28 Aug '15     home | previous

Donald Trump: a brief History

At thirteen, Donald Trump was sent by his family to the New York Military Academy. There his self-confidence was bolstered by doing well academically and, by the time he graduated at age eighteen, having become a star athlete and a student leader.

Four years later he had a bachelor's degree in economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. This was during the American War in Vietnam. He took student deferments and then acquired a medical deferment, he says because of a bone spur in his foot. There is no record of Trump having objected to US policy in Vietnam.

After college, Trump joined his father's business in real estate development. His father was a German-American (his name Anglicized from Trumpf). His mother was born in Scotland. Comparing Trump's family with Bush family, a Washington Post article on 26 August 2015 reads:

"The Bushes were never Trump's cup of tea," said Roger Stone, a longtime confidant and former adviser to Trump. Asked why the Bushes often have kept Trump at arm's length, he said: "He's not from old, WASP money. The Trumps didn't come on the Mayflower."

The Post writes that "Trump shrugs off the suggestion that his rivalry with the Bushes is rooted in pedigree. Donald Trump apparently supported George H W Bush for President in 1988. He says he liked the elder Bush, but he added: "I hated his 'read my lips, no more taxes,' and then he raised taxes monstrously."

Before President Bush the Elder, there was President Reagan. Trump has tweeted, "I was proud to be one of Ronald Reagan's earliest supporters!" Nothing exists suggesting Trump objecting to what some call Reaganomics or Reagan's policies regarding El Salvador and Guatemala – policies that some liberal or centrist intellectuals see as less than the brilliance in foreign policy that Trump suggests he is capable of.

Apparently unhappy with the administration of Bush, in October 1999, Trump registered as a member of the Independence Party – New York's version of the Reform Party. The Reform Party had been formed in 1995 by Ross Perot. Trump was interested in winning the party's the party's presidential nomination in the year 2000, the year that Bush's son George would run for president against Vice President Al Gore. Wikipedia writes:

Donald Trump entered the race briefly, giving television interviews outlining his platform. Trump was progressive on social issues, and supported allowing openly gay soldiers in the military, saying: "it would not disturb me." Trump considered himself a conservative, but criticized Pat Buchanan, saying: "I'm on the conservative side, but Buchanan is Attila the Hun." [Trump] withdrew from the race citing the party's infighting, as did Jesse Ventura and the Minnesota Reform Party.

Trump's positions on social issues in 2000 included opposition to illegal immigration, support for capital punishment, school choice and support for Israel. He said, "I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun." He said that he supported a woman's right to choose but was "uncomfortable" with abortion "procedures."

Trump has been more of a pragmatist and a money chaser than he has been a saintly humanitarian. He has been a big-time casino owner, and a casino is good only for its owner. It doesn't make anything that people need. It takes advantage of gullibility. It redistributes wealth upward, away from families that need it. It's not something that the humanitarian-focused promote. But Trump has said he is proud of his association with it.

According to the website Brainy Quote, he has said, " What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate." Also: "You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"

Regarding Iraq, in 2004 he told Esquire Magazine:

Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we're in. I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy where people are going to run down to the voting box and gently put in their ballot and the winner is happily going to step up to lead the country? C'mon. Two minutes after we leave, there's going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over. And he'll have weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam didn't have. What was the purpose of this whole thing? Hundreds and hundreds of young people killed.

This quote is from a David Corn article in Mother Jones magazine, which speaks of Trump appearing on Meet the Press on 22 August and identifying John Bolton as his foreign policy advisor. Bolton, writes Corn, "has long been one of the most hawkish of all the neoconservative hawks" supporting the Bush administration's war in Iraq. Trump said of Bolton:

He's, you know, a tough cookie, knows what he's talking about.

Bolton is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a Fox News Channel commentator. He was a "protege" of North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, whose foreign policy positions were detested by liberals. He led the Bush administration's opposition to the International Criminal Court. Critics describe his bluntness as having won him many enemies. Critics allege that on a number of occasions Bolton tried to spin intelligence to support his views and political objectives. Bolton has written a book titled Surrender Is Not an Option. One customer review at Amazon.com writes:

If you come to Surrender is Not an Option feeling that the U. N. has outlived its usefulness and is counter to the best interests of the United States, then everything you probably already believe will be reinforced by what Mr. Bolton has to say.

Someone else writes:

John Bolton is an unabashed apologist for the Bush administration and its multi-layered failed policies,

Donald Trump. on 10 August 2015, described his solution to the Iraq and Islamic State problem. Speaking by phone to the Morning Joe TV show he said he would

knock the hell out of them, and I would put boots on the ground in those areas; I would take the oil. Because what you're doing is you're cutting off a big portion of their money source.

Taking another foreign policy position, Trump has complained of being criticized for describing China "our enemy." China was practicing the free market economy, and Trump blames China because US businesses have been outsourcing American jobs there. He warned that in a handful of years, "America will be engulfed by the economic tsunami that is the People's Republic of China.

On 12 August 2015, Trump switched to the importance of negotiating, and he claimed himself to be an expert "who would be better able to talk to countries like Russia and Iran." He said:

You've got to get along with these people. Obama doesn't get along with anybody. We have all enemies... Obama has been a disaster. Who does he get along with? He doesn't get along with anybody,

In April 2011, Trump followed his sources of information and his intuition and questioned President Barack Obama's proof of citizenship.

Trump has described the Bible as "his favorite book." He said there was "nothing beats the Bible" and that he "went to Sunday School." Without the humility traditional among Christians he said that if he won the election: "I'd be the greatest representative of Christians they've had in a long time." Asked what his favorite Bible verse was, he said he "wouldn't want to get into that." He described the question as "too personal."

Humorous tweets on Trump and the Bible topped can be found online here.

Copyright © 2016 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.