Government isn’t like a business, Mr. President

It’s become a throwaway line for politicians to toss around.

“I’m going to run this government like a business,” they tell us. Many folks buy into it. “That’s my guy!” they say. “He’s going to turn things around because that’s what he’s done before … in business.”

Donald J. Trump might be learning the hard way that the presidency of the United States is far more complicated than any business he’s ever run.

Politico is reporting that many of the new president’s aides and allies have become perplexed at Trump’s frustration with the pace of change he promised when he took office.

As Politico reports: “The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation. Yet it has become apparent, say those close to the president, most of whom requested anonymity to describe the inner workings of the White House, that the transition from overseeing a family business to running the country has been tough on him.”

Trump seeks simple answers to complex questions. That’s been the view of those interviewed by Politico. The president’s inability to find those simple answers has frustrated him early in his term.

My sense is that Trump needs to buck up and get ready to understand the complexities of the job he sought — and then won!

He talked tough during the campaign. He “told it like it is,” in the words of those who voted for him. He bragged about doing for the country what he did for his business empire; he didn’t mention, of course, the many failures his business interests have produced.

The point, though, is that the massive federal government is a complex machine. It’s a labyrinth of agencies — some of which compete against each other. The president is the chief executive of the government, but he cannot run it like a CEO.

He must be a team player. He must learn to cajole, not coerce.

Will this president learn the lesson? Can he overcome the obstacles he didn’t see laying before him? Can this man actually learn to govern and run a government with which he had zero prior contact?

Believe it or not, I hope he succeeds.

I just am doubting he can rid himself of the temptation to “run the government like a business.”

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