Now, suppose it was President Donald Trump…

With even Jeremy Corbyn “elected” as leader of the UK Labour Party, it is quite within the realm of possibility that Donald Trump could be the 45th President of the United States.

Of course, he may not even be the Republican candidate. But, just suppose, by some quirk of fate and a “perfect electoral storm”, he did become President.

It might, in fact, be just what the US needs (and maybe also what the voters deserve). The pendulum between “establishment politics” at one end needs to swing back towards individualism and leadership. “Establishment politics” where the party machinery dominates gives followers not leaders – and not just in the US. Ultimately, Barack Obama cannot be blamed for non-achievement – it is the voters who put him there who perceived a substance under the flattering surface which just wasn’t there. Trump may not be in the same “academically intellectual” class as Obama, but he may have a lot more substance under his unflattering exterior than Obama has. Even a clown like Trump could be more of a leader than an Obama “paralysed by analysis”. Trump’s only real claim to fame – or track record – is the money he has made. A non-politician in the White House who breaks the stranglehold that “party politics” has on government might be more than just refreshing. He might – for a time – actually be more successful.

No more apologies, no preaching, no more moralistic and sanctimonious pronouncements, no “ideologies” to pay lip-service to, no ambition to save the world from imaginary dangers, just a supreme pragmatism to serve the bottom line. The US could well do with looking at its bottom line  – for at least one presidential term.

His loyalty to his cabinet members would only stretch as far as their performance. On domestic policy (and he doesn’t have one at the moment), he would probably spend half a term in “fire-fighting” (immigration, health care, employment) and then focus on downsizing government (and public expenditure) and tax revisions. He might actually increase taxes at the highest end while reducing taxes for middle-income entrepreneurs. The banks and the finance houses could see some drastic curtailment of their privileges and tax-breaks. There could be a welcome shift in social and welfare matters away from “what you need” to “what you deserve”. Every government agency would be held to Key Performance Indicators.

Foreign policy (and he doesn’t have one at the moment) would be fascinating. It would be entirely pragmatic and the “politically correct” requirement of being sanctimonious would be removed. The double standards normally required in conventional diplomacy (supporting Saudi Arabia militarily while pretending to condemn their human rights, for example), would be thrown out of the window. Trade and geopolitical needs, untrammelled by any need to “demonstrate” a morally superior position, would dominate. Even the US military might find that their cosy, protected and privileged existence is suddenly shaken up by “performance reviews”. The US diplomatic corps would need to start looking at their “deliverables”.

One term of a CEO – rather than a “seasoned” politician – being President of the US could be just what the US, and US politics, needs.

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