You'd think from the tone of a blog post he published Monday, entitled "Some Thoughts on the Presidential Race and Socio-capitalism," that it has at least crossed his mind. In the post, the outspoken Texas native ripped into candidates from both parties for what he perceives as a lack of leadership, poor understanding of technology, and an inability to craft a sound fiscal plan. He also weighed in on how politicians can appeal to the key demographic of Millennial voters, and why Bernie Sanders has done so successfully(if unwittingly).
Cuban's post is well-timed, with the New Hampshire primaries getting underway Tuesday and polls showing many of the candidates running neck-and-neck. The rhetoric in the run-up to the primaries has at times turned ugly in debates and town halls, where asserting progressive or conservative bona fides and voicing extremist views have often usurped discussion of the issues voters care most about.
Writes Cuban about both Democrats and Republicans:
Bitching about everyone else is not leadership. It may play to the base, but it certainly doesn't reflect an ability to lead. This years [sic] candidates seem to want to prove to everyone that they conform to "party principles" rather than offering strategies and solutions and rallying consensus behind it. In fact, they argue with each other about who conforms to party standards more. IMHO, this is just crazy.
Just as galling to Cuban is the candidates' lack of understanding of the importance of technology, both as it affects business and society as a whole:
How can you hope to strategize and create solutions to issues we face without having more than a basic understanding of technology?... None [of the candidates] has given us any reason to believe they could make a decision on the technology used by a tiny business let alone the country.
Cuban says the candidates' lack of knowledge extends to their economic and tax plans, which include, on the Democratic side, increasing the progressive tax or installing a special tax on billionaires. On the Republican side, it entails rewriting the tax code in favor of a simplified flat tax that would significantly reduce revenues to the federal government.
There has never been an investor in the history of investors that has believed a 10 year projection in a business plan. Yet for some reason we allow candidates to deliver tax , healthcare and other financial plans over a 10 year period.
Tax cuts won't do it. Redistribution of wealth might help in the short term, but won't solve the problem. The first step is to understand just what the budgets of underwater American families are and to look for ways to provide ways to cut those costs. Hopefully the free market can find answers.
As a solution, he cites Millennials, who most frequently include an element of social entrepreneurship in their business plans. And he links their ideas and enthusiasm about using business to solve social problems to their support of Sanders's campaign:
How can it be a surprise that Millennials are excited about Bernie Sanders? Millennials EXPECT capitalism to reflect a socialist element. I don't think Bernie knew this going in. Either way, any candidate that expects to get millennial votes needs to understand that your father's capitalism is not ... how they understand the world. Soci0-Capitalism [sic] is who they are and what this country will be. Whether you like it or not.
Finally, Cuban called upon the presidential hopefuls to step out of their party cocoons to connect with voters in more thoughtful ways.
"There are new ideas in this world that matter," Cuban writes. "It would be nice to get one from a Presidential candidate."
Cuban declined to be interviewed for this story, or to answer questions about a potential presidential run. If he does throw his hat in the ring, he'd join another billionaire entrepreneur, Donald Trump. A third member of that elite club, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, has indicated he might run, also citing the various weaknesses of the current slate of candidates.