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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Society’s top rung seems to do just fine under Donald Trump

President Donald Trump, left, and first lady Melania

President Donald Trump, left, and first lady Melania Trump smile prior to a concert on the first day of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany on July 7, 2017. Photo Credit: AP

The White House announced over the weekend that President Donald Trump and his wife Melania will skip the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony in December so the show could go on “without any political distractions.”

Any item about this pomp-filled annual event featuring state-approved art should be of little public consequence — except to suggest that “elites” Trump’s campaign railed against last year seem to be doing fine under Trump.

If anything, the administration so far has provided many Hollywood celebrities an easy way to sound fashionably principled when addressing the public. Best of all for them, it’s probably risk-free. Trump’s demurral followed a threatened boycott from some of the artists.

“We are grateful for the gesture,” the Kennedy Center said in a statement.

The term “global elite” also was applied during the campaign to such enterprises as Goldman Sachs. That ended by the time Trump had filled out his Cabinet, in several cases with former executives from that very investment firm.

Goldman isn’t suffering. Shares of its entity Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. have added about 1.2 percent in the months since its last earnings report, outperforming the market, Zacks Equity Research reported a few days ago.

In one memorable bit of campaign hyperbole last year, Trump said he knew “more about ISIS than the generals do.”

But he did not demote all the military elite to dunce status in his administration. Much to the relief of some in Washington, the federal agencies have a robust presence of high officers in their upper rungs. Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly recently became White House chief of staff.

Top executives of the big Silicon Valley companies oppose various legislative goals set forth by the administration and Congress, including matters of immigration, trade and taxes. But these economic powerhouses’ growth and influence haven’t exactly halted under Trump.

At the Capitol, the major parties continue their big time fundraising from interest groups, and lobbyists still charge their top-dollar fees. Back in June, it came out that the White House granted ethics waivers to at least 16 staffers to work on subjects they previously dealt with in the private sector.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose fortune is said to dwarf Trump’s, announced Monday he is hosting a global business forum next month during the UN annual General Assembly meetings.

More than 100 business leaders are slated to meet with dozens of heads of state there. “The forum will be a great opportunity for heads of state and CEOs to speak directly with one another about ways they can work more closely together,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

It doesn’t sound as if his agenda has been deterred by the nationalistic talk of Trump. But it is still early in the president’s first term.

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