It’s an unusual event, having a non-politician as the presidential candidate for one of American’s two main political parties in the election this year. Donald Trump has never held office. He’s from a wealthy family, he started his business career with a loan from his father, and he has had his financial ups and downs over the years, to include 4 instances of filing for bankruptcy. But in his first run for office, he’s swinging for the fence – with some backing from the Republican party, he’s running for President of the United States.
- Veterans Affairs Reform – Take care of Veterans, make the VA do its job. Answer complaints from Veterans with a hotline. Spend a lot of money, because he’ll ensure every veteran has the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider of their own choice.
- Trade – Make betters deals, enforce the ones we have, renegotiate NAFTA, be… um… tough on China or something.
- Tax Plan – Reduce all taxes, close loopholes – although last I heard, taxes were legislation.
- Regulations – It sounds like, on the one hand, he’s about law and order, but here, he’s about getting rid of rules & regulations. He’s really vague here.
- Defense – Spend and grow. And, uh, “pay for this necessary rebuilding of our national defense by conducting a full audit of the Pentagon, eliminating incorrect payments, reducing duplicative bureaucracy, collecting unpaid taxes, and ending unwanted and unauthorized federal programs.”
- Immigration – Mexico pays for the wall. Biometrics. “Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.”
- Health Care – Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). That’s pretty much all of it.
- Foreign Policy and Defeating ISIS – Peace through a huge American military, but make the Arabs defeat ISIS. Defeat the ideology of radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War (insane amounts of spending). Establish new screening procedures and enforce our immigration laws to keep terrorists out of the United States (every one of the 9/11 terrorists was in the US legally, I should throw in here – no laws were broken). He thinks NATO is going to fight ISIS, and he talks about the 2% contribution requirement. Oh, and Hillary Clinton also refuses to say the words “radical Islam,” even as she pushes for a massive increase in refugees.
- Energy – An energy independent US, with clean water and air. Open up untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves.
- Education – Charter schools, of course. Duh. And throw a LOT of federal funding at it. $20 billion in federal funding, and force states to kick in $110 billion more (somehow). Something about college costs less or something.
- Constitution & 2nd Amendment – Stack the Supreme Court. Fix our broken mental health system.
- Child Care – Change tax code, dependent care savings, tax credits, 6 weeks paid leave…
- Economy – “Create jobs,” “reform policies,” and “boost growth.”
All of these are pretty awesome.
But here’s my thought. As soon as he committed to run for President, and as soon as he adopted these policies as his own, which of these did he adopt and implement?
He is, after all, a wildly successful businessman who asserts that he is worth billions. With the companies and business that he directly controls and indirectly influences, and the tens of thousands of lives he influences on a daily basis, he has the ability to bring these policies to life in a very real way, immediately.
Take for example his policy regarding care for Veterans. How hard would it be for Trump to establish, within his own companies, such a hotline for his own Veteran employees, to ensure that they are getting the best care that they need? How hard would it be to hire a Trump VA liaison, to serve as a dedicated interface for his Veteran employees – starting on the day that he adopted this as a policy of his Presidential race – to support them in the exact manner he intends to support all Veterans once elected President? Can he or does he give his Veteran employees the same option to see a private service provider of their own choice?
Did Trump and all of the Trump industries take steps to immediately “turn off the jobs and benefits magnet” that are drawing immigrants to American to work for Trump or his subsidiaries? He would have that ability to do that, himself, as soon as he adopted this policy.
But what about the simpler ones? Did he choose to give all new mothers six weeks of paid leave? Did he take active steps to fix the broken mental health system for his own employees? Did he adjust the pay of his employees so that they could afford to send their children to the charter schools that he personally advocates as part of his presidential policy for 2016?
If the answer is that these are all things that he’s going to implement after he becomes President, I’ll ask why. These are all things that, as a successful businessman, he controlls and could implement as soon as he had made them his policy. If he believes in them and holds them as his own values and as important for American, do it. That’s leadership.