Business Insider interviewed billionaire Mark Cuban in which he declares: “I want to be a Republican, but the party has one big problem.” He then releases a rant of his complaints with Republicans while praising fellow billionaire Donald Trump.
Personally, I’m tired of billionaires telling me what’s wrong with my party while they have been AWOL in the public square for years. The truth is, those same billionaires – by Donald Trump’s own admission – are often what is wrong with American politics. For Cuban to lecture me and other Republicans about what’s wrong with the Republican party is utterly incredulous.
While thousands of us have been in the trenches for years, supporting and recruiting candidates, registering voters, answering phones, making calls, getting people out to the polls, analyzing election data and polling, and engaging in public discussion of issues, they have contributed nothing to the political dialogue. Men like Cuban and Trump earned their billions, without lifting a finger or making a commitment toward changes in the political realm. Trump has readily admitted that he made contributions for access and influence, not to effect societal change. Now, for their own personal aggrandizement, they have an opinion and expect we listen to them just because they are billionaires. Mr. Cuban is certainly entitled to his opinion. You will pardon me if I feel no need to pay much attention – especially when his opinion is merely trotting out the tired Democratic talking points about Republicans.
Mr. Cuban sets a list of grievances against Republicans and offers a list of leadership traits. To your leader list, Mr. Cuban, you need to add that leaders don’t watch from the sidelines and criticize. You do not lead by saying “Now here’s what you need to do.” You lead by commitment, example and sacrifice. You lead with the promise to build up a cause, not threaten to take your toys to another playground if you aren’t “treated fairly” as Donald Trump has often asserted.
Instead as Teddy Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
One of Mr. Cuban’s tired “Democratic” criticisms is that he claims Republicans are focused on the past. If Mr. Cuban had been paying attention, there is a Republican who has rejected focusing on the past. He is focused on America’s future. His name is Marco Rubio.