Understanding American businessman Donald Trump

Donald Trump is so successful as a businessman, he must understand the fundamental rules for business success. Can that work to fix America's moribund economy?

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WASHINGTON, May 4, 2016 — Amazingly, Donald Trump has essentially won the Republican nomination for President of the Unites States after his stunning victory Tuesday evening in Indiana. While he has gotten the most votes thus far in the nation’s Republican primary caucuses and contests, there are a number of Republicans and even more Independents and Democrats who have said that they would never vote for him in the general election. However, once they understand him, they may change their mind.

Trump is a very successful businessman. Our economic system handsomely rewards individuals who are able to make a large, valuable contribution. As such, Trump is a very wealthy man and he reminds us of that constantly. Since he is so successful, he must understand the fundamental rule for success in business. That is, he has learned to profitably give the consumers exactly what they want at exactly the price they are willing to pay.

He has often reminded us that his success in business was based on his ability to negotiate favorable agreements, referring to his book, “The Art of the Deal.” Trump indeed nknows how to negotiate a good deal. As such, he knows that the first thing to do is to ask for much more than he expects to actually receive.

During the primary season, Republican voters were frustrated by the establishment’s lack of positive action and by the current administration’s inability to provide factual information. Trump gave the voters exactly what they wanted. He boldly spoke of strong action that he would take in a number of areas. And he told it exactly like it was, without the political correction that has covered up the facts and frustrated the people.

But he did offend a number of people and some specific demographic groups. The conventional wisdom right now is that Trump can never win over those offended people. But once they understand Trump, they may decide to vote for him.

At first, when he wants to discuss a problem that is important to many Americans, he always suggests the most radical solution. He says things like, “if the terrorists are Muslims, let’s ban the Muslims.”  Or “if we have an illegal immigration problem, let’s round them all up and deport them.”

Those overly strong proposed solutions do two things for Trump. The solutions are so radical that they dominate the news cycle so that almost every major news outlet gives him a majority of air time on segments devoted to politics.  And these proposed solutions establish a position that is much more than he knows he can get, but it establishes a starting point.

Now that he has essentially secured the nomination he is free to make deals (his specialty) with other Republicans to gain their support. By the time he arrives in Cleveland in July, he will have put together the basis for a Republican platform that will stay consistent with his views yet be flexible enough to satisfy the needs of the majority of his party.

Although he does have some general policy ideas, he has no specific agenda.  That explains why he has thus far not offered much in the way of specific plans.

He will surround himself with knowledgeable experts to provide him with specifics as to how to implement his big ideas. They will provide Trump with ideas and solutions that will appeal to the majority.

On each of the issues where Trump took an extreme position, he will offer compromises and end up getting the deal that he originally thought was possible.

In addition, there are a number of former presidential candidates who have a small but strong base of support. He will talk about cabinet level jobs in his administration for Ben Carson, Chris Christie, John Kasich and others. He knows how to win and he knows that in order to win in the fall, he needs to unify the party.  Just as he knows how to give people exactly what they want in business, he will give Republicans something that approaches exactly what they want in the policy arena.

Many people think that Trump cannot win in the general election against Hillary Clinton. But Trump can’t be underestimated. He is learning the particulars of politics and these differ greatly in many respects from those common in the business world.

Love him or hate him, Trump knows how to win. Understand him and you may find he is exactly the type of leader we need today. In November, the majority of voters could very well agree.

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