When Donald Trump was elected President, I cried. Not a "millennial" cry, the one that the media and even some of my peers mock claiming it is for attention, but a deep, soulful cry to myself.
It struck me so very harshly because I realized I had a deep disconnect with the rest of world--nay, United States, and a complete misunderstanding of the way things work.
You see, it was people that I did think that I knew that made it possible for Trump to win. It was people that encouraged me to go to school and get an education and to travel while I was young. And yet, it was because of my education and travel that made it blatantly clear that choosing Donald Trump to become our President would be a horrible thing.
But it was a decision that I would have made after my first year of University before learning anything more. If we think about how we perceive the government and how the media portrays the government to us, the government is a mere business and all that matters is a bottom line (as though all businesses are that cold and calculating anyhow!?!). If you have that perception of the government, which is a very easy perception to have, and you don't understand that the truly remarkable "businesses" aren't run by mere bottom lines and numbers, then of course you would choose Donald Trump to be your president. Because a business needs a businessman.
So I would like to move forward in this topic exploring two different topics, the first is what is the government actually intended to be? Is it simply a business with checks and balances? And the second way would be to just blindly accept that the government should just be a business and take a look at how the best businesses operate. What makes the best businesses best?
Why was government created? Interestingly enough, John Locke, a famous English philosopher and author of a book called Two Treatises of Civil Government (1690) wrote that the main purpose of government should be to protect the people's natural rights. Of course, it has been disputed as to what people's natural rights are, and we all have an opinion. Though the primary reason for government and law and military is simply to protect people's rights. This is a wildly agreed upon reason for government.
It is all inclusive. It does not actually say people of that country's rights or people who think in a certain manner, their rights. It is all people's rights as humans. Government should take into consideration ALL PEOPLE'S natural born rights when ruling.
So thinking again like the government is a business, you give a business money in order to exchange a service. From what you give from your paycheck, do you believe you are getting a good deal? That is, do you believe that what you are giving your money for is going to enough things that you support and you see the fruition of your dollar?
Going on a limb here, I think that most people think that they are paying plenty in taxes for the outcomes they see. So thus, why would the government be in debt if the citizens are paying an ample amount for the services that are being provided? Greed. Any fellow business students will surely be familiar with the "Greed is Good" speech by Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street (1987). So if greed is good and is marking the upward surge of businesses, government, and mankind, why isn't it working? Why are we always being told about how great the fiscal debt of the United States is?
I can't comment on the greed of our leaders, but greed is working against us as we continue to consume more and waste more needing to further exploit other countries of their natural resources and start wars. Greed is working against as we continue to openly live in such luxury at the sacrifice of others.
But greed could work for us. We just need to refocus what we should be greedy on. Be greedy on the need for education. Be greedy on the need for preservation and conservation of the environment. Be greedy when it comes to the natural rights of you and other HUMAN beings (and animals too :)). But we have seriously got to stop with the rampage and obsession of the last decades where we buy new things just because we want something new. Or we buy new things because we always buy cheap things and they don't last. Where we leave the water running or the lights on because we have no real connection to the sacrifice that these luxuries cost and what gifts they truly are.
Electing a greedy businessman in role that is well suited for an altruistic protector is a recipe for disaster. But without taking apart government as more than just a business, you would choose a businessman.
One major thing that I learned when I studied business in college was that the businesses that were consistently ranked in Forbes Best Businesses were ones that put people as their focus. They were businesses that cared for their employees well and truly did business right. Guess who's businesses are not in Forbes Best Businesses? ermmm....
There are many things to come from this presidential term, but the greatest thing that I have seen yet is people taking action upon themselves and not relying so much on the government. Because while the government was intended to protect our rights, it was not intended to do a lot of things that we expect it to do... Like providing love and care to the elderly, sick, and persecuted. We are all being called upon to do that in our own sectors of the world.
So give wherever you go, even if just a smile... You may be the one to spark a connection in someone that was feeling disconnected from society. And those are the people who are most vulnerable to the things you fear most. Love and be loved.
That night that I cried, I cried because I truly believed that above all things people would choose a person who would care for the rights of all people and not just look at bottom lines. And because Donald Trump made it clear that that was the last thing he was about, I did not believe it could be possible. So like a little girl who learns that grown ups lie, I cried. I cried, but like the little girl, I have not lost hope... And that is the real bottom line.