Fetishizing the American Businessman

My sentiments exactly, Don. Credit: AMC Networks

A COUNTRY IS NOT A BUSINESS

You have no choice where you are born. Your nationality was not something you purchased in a market, and you can’t own shares in it. Your nationality isn’t in competition with other nationalities. Denmark and Canada, say, are not fighting over potential citizens with Groupon offers.

Credit: Gary Varvel/Indianapolis Star

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Maybe, then, it would make sense to have a businessman in charge of a government that is already inextricably intertwined with economic practices. Laws protect businesses, and with neoliberalism this means things like deregulation and unrestricted free trade. We all know Congress is being bought by lobbyists, so this might be the “swamp” that Donald Trump promised to drain.

He’s worse than Krusty the Clown. Credit: Business Insider

WHY DO WE STILL LOVE THE BUSINESSMAN?

Trump’s cabinet is full of uber-wealthy, white businessmen who want to privatize everything and eliminate taxes, and the Republican Party supports him because the Republican Party historically has opposed corporate taxes (which isn’t to say that the Democratic Party doesn’t support big business, they just seem to feel kind of conflicted about it and/or don’t see the inherent hypocrisy in being liberal and uber-wealthy). However, because most people are not wealthy business owners, CEOs, lobbyists, and the affluent, the Republican Party also needs a platform that can support a large base of people.

Apparently we didn’t learn anything from these films. Credit: Paramount Pictures

WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH?

We do now have a bona fide businessman as president. Not only does Donald Trump not appear to know anything about laws or foreign policy, he also is turning daily operations into something that does not look much like governing and a lot more like an unhinged leader of a hate group who is constantly filming an infomercial for his brand.

THE TAKEAWAY

When I heard Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” I thought it was a joke. When I heard people call Trump an “anti-establishment” candidate, I also thought it was a joke. Trump is the establishment. Businessmen have always had a role in running the country in one way or another.

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Heidi S.

Heidi S.

PhD in philosophy | Feminist | Anarchist | Pop culture junkie | Actually Autistic