The Management Test

This article was written well ahead of scheduled publishing in order to accommodate my travel plans.

My degree is in management so I thought I’d contrast the recent Democrats and Republicans on their management ability. Spoiler alert: It isn’t even close!

Donald Trump, who falsely but convincingly ran as a successful businessman, ended up being a terrible manager. His only major test, was the COVID-19 outbreak. Much like grading on the curve, I’ll judge him by his performance compared to his peers. The United States has a bit under 5 percent of the global population yet it experienced over 20% of the world’s reported fatalities. Seeing as how the president’s number one job is to keep his people safe I’d say Trump failed miserably. That is without even considering that America is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and has one of its best pharmaceutical research industries.

Besides reopening a largely shuttered by Trump’s incompetence America and revitalizing its economy, Joe Biden has been confronted by arguably two threats to democracy in Ukraine and Israel. In Ukraine, which has become a proxy war, he has led a large international response that has, at minimum, allowed Ukraine to hang on. In Israel he orchestrated a five country (France, Germany, Italy and the UK) response unequivocally stating that they stand with Israeli democracy against terrorism. Already we see the Trump-led Republicans trying to weaken the Ukraine alliance.

Right wingers like to talk about running the government like your household or a business. I lack the time and space to illustrate how misguided that is but let’s temporarily accept it for the purpose of judging the two parties.

One of the basic functions of a business is to keep the doors open. Under a Republican House we have narrowly averted an unnecessary debt default, a government shutdown, as of this writing have been over without a Speaker of the House for over two weeks and almost undoubtedly will be staring down another possible shutdown in November. Granted the Republicans have a narrow majority if the lower chamber, but consider that Democrat Nancy Pelosi had the same small majority yet managed to run a tight ship. The main differences were leadership (Pelosi was a superstar!) and a body interested in governing.

An oversimplification of the federal government is an insurance company with an army. Under Republican chaos disaster relief aid is in doubt and the military is hamstrung in pursuit of some radical right-wing single-issue voters (abortion). If a business manager pursued a few customers at the alienation of the majority he or she would get fired.

Going down to the state level we see problems mainly of incorrect and misguided priorities. While Republicans let polluters have a holiday, they are busy banning books and chasing drag queens. When they are not doing those things, they are gerrymandering themselves into political safety and making it more difficult to vote.

Like most Americans, I want my country to be an international leader defending democracy not catering to a select few investors and providing them a return on investment by loosening and/or not enforcing safety and environmental regulations along with selective tax loopholes that only benefit the fortunate (and deep pocketed) few which are the only things that unite today’s GOP.

I could go on but why? Republicans fail the basic tests of management. If you can’t keep the lights on and the ship sailing smoothly you are simply unable to manage in a representative democracy.

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