Trump, Entrepreneurship, and the Consequences of Running the Government like a Business Startup
For most observers President Trump’s behavior has ranged from frustrating and confusing to downright dangerous. He has consistently used exaggeration, hyperbole, and flat-out lying to cause complete confusion in political dialogues across America and the world. He has also created serious problems through questionable appointments for key positions, inattentiveness to essential responsibilities, and a chaotic approach to engaging traditional roles and responsibilities associated with the presidency. The result has been a litany of questions regarding the seemingly irrational contradictions of his party’s platform, as well as his own self-interest.
Yet, with every mistake and questionable act his supporters only reaffirm their devotion to him. As with all devotion it begins with complete acceptance of Trump’s claims of preeminence. Next is the establishment of strong bulwarks of avoidance, “whataboutism”, and willful ignorance with regards to any arguments or evidence threatening those claims. Finally, they have proven willing to proactively attack sources of that evidence as part of the ongoing ‘information war’ against his detractors and their “fake news”. Whether it’s illegal immigration, the benefit of recent tax cuts, bringing back coal, the legitimacy of climate change, or even Obama’s birth certificate, this framework has come to define ‘Trumpolitics’. And as galvanizing as Trump’s presidency has been for his core supporters and the Right in general, it has also come to define the Left through their anxious, angry, and confused responses to his leadership.
However, when viewed from the perspective of the President’s most important skill set, entrepreneurship, things become much clearer. Once elected, he was not settling into an established government position, he was creating the political version of a business startup. He was never a candidate with a platform, he was a entrepreneur looking for opportunities in a new market. And his supporters were never looking for a political advocate, they wanted anyone who could promise the cure for ‘Obama-Hillary disease’. In the end, Trump’s greatest achievement might be the creation of entrepreneurial politics, the manipulation of political groups through marketization of their key issues for personal gain.