Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Trump has one A on his scorecard

The Trumps

Calvert City, KY - There are many reasons, if one were looking for them, to dislike Donald Trump; it’s like a buffet, a little something for everyone. If you are Muslim, you might not like that some believe he wants to make all Muslim’s go on a registry like a modern version of Hitler’s yellow stars. If you are an illegal immigrant, someone who came into America either in an illegal fashion or overstayed your visa, thus breaking the law of the land and making yourself a criminal outlaw, you might not like that Mr. Trump wants to deport you. If you are a woman you might not like the things that Mr. Trump has said that might cause you to believe, rightly or wrongly, that Mr. Trump is a sexist.
However, there is one thing that is must be said the Republican candidate for the nomination for presidency is doing that all candidates ought to. Namely, Mr. Trump is comfortable with his wealth.
In his new book, Crippled America, Mr. Trump’s outline for what he would do as president, there is, in the center of book, a picture of the Trump family. Daddy, mommy, and all the kiddies. If you didn’t know better you might think that you were looking at an image of a Russian Czar before the fall. The background gives the impression of polished gold, which it just might be, while the entire picture gives you the feeling that you are gazing upon some of the Emperors of Constantinople come to life once more.
But for all that, Mr. Trump, the billionaire, has embraced his wealth in a way the vastly wealthy Mitt Romney was never able to do. In his announcement speech, despite all the mocking it engendered on Late-night, Trump proudly took out a paper and read off just how rich he is. Since then, in his stump speech and, it seems, every interview that he gives from within the cavernous halls of Trump Tower, Mr. Trump repeats the same phrase over and over again, “I’m really rich.” “Don’t forget, I’ve made a lot of money.” “I’m really good at business, I’ve made a lot of money.” “I’ve been really successful, I’ve made my pile.” “Hey, I’m really rich.”
Mr. Trump constantly is busy touting his business experience and success as reasons he should be selected as president, but there is more to his bragging, if you want to call it that. He not only touts his business, he touts himself and his worldly riches. Showing off his personal “Trump” helicopter at the Iowa State Fair and giving rides in it to children is one such example.
Although being comfortable with one’s wealth might seem to some observers as simply braggadocio or worse, there is more to it than that. There was a time when presidential candidates were completely comfortable with admitting that they were not the boy next door. The Kennedys made no secret that they were rich, their children had nannies to look after them, and on hot summer days they went boating rather than working. Ted, when he ran for president, publicly said he’d never worked a day of menial labor in his life. The Roosevelts, (Theodore) lived in mansions and made no secret of it.
We can’t all be rich, not all of us can ride in the toboggans with the Russian lords chasing after the hounds. Some are destined to be the ones mucking out the horse stalls. However, presidential candidates need to accept their place as the poser children of successful capitalism and free market principles. When a person or a family has worked hard, or, in the Trumps case, very, very, very hard, and their fellow citizens have rewarded their efforts by paying for their services and making them wealthy, they should be comfortable with it. They should welcome it and explain why they have money. It didn’t grow on trees on the roof of Trump Tower, and Donald wasn’t robbing banks. It was investment and work, which was rewarded. They don’t have to wear crowns of rubies or bathe in bathtubs made of diamonds in public, but candidates need to explain how the system works, and use it as an argument against the evils of communism and variations thereof.
Somehow Mitt Romney never understood that, or perhaps he was afraid others would not, not realizing that if public opinion ever turns against the rich, and when it does that, it will quickly turn against free market capitalism, and then we will have anarchy followed by tyranny.
You don’t have to like Donald Trump. But whatever you think of him, racist-sexist or selfless savior, maniac or messiah, Mr. Trump is doing something important for capitalism whether he means to or not. Under the free market, sometimes called capitalism, everyone shares in the national wealth, although unequally. Under communism or socialism, it is true that there is no income gap, because everyone equally shares the national poverty. Although some claim he’s a bit of a socialist himself, Trump is a walking embodiment of the fact that in a free market, men like himself can invest and create business which create jobs for thousands and services for millions. If someone is not comfortable with their wealth made from this system it might be seen as evidence they are uncomfortable with the system itself, and to be anti-free market is as un-American as burning the flag.

Andrew C. Abbott

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