The Celebrity Apprentice Presidency

Trump cartoon images President and Businessman - Clark's Scribbles

The Celebrity Apprentice Presidency is in full swing. Sham projects are under way. Participants are being fired. In this edition of “The Apprentice,” President Trump is both The Boss and the Celebrity Apprentice President.

Trump bragged that he could theoretically run his business and the country at the same time. As the Celebrity Apprentice President, he is doing his best to convince the world that he was right. He has split his management team. Sons Donald Junior and Eric are charged with administering the family business, while daughter Ivanka and her husband Jerrod Kushner are in the White House advising him in his role as President. DJT himself remains the mercurial, autocrat in charge of everything.

It will be an amazing accomplishment if it succeeds. It is shaping up to be a colossal disaster. Running a country is not a tidy undertaking like running a Reality TV show. The presidency operates in the real world where chaos rules and losing is the norm. Every victory comes with an asterisk.

What starts out as a bright vision full of hope and promise dissolves into an ugly mess as life moves forward. Very quickly The Vision set out at the inauguration collides with reality and begins falling apart. There isn’t enough time or energy to get everything done.

Candidate Trump promised a big, beautiful wall paid for by Mexico. Mexico said no. President Trump backed down despite his vaunted negotiating skills.  He has to face realities that Candidate Trump ignored. The physical, legal and cost challenges of a 2000 mile wall will dictate whether President Trump gets a wall, a fence or nothing.

Candidate Trump promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. So far jobs seem to be leaving faster than they are coming home.

President Trump has made good on Candidate Trump’s promise to slap tariffs on Chinese exports. Now his supporters in the Midwest are concerned about Chinese retaliation.

Candidate Trump promised tax reform and a middle class tax cut. Congressional Republicans handed President Trump a victory on that one by changing the rules and ramming their tax reform plan through without debate. But the tax cut is going to rich guys like businessman Donald J. Trump. Middle class taxpayers are getting stuck with the tab.

The bright promise of January 20, 2017 has already faded. The surrender to Mexico in the battle of The Wall was the beginning of the end. Passing tax reform that was not debated, not even formalized before the vote was a failure. It was an admission that the Trump administration is incapable of leading a democracy.

President Trump announced his intention to pull out of Syria. After a chemical weapons attack, he has announced a planned retaliatory missile strike. Can he afford to go back on his word and re-engage in Syria? Can he afford to pull out after the recent atrocities?

He is pulling out of standing trade agreements which are important to the American economy. Can he fix the situation?

Every proposed solution has advantages and disadvantages. Making decisions under that kind of pressure can weigh a man down. Taking time off to play golf is a good way to reduce the strain. Candidate Trump said that he would be too busy to take vacations and play golf. President Trump has spent more time on vacation and played more golf in one year than his predecessor did in eight years.

And he is still running a business. He has stepped back from active management of the Trump Organization but he did not completely sever ties. President Trump spends about one out of every 4 days at a Trump property. He keeps his security detail with him. The Trump Organization charges American taxpayers for their room and board. Trump the businessman is profiting nicely from the Celebrity Apprentice Presidency.

When the apprentice and the boss are the same man, the boss will never say, “You’re fired.”

The President is only a figurehead when billionaire businessman Donald J. Trump is calling the shots.

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