Ask supporters of President Trump why they continue to support him despite his rash decisions and uncivil communications, they will tell you that he gets things done. Ask for an example, and they will point to the economy — record stock markets numbers, the lowest unemployment in 50 years and positive consumer confidence. These facts are all true, thus justifying the means given the successful ends. No thought is given to the ultimate consequences.
Perhaps a baseball scenario might shed some light on the ends justifying the means. Nine years ago, the Houston Astros were a terrible team. New management was hired to improve the team’s performance. The new general manager and field manager promised that the Astros would soon be World Series champions, and in 2017 the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. The city of Houston celebrated and the team management was praised.
More recently, investigators discovered the Astros had won by cheating, using technology to steal signs so that Houston batters would know what pitch was being thrown. The team has been fined $5 million, the greatest fine allowed, and they have been stripped of top draft choices for 2020 and 2021, a major blow to their future success.
The field manager and general manager were fired. Alex Cora, who was a coach with the 2017 Astros, and became manager of the Boston Red Sox, was fired from that job. Carlos Beltran, a leading player on the 2017 Astros, who had been recently hired as the manager of the New York Mets, was fired. Lawyers in Los Angeles are challenging baseball to declare the Dodgers as 2017 champions, and there is talk of some Dodger pitchers suing the Astros because the effects of the cheating had a negative effect on these pitchers’ salaries.
The economy seems wonderful but there are questions about the future. Despite a record low unemployment rate, workers’ earnings are not commensurate with what one would expect with the current unemployment level. The national debt is accelerating and trade war tariffs have had negative effects such as greater farm bankruptcies. Will our “great” economy, like the Astros’ championship, have tragic consequences in a few years? How many other areas of the president’s “success” will lead to a disastrous future?