Decades ago an older gentleman
wandered into the
foyer of a five-star hotel.
He was carrying a shopping
bag and dressed in
less than appropriate garb for such an
establishment. He asked for a room. The
front desk clerk, assuming him he was a
bum, suggested he try another hotel
down the street. The bum, however,
owned the hotel property. Looks can be
deceiving. Some of the richest
people in both Canada and
the United States are seldom
seen or heard.
They do not make anything,
build our roads or habituate
the world of graphic communications.
But they do rent
space to those who manufacture
or sell products and services.
Somewhat likened to an
iceberg, most of the wealthy
exist below the waterline of
awareness. Hundreds of millions
of square feet hardly noticed
and owned by this group
of the faceless wealthy. Then
there’s Donald Trump.
The results of the Bataan
death march referred to as the
never-ending U.S. election,
shocked a great many people.
Lots of hand wringing and
mea culpa moments ensued.
But it was too late. America
had in fact elected Trump as
its 45th President. He had
campaigned on a clever platform:
The world is falling
apart and dragging America
down with it. Too many immigrants
from the wrong countries,
unfair lopsided trading
practices that put American
industry at risk, and so on.
The plan worked and America
found itself at war – with itself.
Unlike his often silent, low-key
brethren of real estate, President
Trump enjoys the limelight. He craves
attention and respect. There also seems
to be zero commonality between himself
and the average American $24 per hour
factory worker and, as surprising as it
seems on the surface, these workers were
one of the key reasons Trump now holds
one of the most powerful positions in the
It is difficult, if not impossible, to explain
what drives Trump, and even harder
to support his many rigid viewpoints,
except to say that some of it has to do with
his involvement in the construction industry
in New York City. Sitting across
from mid-level bureaucrats that have the
ultimate power over what can or cannot
be built plays a role in his aggressive behaviour.
Having his own name attached
to properties belays a need to protect it.
One assumes Trump blows himself a kiss
each morning when he shaves.
It can be said that Trump’s business
views have changed very little since he
pushed himself into the limelight of the
highest office in the land. The books he is
said to have written are nothing more
than grandstanding and one fears Trump
himself believes every word of it. “I alone
can fix it” summarizes extreme narcissism
and bills him as a neo-fascist.
Trump sees government agencies as
wasteful and incompetent – getting in the
way of free enterprise. He did build his
own brand, however, and brought up his
children to business leaders in their own
right, and all the while being mostly
alienated from the aristocrats and oldmoney
movers and shakers. Few wanted
anything to do with a brash newbie with
such radical views of society. This is why
his campaign was so amazing. Trump
created a crisis and drew lower- to middle-
class white males and small business
owners into his web.
Recent gaffs such as the ban on seven
(later reduced to just six) select Muslim-majority countries from
entering the United States plays to the
right-wing hardliners who are also among
his strongest supporters. Trump’s position
is nothing more than a red herring
and he knows it. There are many faiths
within Islam. Ismailis for one are an excellent
example of why Obama’s separation
of extremists and terrorism is so
important. One needs only to recall the
bloodbath in Northern Ireland, between
Catholics and Protestant, to know that
wars are primarily caused by two factors
– economics and religion. Man’s character
cannot be justified by religion: we are all
capable of doing bad things. God has
been just a good excuse for war.
If we elect people solely on character,
legislatures would be virtually empty. But
President Trump with all his obvious flaws
has one attribute that may pan out especially
for manufacturers. I’ve spoken to
quite a few American printers – from all
regions. The majority suggest the same
thing. They support Trump because he
will disrupt the status quo of government
and be a pro-business President. You cannot
argue with that even though some realities
of bringing manufacturing back to
America may mean they will be buying
$10,000 refrigerators and paying much
higher costs for labour-intensive products.