Five Lessons From the Donald Trump Candidacy
In August 2015, I was enjoying a quiet week at the lake. I don’t know what possessed me, but I did it. I had to watch the GOP Primary debate. I’ve always been a bit of a political junkie and I knew the upcoming political season was going to be vastly different than what we had experienced before.
I had been following Trump’s rise in the polls and I wasn’t quite sure what might happen on that debate night.
The next morning, CNN’s headline read: “No one eclipses Donald Trump at GOP debate.” A Trump’s candidacy was born that night.
Over the course of the following year, political pundits declared Donald Trump’s campaign dead more times than the killer in a B-rated Halloween movie.
But, it never died. Never went away.
I always believed he was going to be the nominee. I may not be the brightest person in the room and I just checked my phone. Nope, no messages from CNN, MSNBC, or Fox asking me to comment on the election. But, one thing I am and that’s a consummate observer of society and behavior.
One of the best (and scariest) ways to have your finger on the pulse of human behavior is to read the comment section of any online article. That helps you get inside the depth of the American brain. You’re not always going to like what you see there but emotion is loud and clear. I knew that Donald Trump was severely underestimated.
In about two weeks our long national nightmare will be over – or beginning – depending on your political views. Who knows, but one thing for certain is that the U.S. has been through one of their most tumultuous years in election history. It has been mentally draining but the stark realization is that one of the two most disliked candidates in history will be our next leader.
Like Trump or loathe him, there are five lessons learned from his run for office:
The Status Quo Isn’t What it Used to Be: Many say that the Republican Party created Trump because they refused to listen to their constituents. At the core of Trump’s political victory are the moans of a substantial group of disenfranchised voters, many of whom are white and middle class.
They have supported the Republican Party in the past but feel they’ve been given nothing back in return for that support.
Trump’s popularity resided in his anti-status quo movement. That also explains the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Perhaps their ideals are different but neither Trump nor Sanders represented the years of bureaucratic stagnation or candidates who have been beholden to the power of lobbyist.
Americans have grown weary of career politicians who seem to rake in money while they work paycheck to paycheck to cover their expenses.
I’m going out on a limb here but I declare the Republican Party dead. The party of Reagan no longer exists. It’s been long touted for being out of touch and the party hasn’t been able to keep up with the rapidly changing demographics in the U.S. Clink on this link to find a roundup of the Pew Research Center’s recent demography-related findings that highlights how America is changing.
What will this mean for the future? Time will tell…Only time will tell.
We’re Highlighting the Rampancy of Sexual Assault: When I was an undergrad, I interned at the Rape Crisis Center. Time and time again, I’d hear how women were responsible for their sexual assault because of the way they looked, dressed, or acted. It was an astonishingly black mark on the beliefs held by society.
That was over 30 years ago and I still hear those same sentiments today. What made it worse with the release of the Trump tapes is the entitlement mentality because as he said, “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
We’ve come far in society but not far enough. Must we keep reliving another Brock Turner situation or do we finally stand up and say enough is enough?
Sexual assault is #NotOkay.
If You Say Something with Confidence and Conviction, People Believe You: Some may call it lies and embellishment while others may call it fear mongering. But when Donald Trump says something, he says it with confidence. In no way am I advocating for embellishment but confidence is key to success in the workplace.
Trump’s campaign seems to stir equivalent measures of love or hate, but nearly everyone can agree that he is full of self-esteem and confidence. No matter which side of the love / hate fence you fall on, only a person with that amount of confidence could pull off what seemed to be an unthinkable feat.
Having faith in your abilities gives you a firm foundation for success.
The Importance of a Personal Brand: There are two topics that I write about that give me the harshest comments: Equality of Women and Personal Branding. Who knew that personal branding was such a lightning rod?
“People are NOT a brand”, commenters declare!
I don’t see it as relegating people to the prominence of a product and removing the human factor, but rather, I see it more as capitalizing on our ‘uniqueness factor’.
Donald Trump came into the race with no political experience but he did have a brand – a widely recognized brand. And, you don’t have to be a Trump or a Kardashian to have a personal brand.
Throughout Trump’s career, he has bragged that when he slaps his name on a building that the value automatically increases. Trump, whose name is attached to luxury resorts, TV, golf courses, casinos, hotels, wine, ties, and New York 5th avenue extravagance has pushed us to the ideal that the very name of “Trump” says high end luxury.
Is Trump really a giant of American business and the model for entrepreneurial success or is he merely a reality TV star and a model of self-invention?
That is the question but he had people talking.
Apologizing is Not a Sign of Weakness: He rarely apologizes for his behavior and while some consider that a sign of weakness and defeat, it’s not. Having the fortitude to apologize is a measure of confidence, humility, and basic human decency.
I’m not sure that we’ll ever see an election season like this one again in the near future. At least, let’s hope not. Just a couple more weeks. Until then, you’ll find me hiding in the corner with a glass of wine wondering what comes next.
But we can learn from it. Yes, it’s definitely been a learning experience. Let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself in this case.
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]