An unprecedented number of American business leaders have come out to oppose Trump. Waves of resignations from the CEOs of America’s leading corporations have forced Trump to disband his business councils.
Large numbers of companies have issued statements and internal memos condemning Trump. Ford, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, have all spoken out against this administration. To protest Trump’s egress from the Paris Climate Agreement more than two dozen major businesses took out full-page ads.
The business community’s rejection of Trump is a disaster for this president because it strikes at the heart of what he claims are his core competencies. His business accomplishments were the only credentials Trump could claim as he took the oath of office. After only a bit more than 6 months it has become obvious that even in the one area he sells as his strength, he is a dismal failure. Although he has cut no deals, he has managed to alienate our allies, and divide the nation. He has also succeeded in emboldening America’s enemies both within and without.
It is not only his business strategies and tactics that are being questioned it is his humanity or lack thereof. His moral bankruptcy was laid bare in an angry press conference in which he defended the alt-right. In a series of angry tirades, he compared the alt-right to the people who assembled to oppose fascism. This includes Heather Heyer, the woman murdered by a Nazi in Charlottesville. Trump’s comments on Charlottesville appear to justify the concerns of those who fear a symbiotic relationship between the presidency and extremists in the alt-right.
Trump has emboldened his neo-nazi supporters by doubling down on his remarks during his most recent press conference. As explained by The Times’ Mark Landler Trump has, “relinquished what presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan have regarded as a cardinal duty of their job: set a moral course to unify the nation.”
Trump continues to sew divisions over the issue of Confederate statues. Rather than speak in support of unity he is defending monuments to leaders who went to war against their countrymen in defense of slavery. This was a savage and bloody conflict that killed more than 600,000 American soldiers. Up until the Vietnam war, the civil war had the record for having killed more Americans than all the wars that came after it combined.
Corporate leaders have abandoned Trump and he has yet again been exposed as a fraud. By now it should be clear to all but the willfully ignorant that Trump is not much of a businessman and he is certainly not temperamentally or intellectually fit to be president. He is a corrupt narracist who has parlayed his self-absorbtion into a business enterprise.
An honest look at his life reveals that after a troubled youth he took his father’s money and built a Hollywood style brand. A brand which is little more than a glitzy caricature of a businessman. Now Trump’s paper tiger brand has been torn to shreds and his presidency is twisting in the wind.
Some have claimed the only talent that Trump possesses is his command over Twitter. However, in what is surely hard for Trump to swallow, President Obama’s Charlottesville tweet has become the most liked message in the history of Twitter. Rather than being an asset, CNN and others have argued that Trump’s Twitter penchant may very well be his undoing. Now corporate heads like Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein have taken to twitter to go after Trump.
The forces oppposing Trump extend far beyond social media. In an unprecedented move the considerable might of corporate America has aligned itself against this president. The country’s leading CEOs are condemning Trump and successive waves of resignations have forced him to disband two White House business councils.
The first round of resignations from his business council saw Uber CEO Travis Kalanick leave over immigration, then Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney Bob Iger resigned over Trump’s announcement that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Accord.
Trump’s defense of the alt-right after the Charlottetown tragedy, saw the trickle become a flow with a stream of resignations starting with Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, followed by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and the President of AFL-CIO Richard Louis Trumka. Other CEOs that quit the president include Inge Thulin of 3M, Brian Krzanich of Intel. Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul also quit the president.
After Mr Paul’s resignation, Trump said those who resigned are “grandstanders”. In a tweet he also said: “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place.” However, it seems that there were no takers so Trump was forced to disband the council in disgrace.
Trump’s entire committee on the arts and the humanities also resigned to protest his racism. Here is the letter of resignation from 14 members of the Committee:
Trump’s comments supporting and elevating racists were more important than politics and policy. Donald Trump crossed a moral line that should cut through partisanship and cut to the consciences on individual Americans. CEOs dumped Trump after his remarks because they realized that going anywhere near racism can kill their businesses. The public backlash that comes with being viewed as supporting a racist will hurt the bottom line and a brand’s reputation.
For others who are walking away from this president, they are doing so as a matter of basic human decency. Donald Trump has revealed himself to be lacking in the bare minimum that society deems necessary for a functioning participant in the community. Forget the standards of conduct expected of a president; Trump isn’t meeting the standards of conduct of a decent human being.
The reason why the fallout from his Charlottesville comments is sticking to Trump is that it reflects upon him as a human being. There are lines that people should never cross, and by elevating racists, Trump not only defined himself as a failed president but also as a terrible person.
All branches of the armed services have come forward with statements intended to show their commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. The number of Republicans that are condemning Trump is increasing everyday and those that are not doing so in public are privately expressing grave reservations about his basic competence to govern.
Former presidents George HW Bush and George W Bush issued a statement that said: “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms.” The statement also said, “As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”
In a New York Times op-ed Frank Bruni said, “Trump resigned the presidency already”. Bruni went on to say, “He abdicated his responsibilities so thoroughly and recklessly that it amounted to a letter of resignation. Then he whored for his Virginia winery on the way out the door…Trump hasn’t been exercising the duties of his office. He’s been excising them, one by one. The moral forfeiture of the past week was the capper…he picked division over unity, war over peace. And make no mistake: He didn’t merely shortchange the presidency. He left it vacant.”
Trump’s illbegotten foray into politics has put his incompetance and inhumanity on display. Now he is appropriately besieged. However, he is still president and we should not underestimate the damage that this insecure man can do as he is pulled like a confederate statue off of his pedestal.