Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, popped off this week that he could beat President Trump in the 2020 presidential race. Said Dimon,
I think I could beat Trump. Because I am as tough as he is. I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine.”
My question is, in what solar system is that statement true? Certainly not this one.
There is no doubt that Jamie Dimon is a smart guy. To be a CEO at that level, you have to be smart. But smarter than Donald Trump? No way.
And please let’s don’t start trotting out academic credentials. Both men are well covered in that area. Dimon holds an MBA from Harvard. Trump is a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business. (Critics of Trump will, of course, point out, irrelevantly, that Trump holds only a bachelor’s degree.)
For this discussion, academic CVs constitute little more than foam on the beer. The matter in question is who is smarter. On that, Donald Trump wins hands down. Take a look at what Donald Trump has accomplished, and then consider those accomplishments against the backdrop of the hysterical, foaming-at-the-mouth resistance he has had to overcome, and Trump, it can be argued, borders on genius.
I don’t know what kind of a student Donald Trump was. If you told me he was a ‘C’ student, I’d believe you. I’m pretty sure that Donald Trump can’t hold forth on the Nash Equilibrium economic theory or quote Aristotle in the original Greek.
But I do know that what makes Donald Trump formidably smart is his near supernatural ability to recognize and distill into plain English what ordinary people are thinking. Mr. Trump has a capacity like nobody in today’s politics to recognize a problem, prioritize it and then offer an understandable prescription for fixing it.
And unlike Jamie Dimon and his fellow elites, Donald Trump understands small business owners – the backbone of the American economy – on a visceral level.
For more than 30 years, the country has been run by a bipartisan, elite cabal of (mostly) Ivy Leaguers like Jamie Dimon; people who consider themselves to be the best, brightest and smartest in whatever room they happen to occupy. Yet, from starting wars they couldn’t properly finish, to allowing China to loot American industry, to running up ruinous levels of debt, to enabling the 2008 financial meltdown, to repeatedly punting on Social Security and Medicare, to hollowing out the American middle class, to creating a healthcare fiasco, to standing impotently while American manufacturing jobs left the country; these best and brightest have, with respect to running the country, made a pig’s breakfast of it.
Hillary Clinton was heralded as the best, most qualified presidential candidate in American history. The 16 Republican hopefuls that at one time shared a stage with Donald Trump together constituted what was arguably the best voir dire in the party’s history.
Donald Trump beat them all.
Smarter, Mr. Dimon? Tougher? Don’t make me laugh.