President Trump is undeniably a successful business man. He knows how to negotiate and how to use the law for the benefit of his bottom line. Those can be great assets to our government, which is one of the main reasons he was a popular candidate. People wanted a change in how our government was run and I don’t blame them.
But as I consider what it means to run the country like a business, I can’t figure out how people get cared for. Businesses are about the bottom line; they are a series of economic transactions without regard to the people involved. There certainly are caring businesses out there, but for the most part, if there is a conflict between people or bottom line, the money wins. That’s why churches and non-profits really struggle. They are for people, yet they still have to remain solvent and operate in an economic reality. It can get messy.
A nation does indeed have to operate in economic realities, but it is for the people. If we have all the surplus, power, and prestige in the world, but that’s not what anyone wants, then no one wins.
The American people need representatives who actually represent them. They need leadership who think about other aspects of the people’s protection than simply being the toughest kid in the classroom. They need to be heard rather than spoken for.
Instead, it seems like America is pointing daggers at other nations, both hostile nations and allies alike. We are put on guard as we are unsure whether the qualities that make us different will be the next ones that Trump decides are threatening to America. We are watching our checks and balances (that are there to protect us) be challenged from the top down.
Maybe President Trump’s power plays will yield the results of power and prosperity that he desires, but if our nation loses its allies, its civil rights, its welcoming culture, and its democratic foundation, then it dismantles the very heart of our nation. If not a nation of democracy, of being for the people, then are we no better than a prosperous autocracy.
I do, however, find solace in the hope that if the government will not initiate a culture of being for the people, then maybe this is the great opportunity for the church to really step up and care for individuals and advocate for people groups.
Business strategies are great to use in government when they benefit the people, but not as the overarching philosophy. America is not a business; it’s a people.