Saturday, June 11, 2016

Meg Whitman Got It Right

HPE CEO Meg Whitman, the leading woman executive and an important voice on American Politics among corporate executives, had never been comfortable with Donald Trump candidacy. Now she has come out again and explicitly warned Republicans about the dangers of voting for Trump. She is right here - there has to be a line where mere calls to party unity should not blind Republican voters to any non-sense Donald Trump is sprouting on the campaign trail.[1]

Typical to his trait, Donald Trump immediately went for insulting and name calling. Donald Trump is incapable of making any reasoned arguments. In his world, political debate equals to bullying, name calling and insulting others. All Americans need to teach a lesson to this bully - insults cannot substitute political arguments. Trump accuses Meg Whitman is not doing a good job at HPE. Whitman is in a fine tradition of 'building companies and creating wealth for shareholders' while respecting rule of law and practicing upright corporate governance. She may not necessarily have the glittering legacy like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Google folks who create great products and revolutionary technology as a precursor to wealth generation. But she had a successful reign at Ebay and she is exactly doing right things at HPE - cleaning out all the mess created by her infamous predecessors like Apotheker and Carly Fiorina. 

Contrast that with complete destruction of share holder and bond holder wealth Donald Trump achieved in Atlantic City. To start with he choose the field of 'gambling' to create wealth, not necessarily any 'higher pursuit' for humans; rather playing on human vice. This is a consistent pattern with Donald Trump - to earn money he always exploits 'weakness' of others as seen at his Trump University travails. He bought multiple casinos in the same city using over leveraged and expensive debt when a common sense would have restrained anyone in assuming any extravagant demand. Next, he continued to compensate himself lavishly while transferring all risks to share holders and bond holders; all at the expense of financial health of those casinos. His disastrous management of those casinos resulted in fifth bankruptcy so far, wiping out bond holders and share holders, thousands of job losses and overall economic destruction in the community. And this is the guy who wants America to believe that he will make America great again!

Through out the primary, he boasted that he would finance his own campaign but then resorted to selling overpriced 'caps', water bottles, meat and substandard wine; to raise money for his campaign. As expenses of General Election roll over, and his mismanagement of spending precious resources in zero chance states like California and New York continues; pretty soon we are going to see Donald Trump with his hat asking for donations passing through pews! This is the guy blaming Meg Whitman when with an impeccable integrity she spent her own $144 millions without remorse, without complaints to finance her own campaign. I didn't vote her then, but losing to the 'zen artist Jerry Brown' was no shame; Meg had contested the election in a right and respectful way all along.

But beyond corporate accomplishments and financing of political campaign, Whitman is trying to draw attention to the fascism, racism, bigotry and completely divisive politics of Donald Trump. That kind of politics should not be something Conservatives need to accept to win an election. Peter Wehner has made a great case to situate disastrous Trump candidacy in the context of Conservative Legacy of Republican Party. Unless and until leading lights of Conservative Party do not start demanding 'change of behavior' in Donald, there will not be any chance that Trump will leave behind ugly practices of 'primaries'. There may be some who may argue for futility of such an exercise; but there is no substance in any such arguments. Because, to let go all of your principles for one 'dirty individual' is not worth. Whitman's call appropriately highlights this issue and the need to retain one's moral high ground and dignity. Not for nothing a conservative Senator like Susan Collins thinks in the same way as well. It is now up to Paul Ryans of the Republican Party to insist for a decent campaign and not gutter politics, for 2016 elections.


[1] - HPE is my employer and I work full time at this company.

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