Many who support Donald Trump keep arguing that they support him because Trump “is not like other politicians” as if that is the only reason he deserves your vote. Yes, it sounds nice, especially in this climate of animosity towards all politicians and those in power. I get it, voters have tried voting for career politicians over and over again only to feel like their voice don’t matter. The problem is that arguing that Donald Trump is not like any other politician is not only disingenuous and dangerous but the facts prove that Donald Trump doesn’t really mean what he promises. He is just like any politician – a liar.
Let’s talk about the dangerous of a Donald Trump presidency first. It comes down to his dishonesty. Trump has made a career of lying about his business acumen and has mastered marketing for building the Trump brand as a respectable brand while in reality it is only an empty vessel that has left much damage across its wake.
Take, for example, the notion that Donald Trump is a self-made millionaire or billionaire depending on who is telling the story – Trump or the news media. It is a matter of public record that Donald Trump received at least $14 million in loans from his father. Trump, himself, has admitted this. During the campaign and previously when talking about the empire he has built, Donald Trump has admitted starting his business with a “small” $1 million loan from his father. Whether you consider that amount “small” or not is up to you. However, the whole notion that Donald Trump has built his empire by himself must be tempered, again, by the public record – his bankruptcies.
Yes, I agree that Donald Trump has not filed personal bankruptcy but the fact remains that his business “empire” has filed for bankruptcy protection at least four times but as many as six times if you add those business entities in which Trump had a small stake in. In addition to the bankruptcies, there are many other Trump-related businesses that have failed. Among them are Trump Airlines, Trump Mortgage, Trump Steaks and Trump University. There are at least eight to ten more business failures in his portfolio.
There is however, the other side of the coin, the many successful Trump businesses that are still in business today. According to Donald Trump he currently controls about 500 businesses entities through his business “empire”. How should the reader reconcile this? Is Donald Trump a successful businessman because the number of active businesses outweigh the failures?
The answer to that question lies within each readers point of view. But, does that make him someone that can be trusted to run the country?
Let’s look deeper into the public record.
Let’s start with the obvious. Donald Trump likes to brag about his business acumen and his supporters point to it as the solution to the problems in the United States.
Donald Trump likes to say that he isn’t “braggadocios” but likes to tell everyone that he attended the elite Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. On July 8, 2016 a letter titled “You Do Not Represent Us: An Open Letter to Donald Trump” by Wharton “students, alumni and faculty”. As of September 26, 2016 there are over 3,900 signatures on the letter.
Let that sink in for a moment, faculty and students of the Wharton School are so repulsed by their fellow alumni that they have resorted to publishing and attaching their signatures to a public letter repudiating Donald Trump. What does that say about Donald Trump’s character?
Imagine if faculty and students of your alma mater were to publish a letter repudiating you, how would you feel? I’d be ashamed to mention my alma mater. But, I am not Donald Trump.
Yesterday we found out another troubling aspect of Donald Trump’s business practices. According to a Newsweek investigation that was published yesterday, it turns out that Donald Trump may have broken US law by doing business in Cuba. As you likely know, it is illegal for US citizens to pay any money to any Cuban interest because of the Cuban Embargo. This little nugget is actually very troublesome for Donald Trump. No, not because of the illegality – the statue of limitations has expired, but rather because he needs Florida if he has any chance of winning the election. Cuban-Americans figure prominently in US presidential elections, especially in Florida.
And, that leads us to the next question, why doesn’t Donald Trump release his tax returns?
His argument that he is currently under an IRS audit has been proven to have no effect on his ability to release his tax returns. The IRS has said that there is no prohibition against releasing tax returns that are under an audit. That leaves his attorneys who, according to Donald Trump, have advised him not to release them. I can’t argue against that because the lawyers’ first priority is to protect the interest of their client.
What I can point out is that Donald Trump has built his “empire” on the notion of his “success” so why not put the matter to rest and release the tax returns?
Many of you who support Donald Trump seem to not have a problem with his refusal to release his tax returns because he “is not like other politicians”. Ok, but would you allow a politician to get away without releasing their tax returns so that you can make an informed decision on Election Day? Likely no, but you give Donald Trump a pass on that? What’s wrong with that picture?
But it gets worse for you – the Trump supporters. Donald Trump has been vacillating back-and-forth between cutting off all immigration to allowing some immigration. Trump started his campaign demonizing Mexicans but now calls Mexicans his “friends” [August 31, 2016; Mexico City] and even stating that Mexico is the “eighth wonder of the world,” [Presidential Debate; September 2016] well, he quotes his friends as saying that but doesn’t disagree with them. So which is it? Don’t politicians say one thing only to change their minds later?
Then there are the Donald Trump supporters that only support him because the alternative, Hillary Clinton, is worse.
Let’s not mince any words here, Hillary Clinton has a serious problem with being honest and transparent. She, and the Democrats, are not planning on dealing with the immigration problem because one of their major bases are the labor unions. The unions have no interest in seeing unfettered access to immigrant labor because it affects their push for higher wages. Immigration will not be resolved by either candidate because the immigration problem is the perfect scapegoat for all of the politicians, including Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton is no better than Donald Trump as far as I’m concerned.
But, I can’t vote so there is little I can do about either candidate. What I can do is point out the hypocrisy and, if and when Donald Trump is elected, you can count on me to remind you how the wall will never get built, how Mexico will not pay for it and how jobs won’t be stampeding back to the US.
However, and in all seriousness, how can you, the Donald Trump supporter, still argue with a straight face that Donald Trump is like no politician?
If by that you mean that Donald Trump avoids paying taxes and has no problem filing for bankruptcy, not paying employees for their hard work or calling woman, especially a Miss Universe, “Miss Piggy” then I question how is that different from politicians? Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton or Ruben Hinojosa, just to name a very few politicians who have either filed for bankruptcy or had problems with women, are what you don’t want Donald Trump to be?
If this is the standard you all want in a president, well there is nothing I can write to change your minds.