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Russiagate Reality Check

Donald Trump is bragging that the Mueller report did not prove he colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

For most of us, when we rate how we’re doing in our jobs, we don’t say, “Nobody can prove I committed a crime!” or even, “I didn’t commit a crime!” and then pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

At this point, we’ve seen the Trump White House in action for over two years. Several investigative books and articles corroborate the chaos and disorder within it.

Let me say for a moment, to the people who are angry at the state of the country, who feel left behind and disrespected by the media, government officials, academics, and other elites, your feelings are valid. Your desire to be treated with respect and dignity, to have your concerns taken seriously, and to have a government that makes policy to help you and your family live safe, happy, and productive lives is valid.

However, even if Trump gives a voice to your anger, he doesn’t appear to do much more than that in terms of solving your problems, or America’s problems.

Trump appears to run his administration like he ran his businesses — and in this case, that’s not a good thing. When people advocate running government like a business, I understand them to mean that the government should be more efficient. However, there are some key differences between government and business — and even more between government and Trump’s businesses.

A business is accountable to its shareholders. The government is supposed to be accountable to the American people. A business’s obligation to shareholders is mostly financial. The government’s obligation to the American people is far more.

A leader in government should be a public servant, called to serve the people and improve the nation. A business leader can just be someone who wants to get rich for themself.

I don’t want a leader who runs the country like a business. I want them to run the country like a country.

Trump’s business is even more different. He was born into wealth, connections, and property, so he didn’t have to earn his way to the top with experience, education, and skill the way other CEOs do. When Trump made bad financial decisions and found himself in a scrape, his father bailed him out.

What’s more, Trump and his father used corrupt practices and racial discrimination to build their real estate empire.

Trump appears to use his business and the presidency to bring wealth, glamour, and attention to himself. If he’s doing so without producing evidence of the specific crime of collusion with a foreign power, that doesn’t mean he’s doing a good job for the rest of us.

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