Presidential Campaign

Clinton, the Vatican more in touch with business than Trump

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It’s startling but true: Hillary Clinton and the Catholic Church are much more aligned with mainstream business values than Donald Trump and what’s left of the Republican Party. Valuing economic success led by real businesses has long seemed a Republican priority, while Democrats cared about caring …  “makers versus takers” as the Republican adage goes. That landscape has fundamentally changed. Anyone who cares about business-led prosperity and values must stand with Hillary. 

The Trump part of the story is reasonably well told already, even by his supporters. Donald Trump is no maker — he is a classic taker. Newt Gingrich talks glowingly about Trump being a “pirate” — the very definition of a taker. Trump is all about branding, cunning, and “The Art of the Deal.” With him at its helm, the GOP has become a party of grievance, resentment, and selfishness.

{mosads}While Republicans are abandoning business principles and values, Democrats and social justice organizations are often moving in the other direction, seeking to increase impact by using business principles in the service of social change. The field of international development, for example, is transforming.

Earlier this summer, The Second Vatican Conference on Impact Investing sought increase Church investing in enterprises that help the poor and yield economic returns. Leaders of Church financial institutions worked with Church groups from around the world that serve the poor and heal the sick to engage on how to bring business best practices into social service.

Much has been made of how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump began their careers — her fighting injustice, him perpetrating it. The contrast continued through Clinton’s time at State. She led this transformation in development assistance, reorienting U.S. Foreign Aid to value and promote business, creating, among other things:

• The New Alliance: A G8-led effort to bridge a gap between African leaders and international businesses to expand food production to end famine and promote food security.

• The Private Capital Group: A USAID-led swat team created to identify and evaluate private sector deals ripe for government support to pursue goals such as doubling energy output and access to power in Subsaharan Africa.

• The Global Development Lab:  An organization to expand the use of cutting edge science, technology and innovation to solve some of the developing world’s most vexing challenges.

Each of these represented the start of progress that continues and gains international steam each year. Much of it continues work done in the Bush administration. Each of these received broad bipartisan support. New models of sustainable development are engaging businesses and young people across the world.

These programs help poor people gain access to markets, and they serve US national and business interests. As Secretary of State Clinton said in 2012, “You cannot have development in today’s world without partnering with the private sector and adopting business principles in pursuit of policy goals.”

During these same years, Donald Trump hosted The Apprentice, failed at Trump U, and got paid to put his name on everything from failing magazines to chocolates and perfumes. Creatively using business approaches to solve problems is what Trump promises but never delivers.

Pope Francis is leading the way in challenging us to change our expectations of ourselves. Enlightened business leaders are taking longer and broader views, understanding that socially and environmentally sustainable businesses are good business. Only one candidate for President has any credibility as a partner in this great project.

I’m with her.

Margaret Sullivan was Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at USAID from 2011 to 2014.


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Tags 2016 presidential election Democratic Party Donald Trump Hillary Clinton I'm With Her Republican Party Roman Catholic Church United States Washington D.C.

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