Trump in Prison—Fake News

The latest edition of the Daily Beast shares a picture that Trump passed on to his base.  The picture shows Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, Robert Mueller, and many other “enemies” huddling behind prison bars.  This infuriated me and released me to publish a brief flight of imagination that I’ve long wanted write:  Imagining Donald Trump in prison.  I hope you like it.


Breaking News:  Trump in Prison.  Donald Trump, who was found hiding on his Florida golf course, munching on some French fried potatoes and sipping a giant frozen milk shake, has been arrested today.

At last, justice has been served and he is now behind bars—likely for the remainder of his tawdry life.  Only vegetables will be served in prison.  No television will be permitted.  He will remain in isolation for most of each day, with no one to scream at.  There will be an enforced hour of exercise outdoors with his co-residents.  He is wearing striped prison garb and his head has been shaved.

The crimes are too many to name but let me name a few:

  • Collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election. Of course, collusion is a mild word, and some would argue that the real crime is Treason: conspiring against the American democratic system for personal and political gain.  Finally, prosecutors and Congress agree that he has gone over the edge in committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
  • Obstruction of justice. The instances are innumerable and have become increasingly blatant, beginning by firing James Comey and now offering his former campaign chief, Paul Manefort, a pardon in exchange for withholding the truth about Russian interference.
  • Using the Office of the President to prosecute his political “enemies,” a primary tactic used by all dictators, especially those Trump admires, such as Putin, Saudi Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, Erdogan of Turkey, and Philippine strongman, Duterte, to name a few.
  • Emoluments Using his office to make millions, if not billions of dollars.  This has never been in question.
  • Lying publicly, chronically, despicably about issues that are vital to the American public’s ability to assess policy and vote intelligently.
  • Tax evasion and money laundering. This goes back decades.
  • Assaulting and then paying off women, with whom he had affairs, to make sure they didn’t hurt his presidential campaign.

I’ll stop at these, though it is obvious that we could go on and on.

News sources also indicate that Donald Jr, Ivanka, Jared Kushner, and other members of the Trump clan are soon to join their loving father in the clink.

One fun and galling little addendum: The IRS has discovered that Trump is actually bankrupt.  He has been moving his money around, borrowing to cover debts at an increasing rate, and depending on Deutsche Bank and Russian Oligarchs to keep his organization afloat.  As a result of this discovery, Malania and her young son, Barron, and her parents have fled to the Balkans.  Their current location is unknown.

We regret to add that during Trump’s one hour free from isolation, he has been bullied by inmates who, in a former life, were wrestlers and coal miners.  They have left him bruised and begging for help.  For unstated and maybe unknown reasons, guards failed to break up the fights.  Though, Trump’s use of the N and the K word may have something to do with their reluctance.  Even before we asked, he called that Fake News.

Well folks, that’s it for today’s news from Gotham City.


A Report Card on Leadership for Trump

What can loosely be called the Trump leadership team has careened wildly over the last few months.  The last campaign directors, Lewendowski and Manafort, have been ingloriously deposed.  Steve Bannon, an Alt-Right, fire-breathing dirty trickster, has been newly appointed.  Ivanka and husband, Jared Kushner, from ‘behind the scenes,’ are said to be the real leadership.  But everyone concedes that it is Trump, himself, who calls the shots, while those who try to advise—or contain—him generally fall by the wayside.

Donald Trump has been measured on many grounds as a candidate and person, but I have seen remarkably little on how well he would lead a complex organization.  I believe that the United States government fits that designation.  Based on what we have seen so far, I have drawn up a report card.  It is built on the key skills, knowledge, and temperamental qualities that such experts as Jim Collins, John Kotter, the team of Kouzes and Posner have developed. At the risk of immodesty, I’ve also taken a page out of my own writing, Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations.


                                                Trump Leadership Report Card

Leadership Qualities Trump Performance  Grade
Create a shared vision of the future.  This is a picture of the future that excites others and motivates them to work on behalf of that vision. Trump has succeeded in mobilizing the anger and yearnings of people wanting relief from lives that seem less than they should be, but he has not shared a positive and convincing vision of what will lead to that relief unless you think that “Believe me” and “I’ll make it happen” can be considered a vision.  Nonetheless, while it may not be pretty, Trump has begun to create a vision. B
Create a viable and believable roadmap.  The map shows how you are going to realize the future vision thus making the vision seem believable. If you consider walls ‘extreme vetting,’ pulling out of long term alliances (such as NATO) and trade treaties, considering nuclear warfare, and forsaking climate control a roadmap, and then Trump has succeeded. But it is not at all clear how these would lead to prosperity for the working classes, his core constituency, and safety for our nation. C-
Hire the right people for the right positions.  This means people who are skilled, creative, and knowledgeable, doing the jobs that best suit their capabilities.  They are the next level organizational leaders, who should be smarter in their area of expertise than the overall leader. As far as I can see, Trump has shown no capacity whatsoever in hiring effective people.  Even Republicans are aghast at the low quality of his campaign organization.


Support and position your executive team in order to maximize their capacity to lead within their domains and in the organization as a whole. It appears that Trump systematically undermines virtually everyone who works for him.


Delegate and hold accountable. In order to enable a well-chosen staff, you need to give them broad swaths of responsibility and trust that they will find a way to do the job.  You won’t have the time, energy, or skill to do everyone’s job.  Once they are well on their way and your trust is building, you still have to hold them accountable.  Everyone must be held accountable for achieving goals—including the leader. Generally, Trump seems to delegate to no one, acting as though he can do it all himself.  When he does delegate, he does so in fits and starts, giving and pulling back responsibility almost randomly, and in the process driving employees crazy.  The only accountability he seems to exercise is by firing people.  He doesn’t train, educate or encourage them, nor praise them for good results.  In his mind, he is the sole source of good results.He certainly wants all the credit. F
Create an enabling culture, one that rewards both optimal individual effort and collaboration. Programs in complex organizations cross departmental boundaries and require collaboration to succeed. As far as commentators can see, the culture of the Trump campaign is chaotic and critical, keeping virtually everyone off balance, in spite of the efforts of Ivanka and Jared to calm things down. F
Create a learning environmentBuilding and sustaining organizational success depends on learning from what you have done well and what you have done poorly, on amplifying the former and correcting the latter.  Without the ability to learn, you stagnate or “crash and burn.” The Trump political organization has heeded no one’s advice.  There are no sustained course corrections.  Trump, himself, ignores advice, as though it would take over his personality, like an underworld demon. Trump seems to disdain learning.  After initially touting his University of Pennsylvania Wharton School pedigree, he has mainly made fun of “experts” and knowledge. F
Model exemplary values and behavior.  If you demand that others work hard, you must too.  If you need people to collaborate and to put organizational goals ahead of individual success, you must too.  If you think that treating one another well is not only ethical but leads to organizational success, then you must do it.  If you believe that people must always be learning, then you need to become the organization’s Chief Learning Officer, demonstrating over and again your capacity to change and grow. What’s to say?  Trump has been mean, defensive, narcissistic, self-referential, and bounded. —the opposite of a team player. Has served as a model for angry people who, instead of building something, find and lash out at one “enemy” after another.  We can only hope that few people take him as a guide. F

The United States government is a complex beast, with many interlocking parts, hopefully working in some form of coordination.  There is no way that anyone can run it as a one man show.  Even if you are able to set the national agenda and tone, inspiring the masses to back you, you need to manage the vast machinery of government to realize your goals.  That is not something Donald Trump is capable of doing.

In case you are wondering, I’d be willing to bet that these grades also hold for Trump’s real estate and branding companies.  They are not sustainable.  It appears that he drains them of every cent for himself, gets rid of people and properties when challenged, and destroys companies as fast as he creates them.    This, then is the potential model for Donald Trump as President.