American Dream: Money, Power, Competition

As a democratic nation, the president that citizens elect represents our overarching values as a country. The most recent election was controversial, because both candidates’ values were in question throughout. When Donald Trump was elected, I remember optimistic conversation about how a businessman’s perspective could be beneficial for our country. After almost a year under Trump’s administration, I believe that our president’s presence as a businessman has not brought positive change, and rather symbolizes American greed.

Our problem originates with the controversially violent circumstances and European values our country was founded on. Overly proud, angry white men took Native American land and declared it their own; dismissing anyone else’s rights to the land, including its true inhabitants who were there prior. And based on those ethics, this selfishness has only continued to evolve, with many types of discrimination still holding prevalence in our country today.

Successful businessmen are successful for a reason. Certain qualities and skillsets are required to achieve great success in the business world. But, there are different types of businessmen. Some are motivated by their desire to make positive change in the world, and care about their success and money for how it will affect more than just themselves. Others have a narrower, more individualistic vision. These businessmen care about money and success for their own sake, such as how their money will affect their public reputation and their own lifestyle. Donald Trump has proved to embody this second businessman mentality, as he does not truly consider how some of his words or actions will affect others beyond his personal agenda, let alone beyond the United States. A president must try to see from the peoples’ perspectives, and as a diplomat, that includes people from nations worldwide.  

And the evidence exists from before Trump was even running for president. His show, The Apprentice, was popular due to his arrogant, ruthless boss persona. Before and during his presidency, many of his tweets have been ignorant and unprofessional. Even his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” has a condescending undertone, suggesting that America is not great, and that wealthy white business is the solution.

I do believe that a reputable businessman could effectively run our country, and I do not mean to take away from any of Donald Trump’s business success. But, I do not believe that Trump has utilized positive business qualities or skills to benefit the American people, or people around the world. His white, elitist mindset and unapologetic personality are the reasons why Trump is a successful businessman, but not a successful president.

Unfortunately, many Americans obtain white greed. Only considering their individual social circles, and dismissing the millions of people in our country and world who are unable to live the way they can. The United States is a melting pot, and always has been; but for some reason, rich white people are still on a power trip.

For true, positive change to happen, the disconnect and competition between American citizens needs to end.

In this image displaying social media usage during the campaign, we see that Clinton supporters tended to interact with other twitter users who supported both or neither candidate, while conservative Trump supporters “exist in their own information bubble”, and only interacted within themselves. Individuals with radical opinions contribute to the silent majority, which refers to the idea that race, sex, and culture have become more openly discussed on social media, so those who hold ‘unpopular’ opinions tend to keep quiet online. 

In summary, rich white people kept their selfish perspectives to themselves until it was time to vote. This issue extends beyond this campaign example to daily life. Race, money and gender are all just vocabulary words created by an ancient, American government to implement jurisdiction over life and unethical competition between people. We need to ditch this outdated, American greed by spreading love and thinking about how we can help others the same way we think about helping our own family.

Image courtesy of VICE news