The Business Myth

Political Point of View by Collier Democrats

The business myth

John Lynch,
Issues Commitee, Democratic Executive Committee of Collier County

Willard Mitt Romney makes much of his long-ago experience in the private equity sector, trying to create a myth that business background is a necessary experience for becoming president.

First, history does not bear this out. Think of the presidents who have had business experience. It's a short list: Herbert Hoover, Warren G. Harding and George W. Bush. Not Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan; not John F. Kennedy and not Dwight Eisenhower; nor Franklin D. Roosevelt; not Woodrow Wilson or Teddy Roosevelt; not even Richard Nixon.

Second, while there is crossover of some skills possessed by business people and politicians, business experience is no guarantee of political leadership success.

Rather, it is characteristics like being able to read an environment, and empathy for the aspirations and challenges people face that make the difference.

While charisma is a part of the equation, it should not be the determining factor. Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler each possessed an abundance of it.

The ability to communicate ideals and ideas is a necessary skill. Being able to excite people about a richly imagined future is one of the highest rated skills of leaders. Certainly, the ability to execute a plan is a part of this, but not the only measure.

While it's possible to train people in certain skills (reading a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement), there is no personality transplant available to Romney.

After all, the "business myth" has delivered to us a Rick Scott.

Perhaps it will take the Wizard of Oz to supply a heart.

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