Is it their persona or skills that frighten us?
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PREFACE: I was rummaging through my archives recently and came upon the following article I wrote back in 2011 regarding Donald Trump considering a presidential run. In hindsight, I believe my conclusions were correct, but judge for yourself. Remember, this was written five years ago.
When it looked like Donald Trump was going to throw his hat into the presidential ring not long ago, it electrified everyone including his supporters, opponents, and the Main Street Media. His blunt talk was refreshing to his supporters and scared the hell out of everyone else. The Main Street Media went right to work undermining his bid as they started to believe he could take down the president. He was ridiculed for everything from his hair, to his clothes, to his talk. The fact remains though, Trump scared them to death. Now I am not here to defend Donald Trump or explain his exit from the political stage. I’m not even a fan of his popular television show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.” It is his image as a successful businessman who wanted to correct the ills of the country, and the reaction that ensued, which intrigues me. This is not so much about Trump as it is about any business leader who would want to be taken seriously on the political stage.
Aside from the Bushs, who had a relative smattering of business dealings, there hasn’t been a major business leader or industrialist who has served the country as president in a long time (if ever). Frankly, such people are not willing to take a pay cut; besides, they can probably do more for the country behind the scenes as opposed to in the public limelight.
The biggest problem with a businessman like Trump is his image as a fat cat capitalist tycoon who has little concern for the average Joe, at least that is the picture painted by the media as someone out of touch with the people. It is this image, right or wrong, that scares people to death and puts socialists on the warpath.
People tend to overlook the elements which make a business leader successful. His opponents will depict him as someone corrupt who will go to any unscrupulous length to get his way, that simple greed is his motivation. Capitalism certainly has no monopoly on greed and socialists are every bit as corrupt if not more so, but I digress. The unique elements making a business leader successful is threefold:
1. Is entrepreneurial in spirit, a visionary who knows how to recognize opportunity and capitalize on it and in the process is willing to assume risk. He/she is a gambler who knows how to calculate the odds.
2. Knows how to get things done. More than possessing academic knowledge, such a person usually possesses an unusual amount of practical “street smarts.”
3. Knows how to make hard decisions. A true business leader understands he is in the business of solving problems, not running from them. Yes, he will delegate some decisions and ask for advice from others, but he also understands the buck stops with him and will go to great lengths to see the business not only survives but prospers as well. Hopefully, he understands the best business deal is when all parties involved prosper.
It’s this last element which scares the public. Whereas others agonize over making a decision, the business leader knows how to define and weigh pros and cons, calculate the best solution to benefit the enterprise, and make a decision. It is called “business” and some people are simply jealous of those equipped with the faculties to take rather large and complex issues and make some rather commonsense decisions. It is not the fear of a ruthless dictator which scares people; rather, it is the envy of someone who knows how to consistently make a logical decision, not an emotional one which most people tend to embrace. Further, when a decision is made, business leaders do not necessarily sugar coat their rationale which tends to make them appear abrasive to others, thereby creating fodder for the Main Street Media.
Right now, the country has some rather massive problems we urgently need to address, particularly in the areas of economics and entitlements. Hard decisions need to be made which is the forte of a business leader to make, not a politician. Like it or not, our world is about to change, and I would much rather have a business leader at the helm steering the ship, as opposed to someone who doesn’t understand what it means to work for a living.
One last element that disturbs some people is that business leaders tend to be capitalists, not socialists. For obvious reasons, this scares the left, including the Main Stream Media. Make no mistake, this next election is about two extremes: capitalism versus socialism. Whereas the former defends the concept of the free enterprise system and smaller government, the latter is the antithesis.
I may not be an advocate of Donald Trump, but I am a proponent of electing government officials who have some business moxie about them. They certainly shouldn’t be feared as much as the political nincompoops who got us into this mess.
I am reminded of Calvin Coolidge who said, “The business of America is business.” As a capitalist, I would certainly like to see us turn back in this direction.
Keep the Faith!