Imagine a man that viewed the whole world through the lenses of an ancient trader, a mercantilist, a buyer and seller? Imagine that this man saw everything as a commodity, and therefore up for purchase, albeit at the right price? Imagine that to this man, the whole world of a giant “Souk” (bazaar in Arabic), and that everything and everyone was part of this market. Now imagine further that he lived his whole life guided by the principles and morality of what we know today as Neoliberalism, the notion that the markets are free, fair and the ultimate arbiter of all human transactions, whether tangible of intangible? Welcome to the world’s first avowedly committed and at once, evangelical “transactionalist,” the 45th President of the United States of America, a sworn proponent of extractive, heterotopian, patrimonial, megalomaniacal, toxic neocapitalism?
From the moment of Trumps inauguration of 20th January 2017, he started suggesting in the days and weeks that followed that so many global leaders are “leaders for life” and if the American people were okay with it, he would step up to the plate. Like a well-schooled huckster, he was “feeling out” his audience and employing a Sun Tzu tactic of getting the people to suggest what they want, and then leading from behind. A remarkably clever way of manipulating an exhausted American population, sick of the corporatization of both the Republicans and the Democrats, and tired of seeing no good future for their children. Seventy years of lies, propaganda, a dishonest media and generational dirty politics has left the people of America with a “political migraine” that won’t go away, and with no easy remedy available.
Trump, unlike any other president of the United States doesn’t have a background of social, community or political work or even affiliations with any form of politics pre his hare-brained scheme of wanting to become President of the most powerful country in the world, and declare himself the de facto “King of the Globe,” a grandiose ambition to be sure, but he reasons that if he was successful in business, it follows that that being the ultimate measure of success along the human curve of development, therefore being a successful president is a cinch? After all, all that is required are superior negotiating skills, crowd appeal and a bedside manner?
In spite of the political pundits mainstream thinking, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this way of thinking, much like the new President of Pakistan, Imran Khan, a former cricketer sees his success in the sport as a valuable stepping stone to being a successful ruler of the country. Thus in Trumps mind, everything is up for negotiations and everything including the law, and more specifically, the constitution of the United States is seen by him as fair game? Why should politics, he reasons, be any different? Surely the skills sets are similar? It is from this position that Trump views the world.
He operates from the premise that nothing is fixed or cast in stone, therefore everything is open to a spot of “wheeling and dealing?” again, from a sociological perspective, Trump is spot on, Game Theory teaches us that all human interactions are made up of transactions, and this extends to all the areas of human development since we left the caves not so long ago? Trump is a man that has defined his whole life by one simple rule; everything has a price, given the right negotiations. Thus Trump is the very best example of a white American who is successful in acquiring the “American Dream” through hard work, enterprise, shrewdness, leveraging his “white privilege” and turning all of life into one big transaction? Isn’t that what the American Dream is, an exchange of skills for money and power, or have I misunderstood the concept?