Another rich businessman and reality show star with a flair for saying insensitive things is considering a run for political office
By now, the entire planet knows about the Donald Trump phenomenon taking place within the Republican Primary in the United States. It’s no surprise then that Kevin O’Leary, feeling inspired by the rise of Trump, is considering a run to lead the Conservative Party of Canada.
North Americans may recognize Kevin O’Leary from the Canadian reality show Dragon’s Den and its American cousin Shark Tank. On these shows its O’Leary’s job to hear investment pitches by ordinary people, and decide whether to invest in their businesses or ridicule them to no end. Sound familiar? The only thing missing is the words “you’re fired.”
The similarities between O’Leary and Trump don’t stop with being celebrity reality show personalities. They are both Rich businessman, authors of several financial self-help books and both of them would be seeking high office despite the lack of a single iota of political experience.
It is also clear that they both have a penchant for intentionally blurting out inflammatory remarks. O’Leary recently suggested on a radio show that he would invest $1 million in the oil industry “for the sake of Canadians” if Alberta Premier Rachel Notley stepped down. The comment was widely ridiculed on social media, giving Kevin O’Leary a taste of his own Shark Tank medicine.
Any economist with half a brain would tell you the economic troubles of the oil rich province are due to the worldwide collapse in oil prices. Not to mention the failed policies of the former progressive conservative government who ruled the province for decades. Notley of the socialist leaning NDP has been in power for only nine months.
It’s obvious that these two conservative hopefuls have little love for the truth or facts, you might be wondering how O’Leary compares to the racist garbage that flows out of Trump’s mouth on a daily basis. Here is where it gets interesting.
Kevin O’Leary does not blame Alberta’s (or Canada’s) woes on immigrants, Muslims or even the Chinese. O’Leary has a special kind of prejudice. The kind of prejudice you’d find on Wall Street. O’Leary doesn’t give two shits about the poor.
Last year he applauded the statistic that revealed the combined wealth of the world’s 85 richest people is equal to the wealth of the 3.5 billion poorest (This year the number changed to 62 people). “Of course I applaud it,” O’Leary said. “What could be wrong with this?”
He then tried to explain that the conditions the 3.5 billion poorest individuals find themselves in are simply a great motivator for those folks to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of their lives.
Mr. O’Leary clearly lacks empathy or a strong understanding of those with nothing. Many of those 3.5 billion have little to no water, food, and education, let alone bootstraps to pull on. Not everyone in the world can get a ten thousand dollar loan from their mother.
It’s hard to say whether O’Leary matches up with Trump concerning the poor. So much attention has been placed on Trump’s bigoted views of immigrants and Muslims that the poverty question hasn’t really been raised, although that might have to do with him running as a Republican.
Either way, Another similarity they share between them is alienation. Trump is obviously not going for the Latino or Muslim vote after belittling them for so long. O’Leary on the other hand will alienate roughly 22% of Canadians, not through insults, but by not being able speak French, a big no-no in the country.
One thing that separates the two wannabe politicians is foreign policy. I have to give credit where it’s due. Unlike Trump, O’Leary would withdraw Canadian forces completely from the Middle East, a policy even Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reluctant to implement.
Anyway, the Conservative Leadership Convention is more than a year away, anything can happen. However, polls suggest that the reality show star is polling near the front of the pack should he choose to run… sound familiar?
If I were the president of the United States, I would make unions illegal. They no longer serve a functional purpose in democracy, in my view. – Kevin O’Leary