Editorial: The U.S. Is Not A Corporation

Trump governs by executive order, and laws seem like an obstacle.

Donald Trump hace amplio uso de las órdenes ejecutivas.
Donald Trump hace amplio uso de las órdenes ejecutivas.
Foto: Shawn Thew-Pool / Getty Images

Merely one week after President Donald Trump took office, there is a sense that the country is ungovernable. It was expected that his style would be different from his predecessors’ but not that his administration would create such chaos in the government in such a short time, as it did when he issued an order to limit the entrance of foreigners from seven Muslim countries.

The problem is not, as it is being portrayed, that these actions respond to his desire to fulfill his campaign promises, but the process through which he is carrying these out. Trump acts as if the U.S. was one of his companies, where the omnipotent CEO orders and everyone obeys. Government does not work like that.

The way in which he handled this executive order reflects the lack of knowledge and the excess of arrogance that now prevails in the White House.

Trump and his circle promoted an executive order with broad legal implications for immigration and foreign policy without looking at the details or measuring the consequences. No one was consulted for advice, as is usually done in these cases, and thus was the result.

Its implementation at the country’s entrance ports was uneven because no clear instructions on how to proceed were issued with the order. They did not wait to determine the legality of the president’s order either. When, deeming it illegal, acting attorney general Sally Yates rejected it, the White House dismissed her for “betraying” the federal agency.

A large number of career diplomats also criticized the order and offered options via an official channel for dissent within the State Department. They fear that the order may cause more harm than good by antagonizing even ally nations such as Iraq. People from that country were banned from entering; the same people currently fighting against ISIS alongside the U.S. The White House broke the 40-year-old rule when they told Iraqis to leave if they did not like it.

In the meantime, Congress is nowhere to be seen. Trump governs by executive order, and laws seem like an obstacle. His haste is not a virtue but a flaw, and it gives way to irrelevant orders such as the one on Obamacare and other chaotic ones that were simply campaign promises lacking the detail necessary to implement them.

No bankruptcy laws exist for the government like the ones that saved Trump when he made bad business decisions. Governing is a deliberation process in which whim has no place.