To The Daily Sun,
Swagger does not make a president. Donald Trump is nothing but swagger.
When asked if it is possible to run the government like a business, he says, "I think you can". A business has a chief executive officer — candidate Trump is an example of one — and the government has the Executive Branch, one of three branches of government. Our system of government has built-in checks and balances with a very limited number of unilateral actions any of the branches can take, including the presidency itself. TV audiences may have gotten a kick out of watching emcee Trump fire people on his show but that's just it, it was television.
Candidate Trump says we have great people in business, such as Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett, whom he would hire to help him run the government and bring to the table their area of expertise. That process is known as nomination and confirmation and already happens in all three branches today. But, with some exceptions for White House staff and advisers, the president does not just call an executive at his or her office and they show up for work as a cabinet secretary the next day.
Candidate Trump was asked in an interview if it was determined that Iran were building a nuclear weapon, would he order air strikes immediately? His answer, "Yes!" Once again, our government uses the process of advice and consent, even in times of war and great danger. Under our Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war.
I get that people are tired or politics as usual, of money running the show, of legislative and regulatory stalemate when the extremes dig in their heels. Our system's flaws have become our system. Our government is not working for its citizens. But the candidate who says, "I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present" is not the person to fix our problems. He cannot call a board meeting to implement his policy changes because there is no board. There is the Congress (where changes are obviously necessary). The president does not jump in his SUV and ride to Capitol Hill to turn his demands into legislative policy: that is not the system our Founding Fathers designed.
The candidate who says, "I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I know the Chinese head" is not the person to negotiate with them on intellectual property theft or human rights violations. The candidate who says he would have a good relationship with Putin "based on — a feel" does not bring enough gravitas or background to the table. Candidate Trump has got to be the only person in the room who believes he could make a deal with Putin to put a stop to his dangerous plans for expansion.
Trump loves attention and flattery. He revels in bigness and grandeur. But governing is about negotiating, hammering out details under stressful conditions, and arriving at policy prescriptions that meet the majority of the people's needs. It requires working with diverse views and accommodating minority positions, processes that are in short supply in Washington these days. We need to elect candidates all up and down the ticket that want us to return to a participatory democracy in which every vote matters and every voice is heard. We need leadership that will pull all sides together toward the greater good, not just individual glory. Donald Trump is not that candidate.
- Category: Letters
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