The BrandMarch 8th, 2017

A few days ago at a high school basketball game here in Connecticut, fans cheering for the mostly light-skinned home team taunted players from the mostly dark-skinned visiting team by chanting the word “Trump.” The school principal correctly interpreted the chant as a comment on the race of the visiting players and disciplined the offending students. The incident made news across the state and embarrassed a number of people.

The media discussion of the incident focused on the racial prejudices that might have given rise to it. What the media missed was the reflection this chant casts on the Trump name. It’s a name that once stood for wealth and status and success that’s suddenly become a shorthand expression of racial mockery. And it wasn’t Trump’s detracters that used his brand in this way–to hurt feelings–but his most ardent young supporters.

What if the Trump brand is being degraded by his presidency? Some would say the brand is his principal asset. If the brand is losing value, the value of the property that bears the brand must also be in decline. That means the monetary worth of Trump’s estate depends critically on what he does as president. We call that a conflict of interests, and there’s only one remedy for it: liquidation.

Trump can’t function properly as president as long as there is a Trump brand. His assets must be sold and the Trump brand must be retired. Sorry, Donald. Nobody forced you to run for president. It’s unfortunate that the mass media didn’t mention this during the election, but that’s fake news for you. You knew about it, and so did many of us.

The home-team school principal did point out that it was a small group in the student cheering section that took up the Trump chant, and it’s probably worth noting that the same is true for Trump support generally. Sixty million people may have voted for him, but over a hundred million didn’t who could have. For some reason, the media never ask him whether he owes any obligation to that majority. He does. The idea that his side “won” the election and is thus entitled to make policy without consulting the majority is delusion. Policy’s just words on paper.

Trump, as the fake news media don’t tell you, faces these two imperatives: he must sell his assets, and he must accommodate the majority who don’t support him. If he fails in either of these, he will have abused the authority of his office and must be impeached and removed.