Why holding the G-7 at Trump’s Doral property is good for the United States

Even people and publications favorable to President Trump are urging him to cancel plans to host the June 2020 G-7 Summit at the Trump National Golf Course resort near Miami. For example, the New York Post writes:

When you become leader of the Free World, there are some things you have to give up, including any hint of promoting your own properties.

It’s not the obscure issue of “emoluments,” nor the folks who (as Mulvaney put it) “will never get over the fact that it’s a Trump property” that you have to think about, sir.

It’s that voters expect and deserve clear signs that their president is working for them — not promoting himself.

Trump National Doral Gold Course and Resort (Photo credit: Andreas Sandberg)

But it’s not just Trump who would be “giving up” something, it is the people of the United States. You see, hosting the leaders of the other six largest advanced economies of the world at a property personally owned by Trump inevitably impresses them with his personal capabilities, guts, and strength. They know perfectly well that he didn’t acquire this site by political power, the way, for instance, President Putin acquired his wealth. They know that this is a man who acquired huge impressive wealth the old-fashioned way: he earned it. And he earned it in a field that is highly competitive and risky, real estate development.

The rulers of the great powers of the world have always understood that constructing awe-inspiring facilities… inspires awe (and compliance) in their visitors, softening them up to concede to the wishes of their host. That is why Beijing’s Forbidden City, the inner quarters of the emperors and their Mandarin administrators, was built on a vast scale. Visiting monarchs from what the Chinese called “tributary states” got the message that they were a large order of magnitude less important than their host, and that they had better behave accordingly.

When I visited the Vatican years ago and waited in line with all the other tourists to see the gardens and art collection there, I could not escape the thought that the old ruling monarchs of the thrones of Europe must have gotten the message that their realms were lesser than the glory of the realm commanded by the Church Eternal.

Why should the chief executive of the United States give up a clear-cut source of leverage on his peers-who-are-not-really-on-the-same-level by forsaking the advantage his personal opulence endows him with? Why should we be deprived of that advantage for our interests? I disagree with the Post's position.Cancelling now would only strengthen the case that Trump-haters have a legitimate concern.

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