Donald Trump - The Disruptive President
65 million years ago a meteor hit the earth. It turned the existing echo systems upside down and inside out and spelled the end of the dinosaurs. Out of all the mayhem mammals evolved the mammals that ultimately gave rise to human beings.
In business we normally speak of disruptive technologies. Disruptive technologies are products, services and processes that create new markets. These new markets elbow out existing markets with incumbents being negatively impacted as their market either ceases to exist or is redimentioned to insignificance. For example the smartphone and tablet technology has impacted broadcast TV, newspapers, CD sales, watch sales and how we meet and enjoy each other’s company.
Is President Trump the first case of a Disruptive President? Even though there have been 44 other Presidents before him, he has demonstrated a disruptive characteristic in the following areas:
- Speaking his mind out. It is not the use of technology that makes President Trump disruptive. Presidents have used radio, TV and social media to transmit their message. What is disruptive is that unlike his predecessors, President Trump’s uninhibited part of his brain is able to reach the general public.
- No to consultants. Many agree that consultants are simply a waste of money. They generate endless reports and cost a ton of money. Even though time still has to tell how much the US will spend on the services of consultants, a President of any entity needs a small group of people who are consulted before Presidential statements are made public. With President Trump this does not seem to be the case.
- More action. Leaders will fire treats but always have staff as well as the inhibitive part of their brain to keep them in check before acting on some of them. President Reagan sold the USSR (and the rest of the world) the Strategic Defense Initiative nicknamed Star Wars even though it did not exist in any tangible form. President Obama threatened action on many occasions but these promises never materialized. In the few days since taking office President Trump has rocked migration from Mexico, Muslims, business producing outside the US and practically all those who are not 2nd generation white conservative straight middle class Americans.
- World stability. Normally world leaders prefer stability; change comes gradually and where possible one transits from state to another in a controlled manner. That cannot be said for President Trump who seems bent on agitating everyone and everything. It is like a TV reality show were audiences are kept on their toes by keeping the end a mystery and ensuring that no one knows what is happening. Yet unlike the make-belief world of media, counties have leaders some of whom could have their own little red telephones and red buttons.
- Globalization. Globalization has hurt millions. Globalization has widened the gap between those drowning in wealth and those starving for a basic quality of life. President Trump’s electoral campaign to address this issue contributed to him being triumphant in the race to the White House. His way of dealing with this injustice is not to introduce a taxation system that ensure a just distribution of wealth but by embarking on protectionist measures that will ultimately give US-based entrepreneurs producing on US soil an opportunity to overcharge the local market by ensuring that goods produced (cheaply) abroad will not be available to US consumers. In the end US consumers may end up with more money in their pockets but with everything costing more that same money will dry up quicker.
- World Economies. The USA is a great economy but it is no longer the greatest economy. President Trump seem unaware that a tit-for-tat game will ensure when other countries see acts by the Trump government as being of a retaliating nature.
- Friends will (not) be friends. Over time a country may swap allies but the rate at which this has been done by the Trump administration is phenomenal. The European Union has been relegated while Russia has been promoted. While not wanting anyone to interfere with the internal working of the US, Trump is doing his utmost to disrupt the single European Union and the one-China concept as well as neighbors both north and south of the border.
Disruptive is not synonymous with improved, positive, better off and happy. The path taken as a result of a disruptive change automatically obfuscates what would had happened if change never took place. One could only hypothesize how everything would have been if the change that led to the current present never happened.