The Thin Line Between Business and Politics: Trump’s Challenge

Trump, with his acute business experience must be able to distinguish politics from business, first.

Successful businessmen, like Donald Trump, resolve problems every day; they face uncertainty and varied opinions at every step. Some common characteristics of successful businessmen are good interpersonal and leadership skills, which help them reach their goals. What if politicians aspire to be national leaders? Will the business experience come to use? To a person like Trump, may be this is just one more challenge, even if some argue that he will fail in the role.

He is not the first President who has been a good businessman before climbing on the throne of America. (George W. Bush and his father were business leaders in their own spheres). History aside, we have learnt that those who without prior business experience make better political leaders, and in this context, better Presidents. Some critique says that the latter lot were more cautious and banked on their associates and team work, and the former overestimated themselves, and continued politics also like a one man’s show.

Business leaders like Trump must also understand the difference in goal-assessment. Business goals and political goals differ significantly. In business, the goal is simple, and outcomes are measurable. In politics, indefinite climate, several macroeconomic factors and socioeconomic variables play a huge role, making the outcome almost immeasurable. Running a business empire may have the most vital experience in Trump’s experience. However, there are larger issues – issues that pervade through different levels of power, protocol and action. Infact, one significant difference between running a business and running a country is the permeation of power. In business, while the best is chosen to run the department, in politics the position gets an appropriate member of the elected party.

Trump’s speeches and actions have always been witnessed with doubt and complacency. His policy perspectives are not new to the assumptions. His advocacy towards resolving a budget deficit of $540 billion with the elimination of the Department of Education whose budget is just $78 billion and the Environmental Protection Agency with the budget of $8 billion, seems atrocious, for the lack of better words. Similar are his statements about selling $16 trillion of US assets which are worth only $3.2 trillion. Trump’s intend to decrease taxes on the one hand, may be laudable; but if there are intentions to increase military spending, there is a higher probability of the deficit increasing.

Several of Trump’s perspectives are surprising. He argues that the US must withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which allows 12 countries to create a free trade area from Japan to Chile. In his opinion, bilateral deals would be much more favorable for the US manufacturing. His arguments may be partly true, that US workers will be affected with cheap labor from other countries, but the corporation will still seek cheap labor to raise a profit margin even if the US withdraws from the TPP. His contradictions do not sync well with affected economies.

Trump’s attitude toward the climate change has perhaps been the largest denominator of his perspectives of the world and his trade partners. His simple denial of the fact  and the diversion he provides with focus on ‘other issues’, show his incongruence with existential emergencies. Trump plans not only to cut money spent on climate change aid to developing nations and clean energy funding, but also to pull out from the Paris climate agreement.

Another big concern is conflict of interests. Although Trump said that he will turn over management of his business to his children, the concern that he will concede favors, is still existent. On the other hand, as some political analysts point out, he does not need this position to move ahead with his business.

Probably no other presidents have been criticized as much, at the beginning of the mandate, as has Donald Trump been. True, he gave the world plenty of reason for such a judgement, with some of his plans and standpoints. Some of his plans seem far from achievable or even doable, for that matter. We have only one factor that comes in between execution of these plans and Trump’s words: Time. Another small ray of hope is that, he cannot decide alone, as President. His business experience and logic can probably replace the current theatrical behavior, and help him cope with all the challenges that lie ahead.

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