does not seem to be happening in the present White House, which is why some historians are giving us a year at best to turn this tragic trajectory around, or we might as well kiss goodbye to democracy and the Republic, as we know it.
Comey treated in Thuggish Mafia Style by the White House
Trump’s Dumb Ideas for Economic Growth
[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] I [/yt_dropcap]f there’s an economic idea that Donald Trump and his economic advisers continually reiterate it is that slashing taxes inevitably leads to economic growth. Let’s see how true this idea is.
The Demeaning of the Office of the President
[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] C [/yt_dropcap]NN has recetnly reported that President Trump’s latest anti-media attacks “are beneath the dignity of the office of the President.” In an interview with Time magazine, Trump insulted CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon and criticized MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. He also called CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert a “no-talent guy.”
Foreign direct investment is not coming to Indonesia. Really?
The economic topic receiving most attention in the last few days is certainly that of foreign direct investment, or FDI,...
Kashmir: The Unconquerable Will of Kashmiris is still Alive
Every dictatorship flourishes more on the continuing incapacity of the public to examine and evaluate reality in the way that...
Liquidity Crisis Weighs on An Already Strangled Palestinian Economy
Palestinian Authority (PA) faces a financing gap that could exceed US$1.8 billion for 2019 driven by declining aid flows and...
How to Design Responsible Technology
Biased algorithms and noninclusive data sets are contributing to a growing ‘techlash’ around the world. Today, the World Economic Forum,...
Emerging East Asia Bond Markets Continue Growth Despite Risks
Emerging East Asia’s local currency bond market expanded steadily in the second quarter of 2019 despite downside risks stemming from...
Saudi oil attacks put US commitments to the test
Neither Saudi Arabia nor the United States is rushing to retaliate for a brazen, allegedly Iranian attack that severely damaged...
‘Six weeks of Indian Disinformation in Kashmir Lockdown’
The Indian curfew in Srinagar, capital to Jammu and Kashmir territory climbs to six weeks. Not only are the roads...
South Asia2 days ago
Abrogation of Article 370 and Pakistan’s Pathetic Response
Eastern Europe2 days ago
Foreign Affairs of the Absurd: The Strange Case of Abkhazia 2019
East Asia2 days ago
How to turn the page on WW II in Asia
Reports3 days ago
Digital Technologies Can Facilitate Access to Trade Finance in Asia-Pacific Region
International Law3 days ago
National Interest surpassing human rights: Case study of Kashmir
Reports2 days ago
Iceland’s slowdown underlines the need to fix structural issues
Energy3 days ago
Attack on Saudi oil facilities: Consequences and solutions
East Asia3 days ago
U.S. and China Gear Up for Ideological Warfare