Monday, July 13, 2015

235. 'The Donald' is horribly refreshing

Have you heard, Donald Trump is running for president? Of course you’ve heard because “The Donald” has wasted no time making news expressing his opinions and suffering the consequences of those perspectives. His comments about Mexican immigration have led to the loss of several business relationships—including NBC, home of The Apprentice where he popularized the phrase, “You’re fired.”

In typical Trump fashion, he has doubled-down on his comments and threatens to file lawsuits against dissenters. One hilarious Twitter comment offered that Trump would solve the problems with ISIS by threatening to sue them.

One nice thing about Trump is that he will offer, and stand behind, those opinions. In a political landscape where it is often difficult to get a straight, uncalculated answer out of anyone, it is sort of refreshing. As scary as it might be, he is willing to say what a lot of conservatives and the wealthy actually believe. And while he has been berated in the media, in polls since June 20 he has finished second in the crowded Republican field.

Whether or not Trump is successful in his campaign for the presidency, he has already remarked that this endeavor is bad for his brand. The more Trump makes incendiary comments, the more he alienates potential sponsors, business partnerships and customers. In that respect, many groups will act together in disaffecting itself from Trump business.

In addition, running for president includes having every aspect of your life dissected and torn apart. With a long accounting of business records and Trump’s willingness to speak his mind, there is a lot of history that may come back to haunt him. For example, when he criticized gay marriage, it was quickly noted that he is on his third marriage.

Another example is a recent story that noted that Trump’s 401K plan was comparatively employee unfriendly, rating low against similar corporations. That’s pretty disappointing for someone who boasts about his wealth being around $9 billion. It’s also difficult to connect to the struggling middle class when you are part of the problem. The hypocrisy, as many know, is that his corporations have declared bankruptcy on a few occasions—without much of personal impact.

How any of things shake out is anyone’s guess—it’s sometimes amazing which stories stick and which pushed under the rug—but the point is that Trump will be asked about these things and much more. It is yet to be seen how his ego holds up against intense personal and professional scrutiny.

In a stifling era of political correctness and being held to the worst thing you have ever said or done, Trump has to learn that while he can freely express his opinions, he is also responsible for them. While money can be used to leverage and even intimidate others in the business world, politics is supposed to be about serving everyone. If Trump is more interested in making this about him and his money and continues to be unafraid of offending others, he will suffer the consequences—his business partners simply cannot afford to have their interests damaged by his association. 

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