The Model Commander-in-Chief: An Honest, Sincere Businessman
The 2016 election, being a presidential election, consists of one of the most important foreign policy decisions we make as a country. In two weeks, a nation will vote for a president who will become the new head of the United States. When making our decision, we have to consider all aspects of the presidency, but one of those aspects is the future president as commander-in-chief. Will the president be too quick to lead Congress to war? Will the next president be hesitant to use the nuclear codes? All these questions should factor into a single vote for a team of presidential and vice-presidential nominees who will lead the nation for the next four years. A big decision is on our shoulders, and we as citizens must be responsible to consider all points.
Since all candidates with a potential to win a state have never been president before, it is obvious that we cannot use their past actions as president to predict their future actions. Instead, voters have to look at their varied backgrounds to predict the future presidency, a scary but necessary duty. With the election only 2 weeks away, each party nominee has already started attacking the other’s past actions, listing them as proof that the other candidate is unfit for the presidency.
In addition, they also prop themselves up with their own successes in politics, business, and as an ordinary citizen, listing them as visible displays of their hopeful future as president. Then again, what is the best background? Do we want a businessman or a politician? Experience has value, but what does the experience display about the person? These questions require some deep thought and analysis. In this particular election, business and politics seem to be the main areas of the candidates, and as such must be analyzed as predictors and variables for their future actions.
For this week, I will discuss the characteristics of a businessman and how they are good and bad for presidential candidates. Next week, I will touch on the characteristics of politicians.
Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, is introduced in each debate as a businessman. In both the primary and the general election, his business is often portrayed as successful and as reason to support him for the presidency. In and of itself, business experience tends to make individuals appear more confident and well-spoken, both good qualities for a president. However, the way an individual runs his or her business will also be a main predictor on how they will run a country. After all, people tend to stick to habits that work, and if they are a successful businessman or businesswoman, then the habits and ideals picked up from that success are often repeated. Thus, on paper, Trump seems like the ideal businessman.
However, the government cannot and should not be run as a successful business. Business involves taking high risk and being rewarded for success, and sometimes that risk is too high for a federal government to undertake. Additionally, businessmen make decisions for an entire company, from which people voluntarily work and buy products. In the eyes of an expectant nation, the government is no more voluntary than the laws of the universe. Trump has a good record as a businessman and gaining name recognition, but seems to be unsuccessful at sustaining failed businesses.
Trump is more likely to cut losses when they no longer make money, which is simply infeasible for a government’s military strategy. Can you imagine giving up on negotiations with a country because it costs too much money to maintain them? While feasible for a company, the idea is incomprehensible for the federal government. That’s why government is so inefficient, and why free market business over government business is much better for the nation. We need good businessmen in the market, and we need to avoid failure in the government.
Trump can discuss good deals, but if a deal goes bad, America is held to the consequences to which we agreed. Business dictates that cutting the losses and breaking your word is a good, successful strategy, but government has to keep promises. Therefore, you have to make good ones to start with, something that we haven’t seen out of Trump. He promises that Mexico will build a wall, a promise that he very well may be unable to keep. Sadly, not keeping promises is characteristic of politicians, and Trump acts more like a dishonest politician than an honest businessman.
The sad part of the election this year is that we do need a businessman, but we need an honest and sincere businessman to run our nation. Trump does not fit that criteria, neither by his business practices nor his character. Businessmen have a charisma about them, but charisma based on honesty and sincerity is much more valuable, especially in foreign policy. Foreign leaders must meet with their fellow presidents and prime ministers and inspire good ideals, not promote immature behavior. Clinton, a politician, neither inspires nor fulfills the successful businesswoman mold, but neither does Donald Trump.
Our prominent third party candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, are not involved in business either. In fact, the only other candidate who may win a state this upcoming election is Evan McMullin, an independent candidate with potential to win Utah. He fulfills the sincere, honest standards of the model commander-in-chief, offering a positive conservative alternative to Trump or Clinton. With the surge in Utah polls, he presents a legitimate method to avoid a Trump or Clinton presidency, and also has started receiving high-level endorsements from GOP members shocked by Trump’s character revelations. While some people may see McMullin as a long shot, he may be the only chance at a good commander-in-chief.
We the voters have to take a long look at all the candidates’ backgrounds and make an educated decision on who should be our next president. With a background in business, I expect to see integrity and excellence, qualities that ensure a level head and good choices as commander-in-chief. Honesty and sincerity indicate that promises to the American people will be fulfilled. While an honest businessperson seems to be absent from the main political parties this election, some long-shot third party candidates have surged in some states, mainly Evan McMullin in Utah. As far as the analysis goes, McMullin is the only candidate to have displayed honesty in business, making him the model candidate for commander-in-chief.
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