Not Business, Mr. President, but War
President Trump, if he has not figured it out yet, needs to grasp that those who oppose him cannot be won over with negotiation and are not interested in finding the sort of "win-win" solutions Trump was accustomed to finding in the business community. His enemies on the left are warlords whose whole reason for living is to channel wretched levies into battle against imagined enemies.
Not only are these leftist warlords indifferent to policies that would improve the lot of these levies, but because their power rests entirely on the misery and anger of their embittered masses of followers, these warlords would actively oppose anything that lifts people into prosperity and hope.
So the left has long opposed sensible reforms to raise inner-city blacks to become productive and functioning members of society, because their only purpose to these leftist moguls is political: votes and deranged agitators. So leftists have long opposed thoughtful environmental regulation that balances economic and environmental concerns, because destroying the economy and artificially creating poverty are part of their goal.
Negotiation never works with enemies whose purpose in life is totalitarian control and crushing utterly all opposition. Winning this war requires a complete shift in thinking for a president who has built his career in the business world, where finding common ground and reaching mutually beneficial compromises are the order of the day.
The left, in this regard, is even worse – indeed, much worse – than the Mafia. Don Corleone, after all, was willing to divide territory with the other families, and his principal purpose was to make money. The Mob sought to move into "legitimate businesses" and disliked moves that were "bad for business." It was anything but totalitarian, even if it was also immoral and vicious.
The left, in contrast, is utterly totalitarian. Everyone with any position in the left must be pro-abortion, anti-global warming, pro-federalized education, anti-gun, pro-Islamist, anti-men, etc. It does not matter that the catechism of leftists has no consistency. The Inner Party in 1984 had no consistency, either.
What this means is that President Trump needs to come up with a battle plan rather than a business plan, and that battle plan needs to be the complete political and social defeat of leftism. Practically every good thing he wants for America will follow inexorably after that victory, and practically every good thing he wins without victory over leftism will be dismantled and discredited by the relentlessness of totalitarian leftism as it works day and night, year after year, for the defeat of rational and benevolent policies that end the need for leftism.
There is an analogous situation with radical Islam, which cannot be bribed and cannot be bought. Its goal is quite simply our destruction or our subjugation at whatever cost, not only in our blood, but in the blood of the "martyr" murderers of radical Islam itself. Our foe has declared a fight until one side has total victory like the total victory over Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany, and no negotiation or deals or understandings will work.
It is vital for President Trump to understand that our relationships with China and Russia, which are essentially rational, if not benign, actors are fundamentally different from our relationship with radical Islam. We can reach deals with nations that are not particularly good but seek the best deal they can get with us. We cannot reach deals with nations or movements that seek not good deals, but just our death or enslavement.
What all this means is that President Trump needs people around him who are utterly committed to total victory over leftism and its Siamese twin, radical Islam. Although victory over the former must be by nonviolent means and the other by any means, the goal of non-negotiable and total victory for both must be the same.
President Trump might want to consider one of the most famous political speeches of the twentieth century, in which Winston Church declared when things looked worst: "You ask what is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory – victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." Amen.