September 7, 2016
Hillary no saint; Donald now a politician
by KJ John
Trump is neither a truth-seeker nor a truth-speaker; that is my objection about this man. He lacks integrity, both in his personal life, and through his businesses. Clinton is no saint, but I have one caveat for her, which allows me to extend her more grace and to want to give her a chance; given that the American two-party system has only offered these two choices.–KJ John
My very good friend, an MBA classmate and public service senior, argues that no politician is always straight and truthful. To him, every subject matter a politician speaks is only valid on the date of issue.
In this season’s US presidential elections campaign; for the whole year of coverage, my friend has actually been proven right. It is now obvious to the rest of the world that the US political system has evolved but has been corrupted by the money they trust in. Their coin states; ‘in God we trust’.
My counter-argument is simply that God is a spiritual reality and cannot be reduced to a philosophy or tagline on a simple coin. Neither is their so-called separation of church and state a true reality. The truth is that people, who worship on Sundays, do conduct their lives on Monday to Saturday; and that life is visible to the rest of the world to see and judge. In God do they trust?
The only difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, other than their so-called political philosophies which are labelled as democratic and republican, is the fact that Clinton has never administered a business enterprise and Trump has only managed his billion dollar empire and estate. Neither has managed a state.
When I applied to study for my PhD, I shortlisted universities which offered both Business and Public Administration within the same school or faculty. My reason was simple; having done a basic degree in Economics in a Faculty of Economics and Public Administration; I realised that Economics focused on two levels and units of analysis – the macro-economic world of international trade and the micro-economic frame focused only at firm level realities.
Business is a subset of Economics
Therefore, one does not understand that economics as only a macro-science but also a micro-science dealing with theory of firms and their operations within the context of international trade relations. But the value creation and proposition about trading relationships only holds true in a larger market and a supported business culture of enterprise.
The group of firms and trading partners, plus all other services providers, make up what is called a value-creating industry. That cluster of firms and trading partners plus services providers are the real value creators of the economy. But value is created in the context of exchange of products and services. What services do Trump and Clinton offer, if not leadership?
Pure business, by itself, is not a value creator but it is the economics of markets and the trading relations which exist or operate that allows for businesses to operate. Business is always a subset of the market of traders, creators or products, distributors of services all exchanging and offering value for their services.
Business can never exist in a vacuum. The agglomerated whole cluster of business value creators all need to be present to create and exchange value creation roles and responsibilities.
Trump’s flawed understanding of the world
Trump is neither a truth-seeker nor a truth-speaker; that is my objection about this man. He lacks integrity, both in his personal life, and through his businesses. Clinton is no saint, but I have one caveat for her, which allows me to extend her more grace and to want to give her a chance; given that the American two-party system has only offered these two choices.
Grace is a very Christian theological idea and ideal. It means and describes a Christian God who extends grace, or an underserved pardon, to all human beings who turn to Him in simple faith and trust. I believe it was amazing grace that saw Hillary Clinton forgive her unfaithful husband. Human feelings can only lead one to ‘go separate ways’, as Trump has done more than once.
Now, Trump moves his worldview of, the unholy trinity of I-Me-Myself, to finally assume the role of trying to present himself as a potential presidential candidate. Finally, he seems to be setting aside his ego in benefit of his advisers; after changing them, too, at least two times. But let us not hold our breath.
The world needs more grace
The world does not need Trump or even Clinton, but really the world needs a kinder, gentler America which understands that the American cowboy worldview has really served no one; including the American Indians, or Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They still live with and within reservations, including reservations about self-preservation or self-defence, even after years of so-called ‘freedoms’.
What the world needs is neither capitalism nor socialism; that is a false argument framed by Second World War victors and vanquished, but they now sit like mighty gods in the UN Security Council. Their system of authority is flawed and reflects a Trump-like worldview; that only they know what is good, right, and true for the rest of the world.
What the world really needs is good text in relevant context. The marginalised poor of the world need a socialistic model of governance for the good of the needy, and not simply a capitalist model of market forces which supports and facilitates the rich to steal more and more.
My doctoral thesis looked at dignity in the workplace. I was interested about conditions in the workplace which facilitated each worker to live a life of dignity and destiny. I concluded my study with a finding that an organisation’s philosophy can define and make space for the workers to live their life of dignity and destiny.
My singular major finding of my thesis was that leadership assumed the most important model for defining that organisational responsibility for workers’ lives of dignity and destiny. It is organisational leadership which makes assumptions about the nature and nurture of the worker.
When any organisation assumes that workers are all created by God and allows these workers a role, assigns a duty, and shares a responsibility to undertake good works, these workers can live a life of dignity and destiny; including making mistakes and learning from them.
Grace is allowing for mistakes and giving others more chances to grow and change plus mature over time. When this happens, one has made amazing grace new again, and that grace is new every morning. May God bless Malaysia with more such grace.
KJ JOHN, PhD, from The George Washington University, was in public service for 32 years having served as a researcher, trainer, and policy adviser to the International Trade and Industry Ministry and the National IT Council (NITC) of the government of Malaysia. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or views.