The Fetishization of the American Businessman

Donald Trump clearly doesn’t care about governing or know anything about governing. He has never given any indication that he did. Vague statements in his campaign didn’t magically turn into knowledge after the election.

Donald Trump wanted to be president in order to protect and promote his business and the Trump brand. He probably also wanted the power, but we have no way of confirming the latter other than his insistence that he won the election in a landslide [read: he didn’t] and his language befitting of a demagogue. We do have evidence, however, of his financial stakes.

Trump has refused to separate his business interests from his presidency, refusing to put his assets in a blind trust, instead handing over management to his two oldest sons. After the election, the Trump Organization doubled the initiation fee for its Mar-a-Lago resort — which Trump has since called “the Winter White House” — to $200,000. Trump Hotels’ CEO also said, after the election, that they planned to triple the number of Trump Hotels in the country. And that’s just in the U.S. According to the Washington Post, “at least 111 Trump companies have done business in 18 countries and territories across South America, Asia, and the Middle East.”

This is dangerous to the American people. The President of the United States is supposed to represent national interests and not, say, what he stands to profit from a casino or a luxury condo in Turkey. It’s not a coincidence that the Muslim-majority countries on Trump’s first attempt at an anti-immigration executive order were countries in which he has no business investments. The stated purpose of the order was to prevent terrorists from entering the country, even though no terrorist attacks have been committed on U.S. soil by people from any of the banned countries. It’s not hard to connect the dots.

You can find a laundry list of Trump’s business conflicts of interest here. It’s long. And it’s not subtle. My personal favorite is the Chinese trademark dispute that had been going on more than a decade and was magically settled in the Trump Organization’s favor after he became president.

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When in the Course of Human Events…

My mother is single-handedly trying to reintroduce the two-dollar bill into circulation.[1] I find this to be an admirable goal and do my part to aid this mission as well.  Most people have stopped using cash (unfortunately I usually don’t have any on me), but now that you can hardly find anything for less than a dollar it seems that the two-dollar bill would have increased in popularity.  Many people I encounter in retail settings, however, seem not to realize that the two-dollar bill is in fact still legal tender in this country.

Two_Dollar_BillNow, I admittedly hesitate to use two-dollar bills in vending machines and automatic checkouts, because… well, because I don’t trust machines of any sort, but also because the two-dollar bill is often omitted from lists of bill denominations that are accepted.  Cashiers almost always give me very odd looks when I hand over my two-dollar bills, and I inevitably have to have a conversation with them about the two-dollar bill.  Which I don’t mind; especially when the conversation proceeds to a discussion of Thomas Jefferson.[2] But I don’t even bother using two-dollar bills when the cashier is my age or younger.  You remember the story that circulated the internet a few years back about the guy who tried to buy a seven-layer burrito from Taco Bell with a $2 bill and the manager did not think it was real.  Whether or not this story was exaggerated does not remove the fact that it seems entirely plausible.

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