Where there's smoke, there's insanity

“The Art of (Breaking) The Deal”

Instead of putting deals together, Trump finds it much easier to break them apart

One thing has certainly become clear since Donald J. Trump assumed the office of the presidency: the man’s word means nothing. He’s already broken many of his own, personal campaign promises and in-office commitments, but it’s other peoples deals he enjoys blowing up the most. I mean, let’s be honest: if all you care about is the projection of looking like you’re doing things but you don’t actually care about getting anything done, it’s certainly easier to break apart an existing deal than to put a new one together. Even for “the maestro” himself.


Cue Tony Schwartz, the author who ghostwrote Trump’s seminal 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” which combined with The Apprentice, did more to build Trump’s support than anything else. Mr. Schwartz has said that he wrote the book himself, with no help from Trump (a claim Trump denies).

“Trump feels no more shame over his most destructive behaviours than a male lion does killing the cubs of his predecessor when he takes over a pride.”

Tony Schwartz (2018, The Guardian)

Trump’s broken deals

During his campaign, candidate Trump exclaimed, “We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” Unfortunately, reality has not come to bear that fruit. In fact, even with 100% control of the government, Republicans were only able to put one “deal” together: their tax giveaway for the wealthy. They couldn’t even rid American citizens of that pesky health care they so dearly want and need, a pledge that became the proverbial platform of the party and was reiterated many times over by most of its Congressional members.

Instead of putting deals together, Trump finds it easier to break them apart. Especially the hard-fought wins of his predecessors. Shall we review a few? Remember, these are just as of 2017…

  • JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action); “the Iran deal”
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
  • The Paris Climate Accord
  • NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
  • TPP (The Trans-Pacific Partnership)
  • NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) obligations
  • USRAP (United States Refugee Admissions Program)
  • ACA (Affordable Care Act), which Trump officials are arguing to dispel
  • Attempting to end the Medical Deferred Action program, so immigrants could be deported to home countries where medicine to keep them alive doesn’t exist or isn’t available

Deals Trump BLEW UP after agreeing

  • Refusal to implement 2017’s “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” a very rare bi-partisan, near-unanimous (416 to 3) Congressional mandate to sanction Russia for 2016 election interference
  • Refusal to issue the $391M approved by Congress’s “Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative” in 2019, to help them protect against Invading Russia
  • Refusal to follow a court order to end the border’s child separation policy
  • Abandonment of our hard-won Kurdish allies in Syria, who helped us beat down ISIS and lost 11,000 lives in the process (comparably, we lost 10); Turkey looks to be marching toward a veritable genocide right now…
  • Rejection of the bi-partisan immigration reform deal Trump committed to signing once Congress reached an agreement, but did not
  • Promised gun control legislation in August 2019 after 3 consecutive mass shootings rocked the nation, but reversed course after a single meeting with the NRA a few days later
  • Building a border wall Mexico would pay for instead of U.S. taxpayers

I’m sure you can think of many more…

Key take-away

The New Yorker’s interview with Mr. Schwartz is the best I’ve personally read. The best take-way I could give you for this article is the way Tony put it himself, earlier this year:

“I’d be fine if Random House simply took the book out of print. Or recategorized it as fiction.”

Tony Schwartz
By Adam Schuster
Where there's smoke, there's insanity




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