The title question is perhaps far more relevant to Trump taking the helm in 2017. As a business man, he is used to taking risk, sometimes gambling or bluffing a little and lots of negotiations mixed with calculated decisions. This background will not go away when he takes the office at theWhite House whether he lives there or not. He must focus on bigger issues confronting his office, stimulating the economy, creating jobs and building world relations leading to win-win situation not a zero-sum business game. His people must do their jobs with the understanding their super negotiator boss is watching and expecting them to not only make good deals for America but also be aware of the consequences – people’s lives more than their money are at the stake.
If this question is posted to political science students as an essay topic, I am sure one would receive dozens of beautiful essays with convincing arguments not only to arrive at a conclusion on Yeh and/or Nay as an answer but also to follow a thought process starting on any of the underlined, capitalized and/or quotation-marked words in the title. The authors are right to come up with different arguments and conclusions simply because Must must be confined with circumstances and what actions and their consequences may be as well as how significant ‘changes’ are expected. Furthermore, an author may first focus on the word PRESIDENT, what kind of personality he has, what kind of political situation he is in, whether he is mandated with a ‘change’ mission, and why and what ‘changes’ he has promised to make for his or her people. This article is taking such a thought process - Must really depends on many factors - to argue and draw conclusion for the title topic.
First, we are talking about the President-elect of the 45th US Presidency, Donald Trump. Trump won the election against many odds and won a surprise victory with an unorthodox campaign. Trump is a businessman and not a politician, certainly not an insider of the political establishment as proven by the fact he was opposed by his own Republican Party to run for the presidency. He had to plead to the silent majority to get elected. He had to find his mandates in the campaign and the election process. He did it but in a way very much deviated from the 'norm' which you may even say 'strange' in an elite-controlled politically correct environment. He not only fought the two major parties but also battled with the mainstream media. His victory was a strange phenomenon to the traditional political pundits, pollsters and activists; in reality, Trump recognized the hidden voice of the silent majority muffled by the political correctness. By defying political correctness with his own style of rough language, he resonated with the silent majority and rode with the growing movement to victory.
Trump had certain intuition but he learned a lot on the campaign rallies and trails. He made many outlandish statements and promises testing the voters. He amplified them when he received warm responses from the cheering crowd. He toned them down if he found them hitting the wrong chord. Tough stand against illegal immigrants (stand remains firm, but wall can be a fence even a virtual wall) and repealing Obamacare (repeal but reserve the right to define 'changes' later) are two examples. Tax cuts were proposed as his basic political (and business) philosophy but everyone knows that tax cuts require the entire Congress and Senate to cooperate. With both the Senate and the House in control by the Republican Party, President Trump may have an easier time to fulfill his tax-cut mandate without taking too much 'strange' actions to circumvent the Congress. He might just have enough credit earned from his presidential election and a surprising sweeping victory of his Party to make the Congress work for him on tax policies. Similarly it goes with his domestic job creation plans, a cooperating Congress can be expected.
Appointing Elaine Chao as the Secretary of Transportation is probably Trump's easiest decision in cabinet appointment. Elaine married to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky and served as two-term Labor Secretary in President George W. Bush's cabinet and as Deputy Secretary of Transportation in the President George H. W. Bush's cabinet. Stated in the public record, under her leadership, the U.S. Department of Labor undertook regulatory and legislative reforms in protecting the health, safety, wages, and retirement security of U.S. workers by recovering record levels of back wages and monetary recoveries for pension plans, and obtaining record financial settlements for discrimination by federal contractors. She also restructured departmental programs and modernized regulations. We expect Elaine will be doing a fine job in getting America great again in transportation if Trump can get her a decent budget.
On foreign affairs, the title question is far more relevant to Trump taking the helm in 2017. As a business man, he is used to taking risk, sometimes gambling a little (although he did not amass his fortune from gambling in his casinos but from building real estate), and lots of negotiations mixed with calculated decisions and bluffs. This background will not go away when he takes the White House whether he sleeps there or not. However, in foreign affairs, the stakes are far higher and cannot be just measured by money in dollar, sterling, euro or renminbi. Human lives are at stake and nations are at stake; the U.S. President must take deliberate decisions to avoid devastating consequences. It is not a win or lose situation in the bidding for a business contract, strictly measurable in dollars which are recoverable as Trump has proven in his business life. In foreign affairs, mistakes are not always recoverable; in fact, more likely irreparable, they may not only cost the Presidency or election (as we recall Benghazi) but also destroy lives, moreover in a severe conflict destroying countries or the world. Thus, in foreign affairs, the President must take considerate and safe decisions for the sake of mankind not just for his own country.
Recently, while Trump is preparing to take on his responsibilities, he has been diligent in meeting with people and conversing with foreign leaders. In a number of events such as receiving Abe Shinzo and taking a call from Taiwan's leader Tsai Yin Wen, Trump did it his ways that the State Department regarded them 'strange' violating the normal diplomatic protocol. Since he is not yet sworn in as the President and he needs every opportunity to hone his skills in diplomacy, I think he is testing the water smartly with matters he knew he could get away before taking office. Appointing the Secretary of State is really his most challenging task. Again, he took his time interviewing or considering at least a dozen candidates; sure he will be benefited by this process by picking everyone's brains and their world views. He can also use this process to mend fences and reward his loyal supporters while formulating his central view on foreign affairs.
One thing concerns not only his critics with a watchful eye is when Trump takes on his job he must realize that the campaign must be ended in order to start managing the day-to-day business as the commander-in-chief. He will not have time to tweet freely anymore. He must forget about things such as bluffing Boeing to make a good deal on Air Force One (although it is a smart thing to say that we want Boeing to make money but not that much government money on a couple of Presidential planes) but focus on bigger issues confronting his office, stimulating the economy, creating jobs and building world relations leading to win-win situation since zero-sum business principle in contract bidding is not the best way of dealing with foreign affairs. Let the people do their jobs with the understanding their big boss is a super business negotiator watching and expecting them to make good deals for America but also be aware of the consequences – people’s lives more than their money are at the stake.