As a management consultant, I use the “Law of Opposites” to help me determine how a company can grow its business in the marketplace, or solve a problem inside its business. Companies only start to grow and solve acute problems once a powerful counterforce aggressively starts to press up against them. Until that happens, stasis (status quo) slowly sets in and eventually the company’s infrastructure deteriorates in more ways than it can reasonably control. At that point, the end is near. Best the assets be sold off to someone who is better equipped to manage them.
In today’s national political landscape this law can be seen very clearly with our newly elected president:
Donald Trump is the opposing force pressing hard up against a stale, moribund Washington D. C. environment. Trump represents a genuine alternative force to what we have been complaining about for years – a dangerously unpopular and depressingly corrupt congress, which has been unwilling to address America’s shrinking middle class; a timid judicial system whose decision not to aggressively pursue Wall Street financiers whose fiduciary behavior was so weak that it was the direct cause of the worst economic crash since the Great Depression; a political party whose traditional working class supporters failed to support their presidential candidate against an untrained, audacious on again, off again repeat bankrupted real estate developer from New York.
Nearly every time I hear Donald Trump speak, I get a tight knot in my stomach, especially when he attacks the federal bureaucracy that supports our government. This would include our intelligence agencies, and our state department. Ironically, Intellectually, if not emotionally, I understand why Trump has challenged these departments. For example, the behavior of the director of the FBI, Jim Comey, leading up to the 2016 presidential election was repugnant. Obama should have fired him, and I’m glad Trump did. This bureaucrat directly interfered with the most democratic process of all: the election of the president of the United States of America. Of all the pathological ironies I’ve witnessed in my life, the director of the FBI accused the Russians of meddling in our election, when in fact no entity interfered more than the director himself.
Trump is the only authentic force bold enough to press up against a federal bureaucracy and national political system that needs to be excoriated. Even though different construction projects have bellied up on Trump’s construction company, he has rallied back to come out ahead. He worked for decades in the most criminally laden industry in the country – New York City construction. He’s dealt with companies and unions riddled with mafia operatives. The names and activities that continue to come up in association with Trump are Roy Cohen, Anthony Salerno, and Sam Giancana, all powerful New York mafia figures, who were involved in cement contracts in the development of Trump properties.
All this goes to say that Trump isn’t going to be scared off by Washington investigative agencies. Donald Trump is a tough, mean, resilient, probably crooked, s.o.b. He’s not going to be cowed by military generals, CEOs of large companies, governors, senators, etc.
That’s not to say Trump isn’t an acute neurotic – he is. That’s not to say Trump isn’t putting the world on edge with his absurdly obtuse tweets and bellicose campaign rhetoric – he is. I’m just saying, he is a very powerful hobnailed jack booting alternative force pressing up against America’s federal system that has grown corrupt. I use corrupt in the classical sense, meaning: self serving and satisfied with the status quo; blotted and lazy living off of hard working tax payers; primed to accepting laundered campaign contributions; intellectually vapid in using central party prepared daily talking points in explaining and answering questions posed to them by the media; and displaying absurdly scandalous hypocrisy ( e. g. Ex-Senator Gordon Smith voting for war in Iraq so that proselyting missionaries from his church could possibly enter that country to secure new converts – where does one start with that one?)
Make no mistake about it, Trump stands on firm ground as he goes about “draining the the swamp” that is Washington DC. It’s not that Trump is a paragon of morality. He isn’t. But, he is powerful. He’s not the least bit intimated by the power of others, because his has been gained working in the toughest neighborhood in the world – Manhattan.
Trump will have his way. Nevertheless, the time will come, if the great philosophers Georg Hegel and Simon Critchley are correct, that from the swamp a new creature emerges, who is equally powerful as Trump, who is willing to fight the fight. From that point on, the fight will turn into a great tragedy, for what will emerge may not become a pristine landscape, only a different one. One, we can only hope, that will finally be drained and once again become suitable for planting and harvesting.