Although, America’s President, seems to believe, he is the best negotiator, because he has perfected, the art, of the deal, true, quality negotiations only are successful, when the focus is on win – win negotiating! This means, both sides, must feel, they benefit, and can justify their position/ stance, to their constituents and supporters, not necessarily, winning everything, but rather, finding common ground, by emphasizing discovering a meeting, of the minds! President Trump’s, apparent method, is to make demands, politically posture, play to his constituents/ base/ core supporters, and insist, it has to be, My way, or the highway. The demands for his Southern Wall, appears to clearly demonstrate, both his method, as well as the folly/ faults, of proceeding in that manner. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, how the recent, partial government shutdown, based on his insistence on his way/ position, indicates, the weaknesses, and his conceived/ perceived, strengths, from proceeding in this manner, and, why, there should be a better way/ approach.
1. Central campaign promise/ inspire his base: Mr. Trump, constantly, when he campaigned, excited his core supporters, by stating, both, there was a need for a Southern Wall, and, Mexico would pay for it! Apparently, he promoted this idea, by making it a central component, of his immigration policy, which many believed was a masked – attempt, to equate some American’s fears about immigrants, and safety, into the symbol (his wall). Although, the vast majority of security experts, have stated, this barrier, is an ineffective, expensive, approach, and, many others, appear appalled by what they believe it symbolizes, he has been savvy enough, politically, to maintain his base, by demanding it! President Trump declares, repeatedly, his opponents are weak on securing our borders, rather than, simply, he differs with their approach, etc. Although it appears, the Wall will never be approved, by Congress, Mr. Trump realizes, he must continue his rhetoric and promises, or risk, losing his core supporters.
2. Government shutdown: Experts claim, the cost of the recent, partial government shutdown, is about, twice, the proposed, $5.7 billion, Trump demanded for his wall. Opponents have questioned the priorities of a nation, which states, we must pay for this barrier, while proclaiming, we can’t afford many social, domestic necessities, such as health care improvements, cleaner air and safer water, etc. By demanding, any agreement over border security, must include the entire, demanded amount for the symbol, the President has appeared to position himself, into a corner, while making effective negotiations, nearly impossible!
Effective negotiating means achieving a compromise, that opposing sides, can, both agree to. It’s not winning, if you only focus on your personal/ political agenda, and self – interest, if it doesn’t make things better, for the nation, as a whole!