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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/29/18

So, are your loyalties with Harley-Davidson or Donald Trump? Man, that's a dumb question!

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I had a very bad dream last night -- call it more of a nightmare -- that all my biker friends and acquaintances were gathered together, and all were taking all their Harley-Davidson garb and were throwing all their tee-shirts, hoodies, jackets, hats, belts and other garments onto a big burn pile.

And all these guys and chicks were on foot, if they didn't have another vehicle besides their motorcycles. The reason being was that they had all taken their bikes to the junkyard and had scrapped them.

a row of Harleys
a row of Harleys
(Image by Rob Kall)
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"We're all angry that Harley Davidson hurt Donald Trump's feelings because the company moved some of their operations overseas. We've decided now, that our loyalties are with the President rather than Harley-Davidson," a pretty good friend told me, then he threw a match onto the burn pile and whoosh! flames hit and all that beautiful clothing went up in flames.

Yes, it was quite a nightmare. Then I woke up and realized that none of my friends and acquaintances were going to switch their loyalties just because this crazy, dime-store Mussolini (as Steve Schmidt calls him) had a lamebrained epiphany to put so many tariffs on other countries that the USA will have to produce, buy, and sell everything within our borders because it will be too costly for our domestic concerns to be able to afford to do business otherwise.

"President Trump's tweet Tuesday morning that Harley-Davidson would be 'taxed like never before' puts the Milwaukee motorcycle maker in a growing club of U.S. companies that have been singled out for criticism by the president," according to Samatha Masunaga of the Los Angeles Times.

Singling out companies for vindication and treating them unfairly, as opposed to other companies in the market, is not only immature and inequitable, it's also illegal and is an impeachable offense for a President take this route. Here, Trump's decision to have his little Tweety Bird temper-tantrum with Harley-Davidson shows that he wants to decide how American companies can buy or sell, or even operate, in our country (which has a laissez faire, free market economic system). Trump seems to want to force this All-American company, Harley Davidson, to start reacting to his tweeting storm of threats as if Harley-Davidson was making bikes in Trumpenstan rather than a free democracy.

"Trump's sentiments on Harley-Davidson come a day after the company said it would move some production out of the U.S. to avoid European Union tariffs levied in the increasing trade tensions between Europe and the U.S. Harley-Davidson had previously said it would close a Missouri plant and open one in Thailand after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement," the Los Angeles Times' Masunaga writes.

[Harley-Davidson already has been operating assembly plants in India and Brazil, according to numerous sources, including USA Today. click here

"Trump's penchant for singling out U.S. companies -- dating from when he was president-elect and called out the price of Boeing Co.'s Air Force One presidential plane-- is 'extremely unusual,' said Phil Levy, adjunct professor of strategy at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. 'Part of the problem with it is, almost by definition, it means that you're having fairly unequal treatment of companies by the government,' he said. 'And we usually aim, as part of our rule of law, that companies will be treated equitably and not singled out or intimidated,'" the Los Angeles Times writer continues.

"Harley-Davidson did not respond to a request for comment on Trump's tweets, but Levy said most companies that have been targeted by Trump have chosen to ride out the storm. Their responses have included keeping mum, releasing bland statements and repackaging existing plans in a way that makes it seem like they're responding to Trump," Musanaga writes.

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Samuel Vargo worked as a full-time reporter and editor for more than 20 years at a number of daily newspapers and business journals. He was also an adjunct English professor at colleges and universities in Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi (more...)

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