Trump Can’t Be Serious…Can He?

Let me say right upfront…out loud and with no pretense. I don’t particularly like Donald Trump. Never have. I find him to be a rather pompous, self serving, oft times ridiculous caricature of a capitalist blowhard doing whatever it takes to advance his own absurd agenda, which frankly I’m still trying to understand.

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This is a man who wants to be known as the world’s greatest businessman. A self made tycoon of immeasurable success and stature. Sounds great. Too bad it’s not quite the true story.  Trump’s father was instrumental in Trump’s early successes and though it is true that his personal wealth has ballooned in recent years (more due to his TV show and other investments rather than his real estate acumen) his Dad was a successful builder in New York City. He built housing projects in Brooklyn and Queens (many times with government support) and made his company worth hundreds of millions. He helped the young Trump get rolling with money, influence and connections. Had my father backed me with a few hundred million dollars, and a name known to many in the finance and construction world could I have been equally successful? Maybe. Maybe not. But I think my life path probably would have been a whole lot easier on my way to wherever.

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Trump likes to make it seem like he is the perennial winner in an arena of losers. He never seems to mention the various companies he has been heavily involved with that failed…he’s gone through bankruptcy four times. He borrowed massive amounts of money and then saw several of his big deals go bust, most notably the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. He is quite skilled at working the system. That’s fine. The laws were created to protect individuals and to keep businesses growing. But this image of his career and life as a perfect, unblemished smooth sail to unprecedented wealth and success is more fairy tale than reality. Basically he did what he had to do to succeed in his various endeavors. Once again that’s fine. He is a shark amongst the mackerel and he survived. Are these the qualifications for running the country? Maybe. Maybe not. In the first few weeks of his fledgling campaign, what has he done to give anyone the idea that he might be fit and able to run the country?

Nothing.

Of course that’s not counting insulting Mexicans and Hispanics.. Or having an “I’m richer than he is” contest with Mitt Romney. It could be calling one of his opponents in Lindsey Graham “an idiot”. Or his amazing attack on John McCain, denigrating not only McCain’s military service, but basically anyone’s service who was a POW. Trump asked the question, “He’s a war hero because he was captured?” Then he answered his own question. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

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Wow. Very Presidential.

He sure showed me.

I always try and see all sides. I have my biases and opinions like anyone but I want to be fair and balanced to borrow a line from FAUX NEWS….but my word, what could Trump possibly have been thinking when he made these absurd remarks? And what’s even more distressing is that thousands of people have put Trump at the top of the Republican polls for President in spite of them. I guess his successful “tough guy” businessman image has some people thinking he can somehow straighten out all of the country’s problems. Trump 4

But a businessman can straighten out the country you say. I think there is a basic flaw in this thinking. Businessmen play by a different set of rules, a different mindset. When the most important goals are increasing profits and the gathering of wealth, decisions are made in business on a daily basis that simply cannot be extrapolated to running the government. In business it’s survival of the fittest. It’s dog eat dog and damn the torpedoes. How does this apply to the government? Government is beholden to millions of people with a million different viewpoints, needs and wants. Government must provide a myriad of complex services to the people. Most businesses have a very narrow scope. They provide a few products. Maybe a few different services. Maybe both. But in the event a product or service is not generating enough income it is eliminated and replaced with another profit inducing scheme. Business turn on a dime because they are “governed” by a small group of like minded people. What the many problems facing the government from defense spending to social programs, eliminating or enacting programs becomes a monumental job because so many people, not of a like mind, are involved in making the decisions, each with their own small agenda. No one man can control all of the parameters and variables. Trump might have been able to negotiate and navigate his way in business…business that HE OWNED. No one owns the government but the people…and Americans have a rich history of not being controlled by anyone or any one thing. Cut the budget, cut the services, cut the taxes are the mantras of people like Trump. But one man does not rule the government with an iron fist the way CEO’s run their companies.

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I have had my ups and downs with John McCain over the years but I have long respected his commitment to do what he thinks is right. His battles to keep money from corrupting our political system are to honored and celebrated. He did what he could. But politics aside, this man was held in a tiny, filthy prison cell and tortured on and off for five long years. Why? Because he refused early release by his captors in return for being complicit in propaganda beneficial to the North Vietnamese. How in the world can Trump, or anyone make these kinds of statements about John McCain? Could anyone expect anything but a loud, disgusted reaction from fair minded people? Trump is the classic example of why the GOP has little or no chance of winning a national election in the near future if they persist in selecting candidates with truly twisted views..

Trump is following in the footsteps of so many other divisive politicos. People who gather their own strength by dividing the people, misleading the people and enraging the people against some imaginary enemy with strong, loud and controversial remarks. This sort of thing always appeals to the lowest common denominator. Let’s make the Mexicans our enemies by referring to them as drug dealers and rapists. This way he rallies support with anyone who has strong feelings about illegal immigration. I do notice that not once has he come up with a reasonable plan to deal with this problem except to say he’s against “those” people.

Let’s paint John McCain as a make believe hero because he didn’t do enough to help veterans. And what exactly is Trump’s plan to help veterans?

With the majority of the Republicans running for President denouncing Trump’s remarks, his campaign may be doomed with failure before it even gets off the ground only to be remembered as a strange anomaly in this already strange political landscape.

 

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5 Responses to Trump Can’t Be Serious…Can He?

  1. Joanne F says:

    Isn’t this the political question of the week? Month? Political cycle? You touched on every relevant issue, Joe. Good job.

    Why is he running? I have a couple of theories of my own. I don’t really think he’s serious about the presidency, but as a media hog, as well as an egomaniac, he just wants — and needs — the publicity. I learned one thing when I was in political office: Media coverage, no matter how good or bad, is key. Getting your name in the paper is the point. Because people don’t pay attention to the content, they merely get the names, so they ultimately don’t remember if it’s good or bad. (Unless it’s REALLY bad.) This also satisfies his ego needs, sad as it may be.

    I also think he’s running for business purposes. Again, getting his name out there, irrespective of the content, makes people want to do business with him. (Even though a lot of his content ENDED a bunch of his contracts.) And you are right about his beginnings. He is NOT a self-made man, he is a typical Republican rich boy who got his start on family money and connections. I just learned tonight that his father, once he set him up in his first hotel (I think it was near Times Square), got him $400Million in taxpayer subsidies due to daddy’s connections to NYC Mayor Abe Beam. Nice. We should all be so lucky.

    But honestly, how incapable is he of public office? Name-calling, dirty tricks against your opponents (publishing Lindsey Graham’s cellphone number? I’m no fan of Graham’s, but even I have empathy. That was waaaay beyond the bounds of decency), flagrant discrimination, and a complete lack of understanding of the simplest of government policy and issues. He fights dirty. These are NOT the qualities we want of our elected officials. Another thing I learned from being a public official: Electeds set a standard of behavior, whether because of who they represent, or because their constituents mimic their behavior. We don’t call them “leaders” for nothing. People follow what they do. Do we want the public to follow his lead? I should hope not.

    Finally, it is folly to think a businessman who is truly successful (and I’m not really sure he is) is capable of running government. They have different motives, goals, and laws that apply. You mentioned that. Most importantly, if you are schooled in either, they are extremely different curricula. Business majors are taught very differently from political science majors. Candidates like him fail to understand the Constitution — mostly because they weren’t schooled in it — and how the rights that derive from it apply to government action, not private business. He is a danger to the public and the republic!

    I guess the scariest part of his candidacy thus far is that he has garnered such a high percentage of GOP interest. He has far surpassed the next closest GOP candidate. What does that say about Republican voters? What does that say about America?

    Do you think Europe is laughing at us? (I do.)

    • Joanne F says:

      PS One trait he has that makes him particularly unsuitable for public office: His inability to change his mind, or admit when he is wrong. It is NOT weakness to be able to do either, especially when dealing with public issues and policies (e.g., Obama’s evolution on gay marriage). In fact, it is the epitome of strength when someone can move along and evolve, especially when the tide of public opinion or policy changes. Instead, he is so busy digging in his heels when he does or says something stupid, he makes himself look twice as bad. Imagine if he apologized for the Mexican immigrants comment? He would have shown a side of his humanity that would actually be appealing to the public. Unfortunately, he is totally lacking in humanity. But that’s Donald Trump.

      • joeref says:

        Trump has some good qualities I’m sure. I just can’t seem to find them. 😉 He may be great in business but I really don’t see him as a viable presidential candidate, regardless of what the polls say. The polls only show that the general public is buying into his lowest common denominator rants. It will be interesting to see where this goes. I saw his interview with Anderson Cooper last night in the gym and I’m a bit amazed that he is still defending the indefensible. Stay tuned for more “entertainment”.

    • joeref says:

      I think the Europeans have been laughing at us for quite some time. Our political system is filled with silly children masquerading as serious adults.

      • Joanne F says:

        Yes. I think they view us as the little child with the arms and the anger management problem. Quite accurate.

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