The en vogue thing now seems to straight-talking business politics: telling it like it is, sans political correctness, to upend a broken system.
But spewing a pile of rhetoric and worthless promises that can't be realistically fulfilled and using small, understandable words so you can call it "straight talking" isn't business thinking. It's not a real business approach and it won't solve anything in the real world.
In reality, if you apply business thinking to this 2016 presidential election and to the greater American political world writ large, you see wholesale systemic failure and the need for a genuine reboot, with a realignment of parties to fit the needs of all reasonable Americans and political rules that provide compromise rather than deadlock. All of this, most importantly, without losing the uniquely positive aspects of our two-party system, particularly its penchant for forcing politicians to tack to the center and its crushing of genuinely extremist candidacies.
Let's look at that last point, from a business-thinking perspective. Many political commentators this year have called for genuine third-parties and written effusively about the candidacies of Bernie Sanders, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein.
From a business perspective, the opposite is true: third party candidacies are a no-positive outcome where they draw attention but cannot actually win election for their agenda, while creating genuine peril by reducing the barriers to power for dangerous fringe elements.
The candidacies of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, by pulling support from the Democratic side, are allowing the Republican campaign to veer toward the alt-right without the typical consequences in the general election, while the earlier candidacy of Bernie Sanders pushed Hillary Clinton so far to the left that she has been unable to return to more centrist policies.
So, unlike many purely political pundits, who would call for a more parliamentary approach, my business thinking-hat screams to steer clear. No good can come of it, but plenty of bad certainly can.
Remember, most demagogue candidates have come to power via election - yet all have come to power via purely parliamentary elections. Mussolini, Hitler, Marcos - none truly won a majority of voters in a two-party election.
Hitler's case is particularly extreme: he won about a third of voters in a deeply divided Germany and only came to power when a parliamentary crisis and a horrifying dearth of leadership among his rivals left a fateful opening.
In a much more recent example, Norbert Hofer, the neo-fascist Austrian politician, won the first step in parliamentary elections before, after moving to the second, two-party stage of the runoff, he was very narrowly stopped. In Poland, the ultra-right wing wasn't stopped at all in their parliamentary elections, and new censorship has already begun to take root.
Indeed, the current alt-right friendly campaign in the United States is polling, on average, over eight points higher than Hitler did before taking power. In a wider system with more parties, that base, which is likely insufficient to win a two-party election, would be more than enough to win power.
Business people know US politics needs a tear down. But two parties must emerge from the ashes, never more. In a highly polarizing and extreme political climate, third parties are a peril we cannot afford.