Donald Trump and Delegate Trent Kittleman at the 2015 GOP Red White and Blue dinner.
Trent Kittleman is considered one of the more moderate Republicans in the Md. legislature, so when she said she was enthusiastically supporting Donald Trump for president, Maryland Reporter asked her to explain herself.
Some of my friends … and at least one daughter … find my opinion and passion for Donald Trump a bit hard to comprehend.
The election of Donald Trump may very well be the last, best hope of preserving this country as the constitutional republic our founders created.
Here's how I come to my conclusion.
What candidates say during a campaign is interesting. I'm much more interested in what they've done. A perfect platform may sound good, but a much better indicator of who will make the best president is (1) what the candidate has actually accomplished in his or her life, and (2) whether the candidate has the character and temperament to get the right things done.
In this world of political correctness and political gridlock, Donald Trump is a phenomenon.
But what about …
Okay, let's get your objections out of the way right up front. It's the way he "communicates," right? Chances are, when he goes on the attack against his opponents, you cringe. To be honest, I do too. We are used to hearing politicians employ more eloquent, indirect criticisms.
For example, when President Obama wants to insult Trump, he says of the presidency, "this is not a TV reality show," not, "he's a fake." Both are similar put-downs. But in our sophisticated, intellectual community, we don't call people names.
Maybe we should. Frankly, I would have no problem if the next President used clear, blunt terms to describe the villainous foreign enemies we are facing.
Is he a racist?
But this verbal objection to Trump is superficial. The more substantive concern with the way in which Mr. Trump has communicated thus far is when his off-the-cuff comments cause him to sound racist.
Unfortunately, the issue of racism has become so volatile in this society that virtually any statement not perfectly crafted with politically correct phrasing can—and will, to many—sound "racist"—even if the speaker is black.
Juan Williams, an African American broadcaster, was fired from National Public Radio for admitting that he did experience a mild emotional reaction (fear) when someone clearly identifiable as Muslim got on his plane.
This honest admission should have led to a real discussion of how and why people have these reactions, and led to a better understanding and more honest acceptance of the differences among us. Instead, Juan Williams was branded a racist and fired for having a 'feeling,' and expressing it—not for acting upon it.
The judge and his Mexican parents
The most talked-about incident of Trump's purported "racism," arose from his comments about what he believed was unfair treatment from a judge in one of his lawsuits. Trump opined that the judge's Mexican heritage engendered a negative reaction to Trump's proposals on immigration. The press went wild, noting that such racist attitudes had "no place in the courtroom!"
The purveyors of political correctness introduced the issue of race into the court system when they made jury selection race-based. And judges have been asked to recuse themselves for being Jewish, Christian, or any other identifiable race or religion that lawyers feel may conflict with the rights of their defendants.
Is Donald Trump careless in his speech? Perhaps—and I sincerely hope (and believe) that he will be a bit more careful as the campaign continues. But so many of us are so sick of carefully crafted politically correct speech that says absolutely nothing, that we don't care if Trump sounds a bit catty!
Is Donald Trump actually racist? Not in a million years.
Looking beyond the public persona
Anyone who bothers to look beyond the public persona of Donald Trump will find a kind, well-liked, thoughtful, generous, intelligent and unbiased human being. Here's a quote from an entertainment journalist who's covered Trump for over a decade:
"…in all my years covering him I've never heard anything negative about the man until he announced he was running for president. Keep in mind, I got paid a lot of money to dig up dirt on celebrities like Trump for a living so a scandalous story on the famous billionaire could've potentially sold a lot of magazines and would've been a "yuge" feather in my cap. Instead, I found that he doesn't drink alcohol or do drugs, he's a hardworking businessman and totally devoted to his beloved wife and children. On top of that, he's one of the most generous celebrities in the world with a heart filled with more gold than his $100 million New York penthouse."
Two of the 11 separate instances of benevolence and generosity she recounts in this article put the lie to the charge that Trump is a racist.
In the first instance, Trump actually sued the city of Palm Beach, Florida. The 1996 lawsuit accused the town of discriminating against Trump's Palm Beach resort club because it allowed Jews and blacks. The Anti-Defamation League Director at the time, noted that Trump's charge had a trickle-down effect because other clubs followed his lead and began admitting Jews and blacks.
A second story involves an employee. "Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement in 2016 defending her boss against accusations that he's a racist and a bigot. She tearfully revealed how she's struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. Instead of kicking her to the curb, she said the Trump Organization and his entire family loyally stood by her through 'immensely difficult times.'"
The reaction of Ms. Patton is similar to the reaction of the woman whom the New York Times wrote about in a front page story, in which the Times accused Trump of being a sexist, and reported about his "unsettling" treatment of women. The day the story broke, Rowanne Brewer Lane, the lead interviewee in the story, went on Fox News on her own, where she rejected the story and accused the Times of spinning her words.
Who is he, really?
In the heat of a campaign, it can be difficult to make a true assessment of any candidate. I liked the fact that Trump was a businessman and had been very successful. But I wanted to know what he was really like. How did he do business? Were his successes genuine, or based on manipulating the system.
In order to find out, I did the same thing former Speaker Newt Gingrich did (as I later learned)—I read Trump's 1987 bestseller, "The Art of the Deal."
Fortunately, the book is packed with specifics; not generalities. The first chapter gives you an unusual insight into Donald Trump by recording his business life, hour-to-hour, day-by-day for one full week. After some brief history, the balance of the book is a detailed description of eight of his development "deals."
What is most fascinating is that each story revolves around the people involved. Everything else is subordinate to his skill and ability to negotiate with people—government officials, landowners, competitors, partners, hotel companies, project managers, architects, the press and the citizens.
This is what I learned about Donald Trump:
• He is a "people person." But that's obvious from the campaign.
• He listens! We are led to believe that Trump listens to no one but himself. That's an ugly spin on his willingness to accept responsibility for his decisions. His actual decision-making practice is to gather the right people; listen to their advice; weigh all factors, and be responsible for making the decision!
• He is exceptionally disciplined. It is clear that no matter how much Trump wanted a particular deal, or to build a particular building, he never compromised the principles of good business: "What you should never do is pay too much, even if that means walking away from a very good site."
• He understands negotiation—in a way that none of our current leaders seem to. "The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it… .The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you can have."
• He both believes in and practices "The other thing I do when I talk with reporters is to be straight. I try not to deceive them or to be defensive, because those are precisely the ways most people get themselves into trouble with the press." Of course, you don't need to read "The Art of the Deal" to understand that never has there been a politician, official or candidate so completely open and available to the press.
• He "delivers the goods"—on time and under budget. The story of the Wollman Skating Rink should be required reading for every American. It is not just a tribute to Donald Trump, but a scathing indictment of government incompetence at its worst.
New York City closed the Central Park skating rink in 1980. Six years later, they had accomplished nothing. A frustrated Donald Trump offered to take over the job for no money, and complete the renovations in under six months. In June 1986, the city finally agreed, giving him a budget of no more than $3 million and a December deadline
What happened? Trump completed the work almost two months early and $250,000 under budget!
The details of the story are truly fascinating and an even greater indictment of the City's incompetence. Think about it:
• It took the City six years and $13 million to accomplish
• It took Donald Trump four months and $2.5 million to complete the entire project!
History calls for different talents at different times. This year, in this country, at this time, Trump is the right answer.