“Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather
I can’t even begin to guess how many times I have watched The Godfather. I still have two of them on VHS, though I no longer have a VCR to play them on. For whatever reason I have held on to my tape copies of The Godfather I and II. Maybe I think VHS, like vinyl records, will be hip again. Not likely.
The one continuous theme that runs throughout The Godfather trilogy is family. Never mind that Michael Corleone had both his brother in-law and his older brother Fredo killed, family always comes first, “don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family”.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Trump winning the Presidential election was not a spectacular day for me. In my mind the American people could not have picked an individual more ill-prepared for the job of running this great country than The Donald. Sadly, at least in my opinion, he has confirmed all of my fears.
I have learned to deal with (mostly) all the blustering bullshit that he babels on and on about but I was extremely troubled when Trump made his daughter and son in-law number two and three to the throne. Why? Because being President of the United States is not a family business.
In 1923 Trumps grandmother and her son, Trumps father, started the real estate development company Elizabeth Trump & Son which was renamed the The Trump Organization in 1971. Trump has worked in the family business since graduating from college in 1968. As far as I can tell, it is the only job Trump has ever held working with his grandmother, father and siblings and then later with his own children. This is the structure Trump knows, the structure he is most comfortable with but for me not the type of structure that should be governing our country.
Trump is now facing his own “Fredo” moment with his son Don, Jr. and son in-law Jared Kushner. Why? Go back to my original observation about Donald Trump, the American people could not have picked an individual more ill-prepared for the job of running this great country. Rather than surrounding himself with smart people, people unafraid to tell him NO he chose weak YES men and women and elevated the influence and the status of his family within his administration. Now he, and we, are seeing the fruits of his short-sighted decisions.
Donald Trump has always played fast and loose with the truth and with facts and when you are surrounded by family and YES men and women unwilling to call you on your bullshit it becomes the way you operate, and unfortunately govern. But now he is on the worlds biggest stage filled with people and institutions willing to point out the bunk and drivel not just this President but any President spouts. Trump can call them what he wants “The Deep State” or “Fake News” but the bottom line is “The Family Business” structure just doesn’t play well in Washington, honestly it has no business being part of the Oval Office. Thankfully we have the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times to call, point out and write about the bullshit some of us might be missing.
How will Trump deal with his son and his son in-law’s troubles? The same way he has dealt with his own problems, deflect, and then blame Obama, or Hillary or as he did during the press conference in Paris today, blame Loretta Lynch once again. The shit is really piling-up folks. We might want to put on our waders.
“I knew that Santino was gonna have to go through all this. And Fredo… Fredo was, well… But I never wanted any of this for you! I worked my whole life. I don’t apologize for taking care of my family. And I refused to be a fool, dancing on a string held by all those big shots. I don’t apologize, that’s my life, but I thought that… that when it was your time, you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.” – Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather