Trump – rhetoric versus reality

This is a guest column; ‘Mihael Willman’ is the pseudonym for a concerned Canadian – JG.

by Mihael Willman

“Despite being happy with Sarah Palin’s endorsement, his plastic smile looked even more forced than usual, making him look as if he had just swallowed something nasty. Or could it be that he was upset that Palin’s high school cheerleader imitation and long speech was taking the spotlight off him?”

To be confident and assertive, with clear policies, is one thing. To make outrageous claims which are clearly false and easily refuted is something else.

“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” is a favorite Trump statement. Maybe one should ask whether he means jobs for Americans, or is he going to increase the number of temporary foreign workers coming into the country? In the last fifteen years his casinos have been granted most of the 1,100 visas requested for cheap temporary foreign workers. He was clearly not interested in hiring unemployed Americans to fill these various positions. So how can anyone trust him to create more jobs for Americans as a whole?

In an effort to identify with Americans struggling to make ends meet he had the gall to say, at a town hall meeting in Atkinson, N.H. that: “It has not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.” Today the value of this loan would be closer to $10 million, not exactly small change. Sorry, but anyone with that kind of help hasn’t the slightest idea of what it means to be struggling financially.

Tapping into the general anger against hedge-fund managers and company CEOs, during an interview on CBS, Trump was critical of CEOs saying that their salaries are 350 times that of average workers. Of course he did not disclose just what his salary is in comparison to the average worker in his casinos. Yet, almost in the same breath, he continued with “CEOs make enormous amounts of money, it’s a joke… I’ve made $10 billion dollars net, net, net.” And how much do his workers make, those who are American citizens and the temporary foreign workers?

In a poll taken in Iowa the people who support Trump were mostly moderate and mainstream Republicans who believe that the system is rigged in favor of the rich and powerful. Considering that Trump belongs in that category, rich and powerful, how can they possibly consider supporting him? Or, even more important, how can they think that he has changed his spots and is now concerned about their financial welfare? This is the same individual who, when his casino in Atlantic City declared bankruptcy, left many small businesses and workers with unpaid bills for work done, losses they could ill afford.

When challenged about his attack on Carly Fiorina, the only female candidate in the Republican race, he claimed that he was not referring to her appearance, but rather to “her persona,” the fact that her work at two major companies was a failure. This is rich coming from the man who has three, or is it four, bankrupt companies under his belt. Yet he and his followers continue to maintain the myth that he is a successful businessman and would be just the person to restore the American economy. He is certainly successful in making money for himself, while leaving others holding the bag when his businesses go bankrupt.

“I’m a world class businessman.” No mention that he has conducted business with convicted felons. Nor does he mention the tactics he has used, or the extent he is prepared to go to, to overcome opposition to his developments. The most blatant example of his bullying business tactics is the resort and golf course he has built in Scotland. (This issue will be dealt with in another article.)

When Sarah Palin endorsed Trump she said that he would make a great commander-in-chief. This is something Trump has claimed in various speeches. Yet once again his history negates his words. In 2011, when he was testing the waters for a presidential run, Trump claimed that he didn’t serve in Vietnam because of a high draft lottery number. In actual fact, according to the “Smoking Gun” website, he avoided the draft first through a series of student deferments and then a medical deferment after he graduated from college. So how can he look veterans in the eye and say he cares about them when, as a young man, he made sure that under no circumstances was he going to join their ranks?

As if this wasn’t enough, he went so far as to state that John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he got captured. When called upon to explain his comments, he said he preferred those soldiers who didn’t get captured. Trump has clearly missed the point here. McCain isn’t a hero because he was captured in Vietnam, he’s a hero for the strength of character, fortitude and courage he showed during his five long years in extremely difficult circumstances. He is especially a hero for refusing to allow himself to be used as a propaganda tool by the North Vietnamese government and refusing to accept the offer of release after one month of captivity.

Wonder just how long Trump would have lasted under these conditions and whether he would have shown the same amount of character and courage? Actually, there is no need to wonder, since he sought deferments to avoid getting drafted in the first place.

(Though McCain had an exemplary military service, one can never forgive him for letting Sarah Palin, and the Palin clan, loose on the American public. Even today one can only ask, what was he thinking about when he made this selection?)

Despite being happy with Sarah Palin’s endorsement, his plastic smile looked even more forced than usual, making him look as if he had just swallowed something nasty. Or could it be that he was upset that Palin’s high school cheerleader imitation and long speech was taking the spotlight off him?

It’s not surprising that Palin should endorse Trump. They both suffer from the same inflated sense of self-worth, bashing anyone who dares to be critical of them or ask them questions they are unable to answer. Their knowledge of foreign affairs is about equal, remember Palin’s “we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.”

Trump’s knowledge of foreign affairs is just as sketchy, evidenced by his replies to various questions during interviews. Of particular interest is his response when Putin described him as being “talented” and referred to him as a “highly respected” man. Trump, flattered by this praise, responded: “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good.” When told by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC that Putin “kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries,” Trump replied: “At least he’s a leader.” Wonder what Ukrainians, as well as Russian journalists and Putin’s political opposition would say to that? I suppose if he became U.S. president, as long as some world leader praised him, he would be putty in their hands.

Another example of where rhetoric does not fit reality are Trump’s claims that he is not raising money for his campaign, but rather is using his own. In a recent news report it was announced that his campaign receives donations from many small donors. Just where is that money going to, if not for his campaign?

Clearly Trump’s present words do not match his history. If only his followers would try thinking for themselves and examine just how diametrically opposed his words are from his actions, they might see that he is definitely not the man to “make America great again.”