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Monday, May 16, 2016
The Entrepreneur’s Case for Trump
What elitists misinterpret as uneven principles is really adaptability—and, by the way, he can win.
Don Trump in his Trump Tower office in New York City, May 10.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
The rise of Donald Trump has exposed a deep chasm in America between the haves and have-nots. I could go on, but you have probably read that story by now. You’ve also likely read about conservatives who think that stopping Mr. Trump is the only way to save their cause. I’m here to explain why they couldn’t be more wrong. What principled conservatives fail to understand is how the nation would benefit from putting a right-leaning entrepreneur in the White House.
I too began the primary cycle as a critic of Donald Trump. I’ve never come across a candidate who perfectly matched my philosophical fingerprint—have you ever found such a match?—but I am a Republican because the party best represents the ideals of human liberty and economic empowerment that fuel the American dream. Mr. Trump shares those values.
Here are four things that the movement from the right to stop Donald Trump is missing:
• He has empathy. Mr. Trump is both a beneficiary and victim of the soundbite generation. He has leveraged social media to run a thrifty campaign, but critics have also latched onto one-liners rather than examine the whole of his record. You couldn’t find one person who knows Donald Trump who thinks he’s a racist. While his stance on immigration has often been expressed in brutish terms, the substance of his message—securing America’s borders and pausing the Syrian refugee program—is not crazy. Mr. Trump’s empathy, when voters see it properly expressed, will lead to victory in November and to policies fortified by longstanding conservative values.
• He is a pragmatic entrepreneur. What elitists misinterpret as uneven principles, entrepreneurs understand as adaptability. Whether you like or dislike Mr. Trump personally, you have to respect the business empire and brand he has built. He has always demonstrated an ability to take punches and get up off the mat while others without his fortitude and ingenuity would have crumbled. Most of his critics have never dared to step into the entrepreneurial arena where there exists the potential of embarrassing defeat. Mr. Trump would be the greatest pragmatist and deal maker Washington has ever seen.
• He is a team builder. I have spent several hours over the past few weeks with Mr. Trump, and I came away with the feeling he has the analytical depth to excel at the job of the presidency. Mr. Trump has put his ego aside to reinforce Corey Lewandowski’s formidable campaign team with a talented group of people: Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Scott Brown, Paul Manafort, Rick Wiley and Steven Mnuchin, to name a few. Mr. Trump has shown a willingness to welcome Republican establishment figures into his coalition. The establishment should be constructive in return. If he were elected president, like any smart entrepreneur Mr. Trump would continue to surround himself with brilliant people.
• He can win. Pundits cherry-pick polls to suit their narrative, but the reality is that Mr. Trump is already in a good position even before turning his full attention to Hillary Clinton. Skeptics point to a recent CNN poll showing her with a double-digit lead, but aRasmussen poll showing Mr. Trump leading by two points gets less attention. The electoral map is ultimately all that matters, and a Quinnipiac University poll released May 10 showed the two candidates basically in a dead heat in three crucial swing states. All of the momentum in the general election will swing to Mr. Trump, but establishment Republicans had better realize abstention would in effect be a vote to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.As the product of a middle-class household and an entrepreneur who loves this country, I understand both the appeal Mr. Trump has to the electorate and the opportunity to put Republican policies at the forefront of American politics for a generation. I’m not willing to lose this election over bruised egos.I urge my fellow Republicans to listen to the will of the people, shun the destructive cynicism of the past eight years, and unite not only for the good of the party, but for the good of the nation.Mr. Scaramucci is the founder and co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital.