Mr. Trump is a “Leader”!
The COVID-19’s rampage through US cities is being used as evidence that Mr. Trump lacks leadership. That’s a false claim. Mr. Trump is a “leader.” Every leader is a direction-setter. Mr. Trump excels in direction-setting. The only problem is that no one is seeing the direction set by Mr. Trump, or perhaps sees it, but cannot believe it.
In my July 2018 blog “Destroyer or Not—Making Sense of Mr. Trump” and then in my February 2019 blog “Trump obeying his master” I wrote about the foundational view of Mr. Trump’s leadership using the material from my book The Sucker Punch of Sharing. Every society comes into existence from “shared capabilities” that produce goods and services for the needs of all. And the “shared capabilities” come into existence within a legal network, a structure of societal agreements. Today, most humans lack the foundational understanding as to why humans design their societies as capability sharing structures embedded in a legal framework.
Thousands of years ago, when there was almost a total absence of societal agreements, everyone acted and settled differences based on “brute force.” Each carried a spear, sword, or club to amplify one’s brute force when dealing with others. Soon everyone learned that if they go at each other with brute force, not only brute force harms, but most important, no one gets involved in sharing their capabilities to produce goods and services for the needs of others. So, for thousands of years humans have sought ways of keeping themselves out of the brute force domain so they can share their capabilities in order to produce goods and services for one another. The prime purpose of the legal network is to distance the human individual from the destructive brute force. Only then everyone will focus on producing and distributing goods and services, and not on fighting one another using brute force.
And this is where Mr. Trump and his mode of leadership enter the scene. At first glance it may seem odd, but his leadership style is purposefully set to direct the US toward destruction. We can talk about the reasons for why he is doing so, but for now I will focus on what he is doing as a leader.
Considering that every society is built on laws that keep everyone away from brute force, the first step to destroy a society is to undermine its laws, sabotage its legal network. When the legal network is deemed dysfunctional, the society has to manage itself using higher levels of “brute force” and that is the death knell for the societal sharing system that produces goods and services for all. In short, the first step in Mr. Trump’s leadership is to expose everyone to greater levels of brute force. He does that most visibly by pitting one segment of the society against another. He never leads the whole nation. He is always clear on leading just one segment and going against the other.
That brings us to the second step in order to destroy a society. The second step is to undermine the mechanism—the institutions—that manage the laws. A society giving up on mechanism of managing the laws is agreeing to tear itself apart. Thus, undermining and sapping the foundations of the Department of Justice, FBI, the intelligence agencies, and others is purposeful leadership to destroy the society by ruining its foundation.
Finally, to destroy a society, the third step is to ensure that the people do not pay attention to history. History tells the story of how societies have fared in the past. When people stop learning from history, in ignorance, they repeat and fall into the path of destruction that has been laid out in the historical accounts. The historical knowledge tells us that every society gets controlled through the person placed at the top. For decades the United States has used this knowledge to control other countries in Middle East, South America, and other places. Yet, ignorant of that history, the people of the United States have never considered the possibility that what the US has done so regularly to others might be reversed and done to the US. The American masses have failed to see the possibility that Mr. Trump might be another country’s plant. Any information on that possibility gets dismissed as false or partisan news. The people cannot see that Mr. Trump’s leadership is not intended to serve the United States but to suit the purpose of the country that has planted him in the top position in the US. And Mr. Trump is aided by a few other plants at lower but critical positions. At present, the leaders of the Justice and State departments act as plants of another country, responding only to Mr. Trump’s destructive leadership.
When armed with foundational knowledge, it is easy to see the direction that has been set by Mr. Trump’s leadership. He suspends nuclear arms control treaty, expanding the possibilities for application of brute force. Russia informs that it would not use nuclear weapons in Europe, unless the US does, and Mr. Trump leaves the door open for the use of the US nuclear weapons in Europe. The specter of brute force grows globally. On top of that, Mr. Trump repeatedly calls into question every system of international cooperation, and threatens to leave or actually leaves those mechanisms of managing the global affairs of human societies.
COVID-19 is the latest case in Mr. Trump’s leadership. To lead the US toward destruction, he uses COVID-19 to exacerbate the break between the society’s main segments, at the same time that he ensures there is no central coordination to address COVID-19. He leads to create chaos that invites brute force. And force-based chaos is the destroyer than builder in any society.
In all this, what is most alarming is not Mr. Trump’s leadership. The most alarming is the people of the United States not seeing it. But that seems to be an inherent human trait. Whether it is Shah of Iran, Stalin of Russia, Hitler of Germany, or Trump of the United States, people notice it only after the dust of destruction has settled. So far, historically, there has not been any exception to this pattern. We’ll have to wait until the dust settles so we can see the ruins.