There’s a new potential contender in the race for the presidency in 2016, and like the bombastic real estate mogul, reality TV star, and current Republican presidential candidate front runner Donald Trump, he is absolutely confident that he would win if he ran.
Mark Cuban not only owns the Dallas Mavericks, he’s also a reality TV star of the hit CNBC show Shark Tank. Cuban, who self-describes politically as a libertarian, believes that if he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination, he would win. He also believes that he could beyond a shadow of a doubt beat Donald Trump in a head to head match up for the presidency.
Cuban exchanged emails with CNBC after he was asked if he would ever run for the presidency. The fact that Cuban entertained the possibility with specific answers will leave one to wonder if a ‘Mark Cuban for President’ campaign could actually be mounted.
Despite the fact that Obama has spent the last nearly seven years demonizing the wealthy (on the right) as evil beings who don’t pay their fair share and who only have succeeded by stepping on the backs and taking advantage of the worker, that Democrat strategy appears to be backfiring with the rise of Donald Trump as a serious political candidate. (It must be noted that Obama rails against wealthy Republicans while partying constantly with his rich progressive pals and taking vacations in ritzy spots while many Americans can’t even afford a vacation.)
Unlike Mitt Romney, who the left successful demonized for his wealth despite the massive wealth of Democrats like John Kerry and the wealth amassed by Al Gore with his global warming get rich quick scheme, Trump has embraced his wealth. Rather than try to hide it, he has boasted about it and emphasized that he owes no one any favors because he is funding his own campaign, a claim that Hillary Clinton simply cannot make.
To Mark Cuban, all this makes sense. Having a billion dollars—that famous “three-comma” net worth—gives a candidate a certain swagger. “Rich people just have a little more arrogance to think we know more than everyone else,” Cuban wrote.
And just as John F. Kennedy had an instinctive grasp of the new media—television—that was coming to dominate his political era, Cuban thinks that the social media era will play to the strengths of a different group of candidates.
Cuban also addressed the social media phenomenon that has emerged as a powerful force in politics.
“There is no question the game has changed and Donald has a much stronger command of it than the rest of the candidates,” Cuban wrote. “Most future voters will get their news from their Facebook, Snapchat, Cyber Dust, Instagram, Twitter feeds,” Cuban said (Cyber Dust is his own messaging app). “They open their apps and see what’s there. They don’t go looking for depth and explanations.”
“If you as a candidate can’t find your way into those feeds, you basically don’t exist,” Cuban wrote.
Trump has used social media, especially Twitter and Instagram, to his political advantage.
But still, Cuban believes that if he jumped in the race neither Hillary nor Trump would stand a chance. He contends, “I get asked every day. It’s a fun idea to toss around. If I ran as a Dem, I know I could beat Hillary Clinton. And if it was me vs. Trump, I would crush him. No doubt about it.”
Although Cuban has historically held pretty leftist political views, he says that his views actually leans towards the libertarian side. This political bent can be seen in the issues upon which he says he would focus if he was president.
On social issues, Cuban wrote, “The first thing I would do is define which social issues were not presidential and instead were personal. They have nothing to do with running the country. They are personal and family decisions.”
On the economy, Cuban defined the five issues that he believes are the most important to be addressed. These are income inequality, college debt, overly complex taxes, cybersecurity, and a broken equities market.
He believes the most pressing danger facing the nation is not one that can be fought with the military, but rather the dangers posed in the cyber world and how they can be neutralized with our own hackers. “How we deploy bytes and the superiority of our national hackers is far more important than bombs or bullets. You want to stop a bomb? Hack it,” Cuban wrote.
On the market, Cuban said, “Investors are ceding control of the markets to stock market hackers. That’s a huge problem.”
But no matter the amount of money you have, even if you are a “three-comma” president, i.e. one worth billions, your net worth will not make actually doing the job any easier. The life or death decisions, Cuban said, would humble you.
Cuban explained, “No matter how smart or arrogant you think you are, I can’t imagine anything more difficult or more humbling than making life or death decisions. Whether it’s someone like me, or a Trump, the first time someone dies because of a decision the president made, I think all that bluster goes out the window.”
Some on the left are calling for a billionaire to enter the presidential race, given the tanking of Hillary’s campaign and the extreme popularity of Donald Trump. Will Mark Cuban launch a presidential campaign or is this simply Cuban doing what he does often which is interjecting his thoughts on a hot button issue?
Given the personalities of both Trump and Cuban, one thing is certain. If that was the match-up in 2016, debates would certainly be entertaining.