Warning: This post will generate massive cognitive dissonance in some readers. If you think you can learn from that, please read on. If that prospect makes you uncomfortable, please don’t read it.
If you compare Donald Trump to whoever you have in mind as your ideal president, Trump probably comes up short. There are plenty of qualities one might want in a president that Trump doesn’t have. So I understand why people think he can’t get elected.
But Trump will not be running against anyone’s imaginary standard for president. He will run against real people. That’s where things get interesting. In my opinion, Trump only got serious about the presidency when he realized that the one-on-one match-ups all went his way. So let’s see how those match-ups look.
Here I am going to put a Trump filter on the opponents, meaning I will paint them the way Trump has, and will. That’s the best way to judge the head-to-head competition because the media will report every word Trump says.
Here are Trump’s competitors, as branded by Trump.
Rubio: Sweaty kid who lied about doing his homework while Trump built a business empire. Got “rolled over” on Obamacare, like a rube, in case you had not made that linguistic connection.
A “major security risk” and a grandmother who can’t do email right while Trump dominates Twitter.
Carson: A doctor who is too nice to negotiate deals. The only job he created was for one nurse. (And for Carson to win, one must believe the Republican base wants 16 years of of continuous African-American presidents.)
Sanders: Can you win if you get zero Republican votes?
Fiorina: HP failure. Lucent failure. And of course, the “face” which many men interpret to mean her angry-wife persona. Compare that mixture of failure and anger to Trump’s business success (so he tells us) and positive message about America.
Bush: Low-energy, and yet another Bush. We already see how that is working out for Bush.
Biden: Biden says he isn’t sure he has the “emotional energy” to run. How does that match up against Trump? Ask Jeb Bush.
The rest: Career politicians. Trump will chain their corporate donors to them like anchors and push them off the boat to see how well they swim.
So there are your match-ups. Since I am still mostly alone in predicting a landslide Trump victory in the general election, please tell me which one of these match-ups you think Trump could lose.
I think this is another situation in which my degree in economics, along with my MBA, have wired me to think differently. The most important thing one learns when studying business and the economy is how to make valid comparisons. For example, one must always ignore sunk costs (the past) and one must compare all options to real alternatives, not to an ideal.
If you think Trump will lose, you are probably comparing him to an ideal you hold for what a president should be. If you believe he will win, you probably have a background in economics, or law, or engineering, and you have learned how to make valid comparisons to alternatives.
That’s your cognitive dissonance set-up. If you feel you are a rational person who knows how to weigh alternatives, let me know how any of the competitors could win in a one-on-one match-up with Trump.
If I did this right, and I am sure I did, I predict you will see the biggest mess of word-salad in the comments that you have ever seen. Roughly one-third of the comments to this post should make no sense whatsoever (as opposed to an opinion you simply disagree with).
And I remind you that I don’t know whether Trump would be a good president. I am not that smart. I just enjoy the show.
And what about the new technology that predicts where crime will happen before it happens? I call that a “map” but apparently there is more to it.
I always link to the Kindle version of my contrarian book about success but I wonder if this sort of book works best in paper form because it is an ideal gift for young employees. (See what I did there? I asked you to think past the sale. That’s a Trump trick.)