What is Trump? A fascist? An authoritarian? A dictator? I don’t think there’s a single topic on the internet which gets more play.
I also think he’s none of those things and I guarantee you that if asked, he wouldn’t have the faintest idea about what any of those words actually mean.
If you ask him to define what he does, and I don’t recall anyone asking him that question, he will probably say that he’s a business guy who ‘creates’ companies. And what he means is that he tries to sell different kinds of products to different kinds of consumers, because that’s what business is all about.
There’s a reason why just about every CEO of every Fortune-500 company comes out of marketing or sales. Because if you don’t have something to sell and you don’t figure out how to sell it, you could be the smartest and most advanced thinker in the entire world and your company will still go right down the tubes.
Two sales guys who sold the same product but for two different companies were driving down the street. They passed a store and one of the guys said, “The manager of that store’s a great guy.” The other salesman nodded his head up and down and said, “You’re right! He’s a great guy.”
Then they drive a little further and pass another store. The first guy says, “The manager of that store’s a real prick. He’s a real son of a bitch.” And the other guy says, “Yea, that’s right. I don’t sell him either.”
Every business deal that Trump ever made, every company he started up, everything he ever sold was some kind of product like apartments, airline tickets, steaks, wine, tIes. They all were overpriced but they usually sold because they all shared the same brand – Trump – and this brand had been promoted as something that was always worth an extra buck.
Know why Trump Air didn’t work? Because the guys who took the shuttle from Laguardia down to D.C. every day couldn’t care less if they got a cup of coffee, or whether the stews had nice-looking tits or anything else. What mattered was getting on the plane at 7 a.m. and getting to a meeting at 14th and K Streets on time.
I worked for a brokerage company that owned an apartment in Trump Tower. We used the apartment for our ‘top-grade’ clients who came into town. We called it ‘bimbos and limos’ and if you wanted one of your accounts to stay at the Tower, he had to be a guy whose account through off lots of commissions every month.
You walked into that condo in Trump Tower, and you knew that the customer who stayed there was someone whose business relationship with your company was worth a lot of bucks. The ceiling was all mirrors – surprise, surprise – the chintz was all gold, the bathtub easily held two. Get it?
You think Trump approached the Presidency any other way? You think he had the faintest idea about public service, or democratic principles or any of those other highfalutin words? That’s what they teach you at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. That’s not what you learn pouring concrete into a foundation for a casino in Atlantic City or an apartment house in Queens.
Back in 2000, Trump gave an interview to Fortune Magazine where he said that “I could be the first person ever to make money” running for President. It turned out that he probably lost four or five times what he made in the 2016 campaign, but hey, sometimes you win in business, sometimes you lose.
And things didn’t get all that much better for Trump after he won in 2016. Recall how everyone would be willing to pay top dollar to stay at his hotel in D.C.? The hotel was sold last year and the first thing the new owners are going to do is change the name.
Forbes Magazine estimates that Trump has lost $100 million on his European golf resorts. No wonder Melania’s going to auction off a hat she wore on a state visit to England next week. The opening bid is $250,000 and she’ll get that the way that Trump made a profit with the United States Football League.
The pundits and op-ed spielers who say that Trump doesn’t support democracy are half-right. But what they don’t understand is that the whole point of being a success in business id not just figuring out your market but figuring out how to monopolize your market so that you can charge whatever you want for the product you’re trying to hype.
Is there really any difference between how democracy gives voters a choice of candidates and how the free market is supposed to offer consumers a choice of goods?