[A] growing number of America’s corporate and financial leaders are opening their wallets for Donald Trump.

Of course, few of these leaders would do actual business with Mr Trump. Even fewer would trust him to pay his bills. Long before the Electoral College made him president in 2016, Mr Trump was known as a liar and grifter who would browbeat vendors and debtors. More recently, American courts—including two unanimous juries—have found him to have engaged in sexual assault, defamation, fraud (including misuse of charitable funds) and—by a unanimous Colorado Supreme Court—insurrection.

So why are so many of my business-leader peers writing cheques to give nearly unchecked power to a man with whom they wouldn’t sign a condominium contract? There are a few explanations.

Others of Mr Trump’s business-class supporters claim that President Joe Biden is somehow more dangerous than the convicted felon and pathological liar … Relatively more serious critics mention disagreeable Democratic economic policies. When they manage to get specific with their criticisms, I sometimes agree. But if economics is their metric, it seems not just irrational but deeply irresponsible for them to ignore some clear financial truths. Under Mr Biden America has hit record after record: in stockmarkets, oil and gas production, employment and more. And its GDP growth is the envy of most of the world’s economies.

Sadly, the true motives of some in Mr Trump’s camp are even uglier. He and his ideological allies have been quite explicit: upon regaining power, they intend to corrupt the legal system to use the state against political opponents.

Reid Hoffman in The Economist

June 11, 2024

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