Donald Trump, the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur, announced his candidacy for president in a very Donald Trump way–taking to a podium in the lobby of the Trump Tower with rock music blaring in the background.
Love him or hate him, Trump represents much of what is promised by the American dream. His nearly $9 billion net worth is evidence that he has taken full advantage of all this great country has to offer. But is he is the best–or the worst–candidate?
Why he is the best:
1. Trump speaks his mind.
Trump doesn’t mince words. He tells it like he sees it and said during his announcement that he would take no outside money to support his campaign. The ability to stand on his own two feet and speak his mind is the mark of a true entrepreneur. The autonomy Trump enjoys is the primary reason I cite when cautioning entrepreneurs about taking outside money.
2. Trump understands branding.
Witnessing Trump apply the same principles he has used in building his own empire to the United States brand would be a fascinating experience and may be just what the country needs to repair its tarnished image outside our borders.
3. Trump isn’t afraid to lead.
To lead, you must be sure of your direction. Trump is always sure of where he is headed and he leads with confidence. This trait is expected and desired in the person who takes the Oval Office.
4. Trump is focused on jobs.
To sustain the current economic recovery, jobs must be the underpinning. While Trump may not have the political background of the other candidates, his empire is responsible for the creation of thousands of jobs–a sorely needed aspect of the current U.S. economic situation.
Why he is the worst:
1. Trump is out of touch.
During his announcement, he told the crowd that he was “very rich” and that he wanted to the country to be very rich as well. Trump has been very rich for a very long time, with a staff of people to do his bidding. The disparity in backgrounds, education, intelligence, and desire that exists across the country makes it impossible for all to achieve this goal and a serious presidential platform must take this into account.
2. Trump is accustomed to moving quickly.
Trump is notorious for getting into–and out of–real estate and business dealings at a whim. As an entrepreneur, this is a good thing. Fail fast, fail often, pivot to something new. The country can’t move quickly enough to follow this philosophy. It will take much more time than Trump has the patience for to see if an initiative is working and he will be tempted to change midstream.
3. Trump needs a major lesson in foreign affairs.
One of the most striking aspects of Trump’s announcement speech was his promise to “build a wall,” which he is “very good at doing,” between America and Mexico–and getting Mexico to pay for it. No matter what side of the immigration battle you fall on, this approach can’t possibly be the best solution.
4. Trump is new to the political game.
Trump is used to calling the shots and getting what he wants. Regrettably, politics just don’t work that way. Trump will struggle with the bureaucracy and his “great ideas” will be mired down–something that he is not used to and will not tolerate with the grace expected of the office.
Trump entering the race is a distraction and will take votes and attention away from candidates who are truly in it for the long run. Trump has played this hand before, and while it would be nice to think he is serious this time, I am doubtful that he will see