There can be no doubt that Howard Schultz is a VERY successful businessman. You don't amass a fortune in the billions of dollars as he has without a high level of business acumen. This means he has demonstrated a high level of leadership within a fiercely competitive business market. But the real question surrounding Mr. Schultz isn't whether he is a tremendous business leader the real question is whether he has what it takes to be an effective President of the United States. I, for one, do not believe he has the requisite skill set to be a successful President.
Yes, within the business environment of Starbucks what Howard Schultz has accomplished is truly amazing. So then isn't it reasonable to assume that a man who rose from the depths of poverty, clawing his way out of a public housing environment, can't prove himself to be just as successful in a doggedly competitive political environment? The answer to this question can be answered by simply comparing his skill set against that of the present occupant of the Oval Office.
Let's be frank, the major reason Donald Trump is this nation's Chief Executive is because during his campaign for President he took great delight in pointing out his "highly profitable" success in the dog eat dog environment of New York City real estate. His story, at least the way HE tells it, is simplicity itself. His version insists that he took a modestly successful business venture and turned it into a financial behemoth worth literally billions of dollars. Now one can argue about the veracity of Mr. Trump's claim to such tremendous success. Over the years there have been those who would contend that Donald Trump has been less than the dynamo he contends to be. But in the context of the 2016 Presidential campaign there can be no doubt that millions of American voters came to accept his "rags to riches" story. They believed his version of history, namely that he single-handedly built the Trump Organization into one of the most successful enterprises in the whole world and believed him when he characterized himself as a world class negotiator who would work out tremendous deals that would benefit the American economy. The recently ended government shutdown tends to indicate that as a negotiator Donald Trump is a good deal removed from world class. How else can you explain his inability to get his pet wall project through a Republican Congress that obeyed him like a spineless little puppy? Which brings us to the real question before the house, can successful business leaders turn out to be just as effective in government? I contend they cannot!
Ultimately, the real issue is what kind of skill set is required for someone in government. From my observations over the years, the art of good government requires compromise. This is the challenge that democracy presents. I fully confess that I know next to nothing about becoming a success in business but I'm pretty sure that most of the significant decisions made in business are not arrived at democratically. When Donald Trump wanted someone in the Trump Organization to do something he simply snapped his fingers, issued a command and any one of his minions simply obeyed. If I were a betting man I'd guess that Howard Schultz ran Starbucks in much the same way. However, should a President issue similar commands to the Congress the individual members of Congress would dig in their heels and resist such commands with all their might, up to and including a long-winded filibuster. My question to a President Schultz would be, "Can you deal with such intransigence?" "Can you negotiate a compromise over a necessary piece of legislation with the kind of people you genuinely regard as idiots?". Somehow I doubt it!
Yes, Mr. Schultz, America may yearn for a middle path in its politics. We may wish and hope that government at all levels would once again value the fine art of compromise and honest to God negotiation. But look around you Mr. Schultz. Have the American people really voted that way? We may tell the pollsters that we yearn for the day when centrists take power and actually govern effectively, but that means that we have to elect a majority of centrists to government in the first place. Until such time as we do, however, we will be faced with the challenge of trying to cope with a government consisting of people who refuse to budge from a strictly ideological point of view. And Mr. Schultz, no matter how capable the President we elect, that President won't be able to get things done with a mere snap of the fingers. I can't envision your issuing marching orders for Nance Pelosi to jump and her responding, "How high Mr. President?". And yet THAT is the challenge you will face if by some miracle you become our next President!
Filed under: Politics