My stomach has been hurting on and off all week. I feel like I’m getting dragged into something that doesn’t feel good.
I don’t mind writing about politics, but recently I feel like I am getting asked to write about weird situations that defy clear description. Specifically, I need to say something about the President-elect Trump’s meeting with the heads of a dozen Silicon Valley giants.
I’d like to say it’s a good thing. An incoming administrator reaches out to a group of business leaders who were largely not supportive of his campaign.
Two things get in my way. On the campaign trail, candidate Trump railed against free trade deals and companies such as Apple that make products in China or Mexico.
Silicon Valley companies and semiconductor companies specifically want free trade because most of their sales and much of their manufacturing is overseas. Overseas sales will only grow as economies like China and India rise. Chip and system makers have had labor-intensive assembly done overseas for decades or handled in a few highly automated plants in North America.
At the meeting on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, the President-elect suggested he will make cross-border trade easier. He will help Silicon Valley companies grow. He was all smiles and well wishes.
That’s where I started feeling the tug of a new and larger reality distortion field. Candidate Trump’s passionate calls in rallies for tearing up trade deals and holding companies’ feet to the fire felt more sincere than the photo op in the New York board room. I wondered what was said once reporters left the room.
I know it’s the nature of politics to make nice with everyone, make hard choices and keep smiling. My concern with the President-elect is I don’t get a gut feel of what he values. I don’t yet know what he will really do.
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