It is rather interesting Donald Trump has called Hillary Clinton, croocked Hillary. It gives the impression that Trump is the epitome of honesty. Contrary to his base supporters, Trump is not the virtuous image he would like his followers to believe. Many of his supporters believe Trump can do for America what he has done as a successful businessman.
An analysis of his business career has demonstrated that Trump built his wealth on stifling large and small businesses. A recent editorial in USA Today commented that Trump has a checkered career in business. USA Today editorialized that “Trump’s companies have handsome spectacular financial successes, but this track record is marred by six bankruptcy filings, apparent misuse of the family charitable foundation, and allegations by Trump University customers of fraud”. Based on a series of investigative articles, the paper also found that “Trump has been involved in thousands of lawsuits over the past three decades, including at least 60 that involved small businesses and contract employees who said they were stiffed.”
The disclosure in New York Times recently disclosed that in 1995 Trump, age 49, filed a financial loss amounting to nearly a billion dollars(916 millions) In a related Times article, Michael Knoll, law and real estate professor, made the following observations. The tax documents released by the Times make for a “compelling case “ for Trump to release his tax returns: “if his loss was so massive that he didn’t pay federal income tax for 15 to 20 years, that’s surprising. It ‘s even more surprising that someone in that situation would run for president.” Rudy Guiliani has called Trump a genius. How smart must one be to loss a billion dollars? Yet his supporters believe that Trump is the right choice to transform the economic status of middle class America. Trump has never championed the dreams of middle America. Here is what Jordan Weissmann,Slate senior business and economic correspondent, commented about Trump’s economic proposal: “The Trump’s tax package, including its much hyped child care plan is basically worthless to the middle class. Trump’s plan is another multi-trillion dollar gift to the rich.”
Similar to the building of his questionable business empire, he has built his political support on lies and innuendos. He rose to political prominence on the birther movement which originated in opposition to the election of America’s first African American president,. In the election of 2008 a record number(69,498,516, a percentage of 52.9% of Americans voted in to elect Barack Obama. His electoral votes were 365, only 270 required for the presidency. Despite these numbers, the birthers believed Obama was not an American born since he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and African father. Trump jumped onto the movement and became its leader. Questions about Obama’s place of birth persisted before and after his election for eight years. Was the birther movement racially motivated? The answer is a resounding yes. In attempt to mollify the birther conspiracy, Chiyome Fukino, Hawaii Health Director issued on October 31st the following statement relative to the birth certificate of then Senator Obama:
“I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
Despite the official statement and subsequent release by Obama of a short birth certificate, it did not appease the racial appetite of Trump and supporters. Trump continued to promote conspiracy theories that Obama was African born and a Muslim. In the words of Michelle Obama, birtherism promoted hurtful and deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine Obama’s presidency. It was a movement to humiliate and demean the Obama presidency..
How embarrassing it was to Trump and the birthers when President Obama released his long form birth. Certificate on April 27, 2011. Five years later ,the response by Trump was” I did America and Obama a favor and why did it take him so long?”
Ironically, the birther movement was an issue based on lies and innuendos and should have never existed. The American electorate had certified Obama as President. Nevertheless, Trump and supporters had the audacity to question the constitutional referendum of the American people and hurl insult upon insult relative its legitimacy and the religious faith of the President.
‘Birtherism’ helped to serve the political objective of Trump.
Shortly after Trump admitted President Obama is American born, Michelle Obama said such issues”cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference.”
The dishonesty of Trump has created an ugly legacy that will live in the minds of his supporters for generations. A case in point is the thinking of Kathy Miller, real estate owner and Trump volunteer chair, Mahoning County, Ohio. Miller is quoted in the Guardian newspaper that she “ did not believe there was any racism until President Obama was elected.”
In the minds of Trump and supporters the end justifies the means, and that raises a pertinent question, how honest is Donald Trump?
Sherman Jackson, American Constitutional History and Law, Miami University, Professor Emeritus, firstname.lastname@example.org