Donald Trump might be growing a heart.
In an Associate Press interview last weekend, Trump reflected on his heart and the responsibilities of the presidency. He told the AP that his new job is very different from his previous jobs. As the president, Trump is discovering that you have to have a heart. A presidential heart requires him, “to think through the consequences his decisions have on people and not simply the financial implications for his company’s bottom line.”
According to Trump, this is new for him. He reflected that as president, “pretty much everything you do in government involves heart, whereas in business most things don’t involve heart. In fact, in business, you’re actually better off without it.”
Trump’s Heartless Business Practices
Trump’s opinion about business should come as no surprise to anyone. His business career was guided by the ugly sin of revenge. He was open about his strategy of revenge and talked about it as a virtue in business. As a keynote speaker at business conferences, he suggested that business leaders, “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that.”
As a businessman, Trump has been a Grinch. He’s lived by a heartless philosophy. He screwed a lot of people, including small business owners. And many small business owners did not screw him first. For example, small business owners helped build Trump’s Atlantic City casino, the Taj Mahal, in 1988. But Trump failed to pay his workers. Why? Not because they did a bad job, but because Trump ran out of money. He filed for bankruptcy in 1991. One small business owner spent years fighting Trump in bankruptcy court. He finally won, ending “up with just 30 cents on the dollar.”
Trump boasts about his business practices. He’s so good that during the campaign he bragged about being worth “in excess of $10 billion dollars.” He got there, as he claims, because he didn’t have a heart. Heart just gets in the way of good business. Without a heart, you can sacrifice people, which, according to Trump, is good business practice.
The truth is that Donald Trump is not a good model for business practices. I’m grateful for big and small business owners with a heart who pay their employees a fair wage.
The heartless honesty of that statement should cause grave concerns for Democrats and Republicans. His heartless business philosophy doesn’t bode well for economic and business policies he may try to legislate as president.
Sign of a Growing Heart
But, there might be hope. After all, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes in one day. Trump’s admission that as a businessman he didn’t have a heart might have also been a confession. Either way, I’m glad he realizes that he can’t be a heartless president. He’s right: his actions as president do have real consequences for real people. Unfortunately, his heartless business practices also had consequences for real people.
Do you remember how the Grinch’s heart grew? He saw the humanity of his victims. Little Cindy Lou Who opened his eyes to the pain he caused. Conversion happens when we see the humanity of our victims.
Maybe my hope is naïve, but Trump might be having a Grinch moment where his heart grows. He claims that his decision to shoot missiles in Syria came with ethical dilemmas. He had to think through the consequences. Deep down I’m cynical. But I can only hope that this time he’s telling the truth. I can only hope that his eyes are opening to the real and potential victims of his political decisions. I can only hope that he’s growing a heart.
And now I hope that the American people hold him accountable to his new heart.
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