Why don’t all CEOs quit Trump’s advisory councils?

August 15th, 2017

I have since Inauguration Day been troubled by abdication of moral responsibility on the part of business who have lent their reputations to President Trump.  So congratulations to Merck CEO Ken Frazier on his resignation from Trump’s American Manufacturing Council over the President’s manifestly inadequate response to Charlottesville. Interestingly, the President lashed out by tweet at Frazier, who is African American, for resigning.  He did not lash out at Disney CEO Robert Iger or Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who are white, when they resigned from his Strategic and Policy Forum because of the President’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Andrew Ross Sorkin gets it absolutely right when he asks why there have not been more resignations from Trump’s various Advisory Councils. As I’ve discussed before, the President has again and again traduced American values of international cooperation, of integrity in government, and of human decency.  No advisor committed to the bipartisan American traditions of government can possibly believe he or she is being effective at this point. And all should feel ashamed for complicity in Trump’s words and deeds.   I sometimes wonder how they face their children. READ MORE

Western civilization and Presidential hypocrisy

July 12th, 2017

President Trump’s Poland speech articulating his foreign policy principles has generated much comment and would have generated more but for all the Russia scandal news.  It’s an important window into the President’s gestalt as he views the world.  As I wrote recently, I don’t care for the “West against the Rest” as a paradigm US foreign policy because it risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, a point Martin Wolf makes powerfully in his column today.

Certainly, there is an argument for the President’s invocation of Western Civilization.  Unlike many of my friends and colleagues in American universities, I sympathize with the concern that contemporary educational norms pass too lightly over the accomplishments of America and the West in favor of a fashionable multiculturalism.  Indeed I have joked after reading multiple issues of its flagship journal that the American Studies Association should be renamed the anti-American Studies Association since it sees America largely through its sins towards minority groups.