“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges.
They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any sect, or they may be atheists.”
I have commented several times on what I would consider a needless “travel ban” but Donald J’s insistence to issue a new improved travel ban under the guise of national security has inspired me to comment one more time.
When the best thing anyone can say about some initiative you are attempting to implement is:
… call new travel ban ‘a good overhaul’ that will ‘stand legal scrutiny’
… well … you are in trouble. I don’t really ever want the main reason to do something to be “it is legal.” I would much prefer my number 1 reason everyone wants to do something be … well … it is a damn good idea.
I am all for national security.
And I do believe a president has the right to take some extraordinary actions with the best intentions of citizens in mind.
But that is where I hesitate on this … my sense is that this whole travel ban is in the best interest of one citizen … Donald J Trump and his ego.
Since the 80’s death in the US by terrorism is around 3500 plus <including 9/11> in the same time there has been 60.000 work place related death and 900.000 death by gun violence.
Read any report you want and you can find little to point to these countries as ‘terrorist pipelines to America’ as well as anything that would suggest our current vetting process and immigration policy is flawed enough to permit an influx of terrorists.
But I imagine all could be resolved in my mind with answers to two basic questions:
- You were urgent in the initial ban with regard to our security and concerns with vetting … what specifically have you done in the past month to shore it up <because I assume it was important enough you didn’t just take your ball home sulking>?
- What can you do now, in a pause, which you couldn’t do in the past 4 weeks? <what specific benefit does the ‘pause’ give us>
Here is what I know as a business guy.
Empty promises fulfilled … remain empty.
Most business leaders are very careful with regard to what they promise their employees. And then … even when promising something … they are even more careful about fulfilling any stated promise. The latter is maybe even more important than the former.
Nothing kills a business leader faster than asking employees to do something simply to do something <and it is not a priority need for energy>.
That has always been the flaw in “doing what you said you would do.” if what you say is wrong, stupid, silly or ignorant than doing is simply a reflection of … well … all those things.
In the business world we call that wasted energy or a ‘completed wrong.’
This is when a business leader forces action simply to prove a point.
This is when an organization starts losing respect for a leader.
In today’ business world most businesses run so lean being able to effectively prioritize resources and energy is possibly the most important skill a leader can bring to an organization.
Employees do not suffer fools lightly.
And maybe that is why I will continue to crush Donald J for his lack of leadership skills.
Yes. He made a stupid promise while campaigning.
Yes. He tried to fulfill the stupid promise stupidly a month ago.
But he had an opportunity to right all wrongs in one fell swoop in this place and time … and a good leader would have seen the opportunity.
“I continue to believe the original ban was the best thing for America but I honored the decision made by our judiciary system and honored the ‘ban pause’ … but I, and we, did not pause in our efforts to keep people safe & secure … over the past week the following departments <name them> have done these things <list them> and have already begun implementing my <incredibly stupidly called> extreme vetting process. While it would have been easier for the people protecting you to have done this during a pause they never wavered in their determined effort to close the holes in the vetting process and I have decided to put the entire travel ban on hold until there may come a time where we identify a need to pause to further improve the process.”
And in one simple long paragraph explanation he has fulfilled his promise and stopped any wasted energy … and even gets some points on leadership.
Did he do this? Are you fucking nuts? I bet this didn’t even cross his mind.
Leaders always have choices when they make a decision.
With regard to this one I sense the main Trumpian business flaw – transactional versus strategic.
My fear is Trump views immigration as a transaction between the ‘incoming’ and the country – “here is what you are buying and if you buy it you have committed to it.” This comes to Life most easily in how he discusses a ‘merit based’ immigration policy but it also hides among words like “people who value our values and think America is great.”
When viewed transactionally … Trump misses the more strategic value … the fact that 1st generation immigrants assimilate … 2nd generation immigrants prosper.
If I view immigration transactionally <unless I view it through a ‘lifetime value lens’> I will inevitably misjudge the value of the transaction.
Immigration is more like a long term contract in which both parties have commitments.
“I am offering you a long term contact in which I will provide you rights, privileges, freedoms and opportunities <that is my promise in this contract> and you will provide a commitment to the Constitution, working hard and embracing the freedoms found with american society <with respect>.”
In a mutually beneficial contract both parties receive value.
In a mutually beneficial contract both parties are equal … one party is not subservient to the other.
I do believe America is great <for a variety of reasons>. But I have said this before and I will say this again … to make America even greater I shouldn’t be keeping people out I should be strengthening the idea, and values, of America to a point where the right people self select wanting to be part of the idea of America.
And an unintended consequence <actually an intended one> if I approach immigration that way is I also strengthen the idea of America for current Americans which strengthens who we are, what we believe and how we behave.
In the end.
It has all the signs of the kind of thing a petulant leader does simply to make a point.
And, worse? It diverts energy & resources at a time where we should be assessing energy & resources as ‘most efficient use.’
He is a horrible business leader taking his horrible lack of leadership skills into the presidency.