Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Group and a fervent critic of Donald Trump, is willing to give the next president’s administration three to six months to see how much of the campaign points become reality.
If Trump doesn’t temper his plans, the responsibility for progressive change will fall on entrepreneurs, Branson told Business Insider during the promotional tour for his new biographical documentary, “Don’t Look Down.”
“I think we as business leaders have got to get up there and speak out very loudly, and, if anything, rally together to try to fill the gap and make sure that people do not suffer as a result of this presidency,” he said.
Branson has written multiple posts on the Virgin Group’s blog about his thoughts on Trump, calling him “irrational” and dangerously “aggressive” in October, but saying on Wednesday that “now is not the time to create more division.”
“He got elected because a lot of working class people felt that he could help them, and if he’s not helping them, we as business leaders must step in and help them,” Branson said.
He gave an example: “Clean energy — it can create hundreds of thousands of jobs. If the government decides to go back to reopening coal mines again, it’s not very nice work — very dangerous for the environment. It would be so much better if the government could incentivise companies to create a clean world.” If the government ends or reverses progressive programs like universal health care or clean energy initiatives, Branson explained, then entrepreneurs will need to find creative ways to compensate.
As he wrote in Wednesday’s blog post, “America can only rise to the challenge if she stands united. A divided nation cannot lead, nor can it inspire.”
“There are so many issues that came out of this election campaign which are worrying, but we’ll have to see whether on second reflection, that they get it right,” Branson told us.
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