Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Party Like A Business

Theories abound to explain the rise of Donald Trum from a uncouth, boisterous loudmouth to the leader of the Republican Party. Most of them, thankfully, recognize that the GOP merely has sown what it has reaped.

In an inadvertent, unintentional, indirect, and subtle manner, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuiban has thrown light on one of the best explanations.

Cuban, who maintains he has been approached by conservatives about running for President as a third-party candidate, implies that he has not yet decided between Trump and Hillary Clinton. That is not a rousing endorement for the Democrat, given that, Politico reports

The skill set that makes a businessman successful are “absolutely” the same qualities that would carry over into the White House, according to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who questioned Donald Trump’s business chops Monday.

“Absolutely. You have to be knowledgeable. You have to be prepared. You have to be willing to learn. You have to have a thirst for knowledge,” Cuban told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki. “So that skill set — what makes a great businessperson — definitely would fit as a president. The question is, is Donald that kind of businessperson? I don’t think he is.”

Cuban suggests knowledge, preparation, flexibility, and a willingnesss to learn are essential traits for a successful businessperson. They also are important attributes of a good President- or an effective anything. That is a far cry from the standard GOP template for the dedicated public servant or government official. Salon's Aaron R. Hanlon explains that Mitt Romney, for instance

centered his candidacy on the idea that he was an experienced and effective businessman, despite having also served a term as governor of Massachusetts. The Republican case for Romney was based largely on the idea that the U.S. needed a “lean and mean” business approach to reinvigorate the economy; that balancing the federal budget and managing the national debt are just like making personal finance decisions; that “Washington insider” politicians aren’t as effective at governing as business outsiders. Romney’s “corporations are people” line was a Kinsley gaffe because it illustrated too bluntly the Republican Party’s deliberate conflation of governance and management.

Government shouldn't be run like a business, as residents of Flint, Michigan have learned. But Donald Trump's experience in business, including running a casino into the ground, enabled him to get into the entertainment game with The Apprentice. So far it has been a winning formula, one with a foundation in the business world, flourishing while he (probably) wildly embellishes his personal wealth, makes few charitable contributions while claiming otherwiseinsults military veterans, and lies incessantly.  It's even more impressive because Trump's political career has prospered without the willingness to learn, thirst for knowledge, and preparation cited by the more successful Mr. Cuban. Nonetheless, the Republican Party has another businessman and will thrive or descend, possibly both, with him.

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