Steve Bannon stepped away from his alt-right propaganda provocateur website, Breitbart.com, to be Trump’s campaign CEO. He has not sat down to do any interviews. But he was recently on a plane with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and Brian Stelter who said he was happy to answer questions. Bannon answered two of those questions exactly the same way: “Trump is an entrepreneur.” This inadvertently gave us 10 very good reasons to never allow Trump to become President of the United States.
“Bannon did not deny talk about a potential “Trump TV” network or streaming service after the election. When asked if there is anything to the rumors, Bannon responded with a smile and said, ‘Trump is an entrepreneur.’
The question came up again later, and he answered in exactly the same way: ‘Trump is an entrepreneur.’
For some, the word “entrepreneur” brings the image of wealth, power, and bravado — but it almost always indicates someone willing to risk large sums of money. For those like Trump, it is usually other people’s money and entails little personal risk but still, he’s a entrepreneur. And that’s a problem.
The fact is that there is nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur in and of itself. It is a particular skill set with well-defined advantages and disadvantages. It also requires a person of certain strengths, and those almost always entail matching weaknesses.
Those strengths and weaknesses do not translate well to political office.
The following chart is from a summarization of the book ‘Entrepreneurial Strengths Finder,’ by Gallup Poll’s Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal, PhD. It shows 10 traits of successful entrepreneurs, the pitfalls of those traits (challenges) and even ways to get around those pitfalls.
1. Profit Over Human Beings
A president losing focus on the human element would be disastrous. Trump has not communicated clearly with us yet, either, though he has lied a lot. But, of all the ways in the third column that Trump can use to overcome this “challenge”, “read a lot” should draw your attention.
When it comes to reading, he just doesn’t, because he doesn’t think he needs to:
He said in a series of interviews that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”
This is not a confidence builder of a statement.
2. Over-confident and Hasty
Donald Trump has not been able to stop himself from hastily firing off responses without thought. He has shown extreme over-confidence bordering on delusion. Even when he shows up as losing in polls, he will state he is winning.
However, he doesn’t do the diverse feedback thing; he is well known for relying on one person, himself and ignoring his advisers unless they agree with him. And judging by the amount of promises about how great his plans will be and lack of actual plans for important things, it’s clear he doesn’t do long term planning at all.
He could not manage to discuss his “plans” even when offered 10 million to do so:
3. All Over The Map and Difficult to Work With
What Trump has learned from failure as an entrepreneur is: the bigger the loss, especially for the little guys, the better the payout for him.
When he lost nearly a billion dollars, he was able then to avoid taxes for nearly two decades. When he forced the little guys to take less money or not be paid, he kept more money. When he overreached with other people’s money, he just declared bankruptcy. Our country isn’t a tax-sheltered corporation, and we can’t just declare bankruptcy.
The simple structure that he has is not political, and there is no indication he’s ever learned from his failures except perhaps how to make other people pay for them.
4. Bad Communication and Refusing to take Responsibility (or Share Credit)
Then we are back up to his inability to communicate without hyperbole and lies.
However, the big thing here is his refusal to take responsibility for failures or give someone else credit for anything, ever. If something goes well, it’s all Trump. When something goes wrong, it’s everyone else.
5. Won’t Drop Failed Strategies
At the third and final presidential debate last night, Donald trump told the world that he was so dead set on his innocence that he never even apologized to his wife. He had done nothing wrong, he said.
An apology may have earned him more votes several times in the past. Like when he mocked a disabled reporter. Or, when he told people to view a “sex tape.” One that didn’t exist, of a woman, a former Miss Universe, who spoke out against his treatment of her. Trump will not apologize.
Melania Trump, however, has spoken publically of an apology that Trump says, never happened. One of them was lying. It will probably be walked back and redirected, but “Trump doesn’t apologize,” is a known theme for him. Even though it hurts his campaign, pushes his numbers down, he continues. He won’t let go of this losing strategy.
6. Militantly Independent
His product is him, he sells Trump. Trump everything, Trump wine, steaks, ice, towers, and magazines. He loves his product, and it is that, above all else, that matters to Trump.
Trump’s love for Trump. He doesn’t apologize, feels he is smarter than everyone, doesn’t need to study or read to know the answers because he is Trump.
That may work when you don’t care how much others lose while you gain, but as President, your job isn’t to sell yourself.
7. Too Many Pivots
Too. Many. Pivots. That could almost be seen as a theme for this campaign.
Trump has stated as many as 5 stances on abortion in 3 days. Not to mention 3 of those stances were pivots that happened in the mind-blowingly short window of 3 hours. His latest is a solid promise to appoint judges to overturn Roe V. Wade.
Of course, he was pro-choice, before the election and then advocated for punishment for women who have abortions during the election.
His pivots on immigration, where President Barack Obama was born, on assault rifle bans, on his relationship with Vladimir Putin, whether the government should set a mininmum wage, the Iraq war… and there are so many more.
His pivots and partial pivots and full back-flips are legendary by now. You never know what he is going to do, it seems neither do his closest confidantes. You can not trust what he says, what his surrogates say, or what his policies say: his mercurial temperament precludes deep trust. Not to mention his habit of lying or speaking half-truths about 70 percent of the time, according to Politifact.
That isn’t presidential, though it is entrepreneurial. However, there is one way Trump can’t seem to pivot: Towards decent, presidential behavior. No matter how he tries, we are back to his bad behavior: like the “nasty woman” insult at the end of the third debate after his claim of respecting women at the beginning. He just can’t seem to control himself.
8. Blind to his Own Flaws, Lacks Objectivity
Nothing like a simple use of his own words. Polls only count when they show him winning.
“Even though we’re doing pretty good in the polls, I don’t believe the polls anymore,” he said during Tuesday a rally in Colorado Springs, Colo. “I don’t believe them.” “If there’s 10 [polls], and if there’s one or two bad ones, that’s the only one they show. Believe me, folks, we’re doing great.”
9. Lacks Diversity, Difficulty in Focus
Focus? Like being able to stay on topic for an entire sentence? Or just go one whole day without attacking someone with a childish outburst? Or go one day without lying? Focus is not one of Donald’s strong points.
But Trump is a good relationship builder; but only with sycophants like Billy Bush. Trump has given no indication that he can avoid attacking those who disagree. Or work across the aisle. Or even with his own party.
Reciprocity, as in not breaking contracts and paying people what they are due, is also not something Trump is comfortable with. He won’t even pay taxes while leeching money from the country he wants to run.
10. Bad Judgement Compounded by Hasty Decisions
At the last debate, Trump refused to say if he will accept the will of the American people and concede the presidency to Hillary. His campaign manager, Kelly Conway, his running mate, Mike Pence, and his own daughter Ivanka, had all publicly said he would concede.
After being thrown under the bus by a defiantly over-confident Trump, Kelly Conway said in an interview after the debate that he would concede. She added the caveat “if there was no evidence” of fraud.
All of them seem to be pushing the, “it doesn’t matter if he will concede because he will win,” narrative despite the polls. But that doesn’t change the fact that Trump is throwing the validity of our electoral process into doubt.
What Trump did was about as rash and hasty as it gets. It is threatening to our democracy and shows an utter lack of judgement.
A clearly poor candidate for the presidency of the United States
He may not even have made it through the race without the rushed and poorly advertised launch of a new enterprise, Trump T.V..
The fact that Trump is side planning a T.V. network that is only really viable should he lose this election while screaming he is winning is just a symptom of who he is.
And as his own campaign CEO stated, this is who Trump is, he is an entrepreneur, someone that does very well in business (only for himself) but has no business in the White House.