Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Donald Trump Xi Jinping, and the contrasts of leadership in the 21st century – 6

Posted in macroeconomics, social networking and business by Timothy Platt on May 6, 2018

This is my 33rd installment to what has become an ongoing series of postings in which I seek to address politics in the United States as it has become, starting with the nominations process leading up to the 2016 presidential elections. See my series: Donald Trump and the Stress Testing of the American System of Government, as can be found at Social Networking and Business 2, posting 244 and loosely following.

This can also be considered to represent my 60th installment to an ongoing series that I have been offering here concerning Xi Jinping and his still emerging and expanding leadership role in China. See China and Its Transition Imperatives, as can be found at Macroeconomics and Business and its Page 2 continuation, as postings 154 and loosely following. I began writing about Xi in this series after his elevation to a position of supreme leadership in the Communist Party of China and of China’s government and military. And I include this posting in that progression of them, as the United States president currently in office: Donald Trump, creates both challenge and opportunity and with the second of those predominating, for Xi and his leadership.

I begin this posting by repeating the number of postings that I have offered here, focusing on Donald Trump and his narcissistic zero attention span cupidity and venality: 33. And I have written about him at least in passing on a variety of other occasions in this blog too. As such, that number only approximates the level of specific attention that I have directed towards this man and his activates, and that of his supporters. So I offer this supernumerary addition to what I have to think of as that less than august assemblage of writings, by saying enough is enough. As of now, I am not planning on adding a 34th installment to this progression, unless and until a real change event takes place such as the release of the Muller investigation findings, in his investigation of Russian involvement in compromising the 2016 US elections – and in a manner that would lead to Trump’s impeachment. OK, that is not the only possible trigger that would prompt my offering a number 34 to this series. But any viable alternative to it that would prompt me to return to specifically writing about Donald Trump and his presidency is going to have to be game changing too, as far as Trump and his political and office holding futures are concerned.

I am planning on continuing to write about China and their leadership in further postings. But any references to The Donald in that will simply be incidental and offered as contextual background material. This is it, and certainly for now, for focusing on Trump himself.

And with that stated, I begin this posting with the citation of an historical parallel as drawn from United States history. And I turn for that to the less than laudable presidency of Warren Gamaliel Harding, as a touchstone for better understanding our current, 45th United States president. Harding is widely known as having been one of the worst of the worst, of those who have taken on the responsibilities of the office of president of the United States, and for good reason. The Teapot Dome scandal with its rampant bribery and other corruptions that Harding is perhaps best known for, as carried out by highly placed officials in his presidential administration, is only one of the well known and documented of his administration’s failings. But even a cursory review of the Trump administration, shows him and his inner circle to be much more fully and widely corrupt than that, and for essentially all of the key members of his team and for essentially all who he has tried to bring into it. This side to the history of the Trump administration, beginning at the time of his inauguration into office and continuing on to now, has presented itself as a succession of revelations of senior members of Trump’s inner circle who have proven to be corruptible and corrupt and even overtly criminally so.

Donald Trump famously ran for office on a campaign promise of “draining the swamp” in Washington. And he has continued to proclaim that as one of his administration defining self-assumed success stories, and ever since his achieving office. But if anything, president Trump has taken what might or might not properly be called a swamp in the District of Columbia and its surrounding areas and converted it into what should qualify as a superfund cleanup site. And I cite as a news piece example of how others have arrived at this conclusion:

Trump’s ‘Best People’ Are the Worst

And yes, he has repeatedly proclaimed that he is bringing in the best people as a key part of his swamp draining effort. How could the actual results achieved from his hiring efforts have happened? I could cite several reasons for that, all of which begin in a cause and effect manner from the simple fact that Trump only looks for one quality or qualification when evaluating potential candidates and hires into his administration. Anyone he would consider bringing in must swear personal, absolute loyalty and fealty to him as an individual. And any who turn on him and betray that absolute oath of loyalty in any way, is soon going to be on their way out the door.

As a particularly toxic and I add particularly publically visible example of how that works, I cite an event that president Trump orchestrated and that he directly ordered all of his cabinet officers to participate in, and with whole hearted enthusiasm demonstrably required on all of their parts:

Trump’s Cabinet Showers Boss with Praise,
Trump Invites His Employees To Praise Him During Cabinet Meeting and
Donald Trump Cabinet Praise.

The second and third of these links are to YouTube videos of this event, so a reader can see what I write of here for themselves. A normal person would not want this type of overtly forced praise, and would certainly not demand that type of public obeisance and from anyone. But a willingness to submit to participating in an exercise in public adoration of this type is precisely how Trump picks those who end up at least briefly on his team. And only the truly corrupt and shamelessly so would buy into this type of behavior on their part, as a necessary and acceptable cost of bellying up to the trough to feed. Honest, competent people of genuine integrity would not willingly seek to serve in office under a Donald Trump, and certainly as he has proven that fact-based decision making and action do not meet with his approval or support: only obedience to his each and every tweet, verbal utterance or thought, and no matter how unconsidered or self-serving.

And that brings me to a verbal shorthand that I have started hearing from news professionals and pendants that I find, if anything, at least as disturbing as Donald Trump’s soft relationship with empirical reality itself. I refer here to how all of this has become so much a “new normal” in the eyes and minds of so many. Phrases line Post-Fact Reality as a new norm prompt essentially the same visceral response in me that I would feel if they began seriously, studiously intoning in their reporting of Trump’s exciting new doublespeak and double think. George Orwell would spin in his grave with joy if he could somehow know that Donald Trump has taken his dystopian dreamscape and made it his, and our reality. (Think of that last sentence as my one and only interview practice run for becoming an “alternative facts” based Trump spokesperson. And think of that phrase as The Donald’s way of doubling down on speech, thought and reality, doublethink style!)

I have written about Trump and his less than simply lose grasp of, or interest in reality. And I have done so many, many times in the course of assembling this series up to here, and while discussing the larger Trump-oriented narrative that I have fit that into, going back to when a pack of the hungry were vying for becoming the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election. I have written of his swamp draining promises and his toxic waste dumping practices for almost as long. Corruption in highly placed officials and from proposed appointees to the Trump administration has become so common and so expected as to have numbed us all into somehow thinking of this as a form of new form of normal. And that might be his longest lasting legacy from his time in high office, for the callous damaging of American sensibilities and the withering of what should be our shared ideals and standards of public conduct that he has brought us to. And truth and fact have been just as victimized in all of this and to our collective detriment too, and regardless of our political similarities or differences.

I offered Part 32 of this series approximately four weeks ago, with it going live on April 8, 2018. And just in that short period of time, several scandal and corruption unveilings have erupted out of the Trump administration, all of which individually would have been seen as administration threatening news – if that is they did not simply fit into a recurring pattern of such mind numbing regularity.

• Corruption in highly placed officials and from proposed appointees to the Trump administration has become so commonplace and so expected by now and for all of us, as to have numbed us all into somehow thinking of this as a form of normal.

And few if any of us now expect anyone in a Trump administration to offer or even accept what would under more normal circumstances be considered factual truth. This all grievously harms all of us. And it leaves us grasping at straws to understand the how and why of all of this. And with that noted, I come full circle to cite my first installment to what has become this succession Trump-centric postings, along with a recent news piece that I make note of here, simply because it is literally a grasping at straws made overtly public:

Thinking Through the Words We Use in Our Political Monologs and
Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies.

And meanwhile, Xi Jinping in China, Kim Jung Un in North Korea, Vladimir Putin in Russia and a host of others, think circles around our US president and act accordingly, and the United States becomes more and more a non sequitur on the world stage for his inept mismanagement and from his lack of vision and understanding.

So I conclude this posting by noting the current tantalizing teases in the news of what might somehow, some time come to pass:

Mueller Has Dozens of Inquiries for Trump in Broad Quest on Russia Ties and Obstruction,
Trump Adds Clinton Impeachment Lawyer, Bracing for a Fight on Multiple Fronts,
Mueller’s Questions Point to What Trouble Trump Is In,
Why Answering Mueller’s Questions Could Be a Minefield for Trump,
The Truth Is Coming for Trump and of course
Truth Has Stopped Mattering in the Russia Investigation.

I left out a number of news piece references here that more specifically discuss how terrified Trump’s inner circle supporters are that he might actually agree to meet with Muller and attempt to answer his questions under oath, and even when he has been given copies of all of them well in advance in order to give him time and opportunity to prepare for that.

I waited as long as I did between my April 8, 2018 posting and this one because so many new (should be) scandals have kept erupting on such an ongoing, steady and reliable basis and because so many Muller investigation hint-pieces have come out too. What comes next, besides just this toxic flow of ongoing same and routine out of the Trump White House, will happen … probably … eventually. When something more game changing does happen, I will add a Posting 34 to this.

Meanwhile, I am certain to continue adding new installments to both China and Its Transition Imperatives, as can be found at Macroeconomics and Business and its Page 2 continuation (as postings 154 and loosely following.) And I expect, with time to add more to my series: Donald Trump and the Stress Testing of the American System of Government, as can be found at Social Networking and Business 2 (posting 244 and loosely following).

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