Donald Trump continues to lead in the GOP field and if you didn’t know that, just listen to one of his speeches, where he will remind you of that in every other breath. He uses his poll numbers as vindication that he is right, but the truth is when it gets down to details – he’s vague, vacillates and frankly hasn’t offered much in the way of concrete proposals that have any real plan behind them. He will build a Great Wall of Trump, but do we even need a “Great Wall” or do we need modern enhanced border security, faster interdiction of illegals trying to enter the US, enhanced e-verify, an end to sanctuary cities and a revamped program to keep track of visa-holders? He has offered no idea of how his mass deportation plan would work or how he would decide how the “good ones” would be determined and be allowed back in, which is nothing more than a tricky and costly word play that is really amnesty. Why not just deport the bad ones and save us the money of mass deportation of the “good ones”, if he’s going to have expedited reentry? It does not make any sense.
Beyond illegal immigration, Trump’s plan to defeat ISIS ranks as ludicrous – he’s going to circle them and take their oil. One can only wonder which of his friends he’ll appoint to oversee the Defense Department, because believe me, he knows the “best” people for everything, as he brags. He’s for affirmative action and universal health care, he’s for taking care of women (whatever that means) and the rest of his platform may unfold as he rambles along, but rest assured the disjointed, angry tirades against anyone who treats him “unfairly” or disagrees with him, should clue people in to his character, but his “fans” love him and sadly many have begun emulating him. I have watched in amazement as the comment sections on conservative pundits who disagree with Trump have become angry, name-calling, like you’d expect at a WWF match.
Polls don’t make Donald Trump’s policy ideas (vague as they are) right, all they indicate is the conservative base and some of his celebrity fan base have gravitated to his illegal immigration-anti-Washington spiel and his campaign slogan, “make America great again”.
Last week I bought one of Trump’s books, as I mentioned before, and I read it. Assuredly, Trump offered many interesting insights into, as the book’s title stated, “TRUMP: How to Get Rich”. The pride he takes in his children comes across and he offers some worthwhile advice on investing and negotiating, but trying to get to the character of who exactly is Donald Trump, well, he’s a man who has chapters in his book like “Be Strategically Dramatic”, “Sometimes You Still Have To Screw Them”, and “Sometimes You Have To Hold a Grudge”, replete with examples from his life and his guiding principles. Here are some quotes (page 138):
“When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can. Like it says in the Bible, an eye for an eye.”
Be paranoid. I know this observation doesn’t make any of us sound very good, but let’s face the fact that it’s possible that even your best friend wants to steal your spouse and your money.”
The chapter on holding a grudge is even more interesting, because Trump relates how for years he had donated huge amounts of money to NY governor, Mario Cuomo and when he called Cuomo to ask for a favor from Cuomo’s son, Andrew, who was running the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mario Cuomo refused to do the favor (which Trump doesn’t explain in detail other than to say it was an appropriate favor involving attention to a detail). Trump blew up and for any who are confused with Trump’s vendetta against Megyn Kelly on Twitter, calling her a bimbo last night or his refusing to entertain a question by Jorge Ramos from Univision this evening, well, this chapter on holding a grudge (page 142) explains it. Trump called in a political favor believing it was owed to him, because he donated a lot of money to Mario Cuomo (crony capitalism is what most people call this greasing of palms). Here is how Trump describes the phone call:
“I did the only thing that felt right to me. I began screaming. “You son of a bitch! For years I’ve helped you and never asked for a thing, and when I finally need something, and a totally proper thing at that, you aren’t there for me. You’re no good. You’re one of the most disloyal people I’ve known and as far as I’m concerned, you can go to hell.”
My screaming was so loud that two or three people came in from adjoining offices and asked who I was screaming at. I told them it was Mario Cuomo., a total stiff, a lousy governor, and a disloyal former friend. Now whenever I see Mario at dinner, I refuse to acknowledge him, talk to him, or even look at him.”
When you hear Trump whining about being treated unfairly, here’s what I believe he means: If you agree with him, fawn over him and puff up his ego, that’s treating him fairly. If you disagree or criticize him, I believe, he will wage an all out campaign to destroy you. So, I keep wondering how his character will play in the long, arduous rough and tumble of presidential politics, where being ripped apart by opposition research, pundits and reporters only escalates as the campaign wears on. We’ve got plenty of rounds to go, so it’s certainly not going to be boring.