NYC Trump protest Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How to Be a Misleader

Under President Donald Trump, the United States seems to find itself confronting an extraordinarily ego-driven administration. In fact, it’s worse: in his first month in office, Trump appears to be consolidating governance by id.

LONDON – Under President Donald Trump, the United States seems to find itself confronting an extraordinarily ego-driven administration. In fact, it’s worse: in his first month in office, Trump appears to be consolidating a type of governance by id.

The chaos now prevailing on the US political scene reflects this. Policies are based on “alternative facts” and Trump’s own mythology as a straight-talking billionaire business mogul (though his back story is riddled with holes). Ignorance of the law has become an excuse to flout it, and to engage in ethically dubious behavior, such as inviting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his Mar-a-Lago resort, or attacking the department store Nordstrom for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line. (Trump re-tweeted his attack on the company from the official @POTUS account, and his adviser Kellyanne Conway then plugged Ivanka’s line on national television.)

Not surprisingly, businesses, which tend to be governed by superego, are actively preparing strategies for managing a presidential tweet barrage. After all, Nordstrom wasn’t Trump’s first target (though it was the first whose shares actually closed higher that day). In fact, many companies are being forced to make firm and public choices about where they stand in relation to Trump, his seemingly endless stream of controversial executive orders, and the politicians who ultimately back him. This is nowhere near business as usual.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/gdZTEzP;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.