Monday, March 4, 2019

Donald Trump's Three R's: Ruthlessness, Racism and Riches

    When I learned from Michael Cohen’s testimony that Donald Trump threatened to sue Fordham to prevent them from releasing his grades and SAT scores, it not only reaffirmed my perception of Donald Trump’s character, it also gave me telling evidence of his chosen  path to success.

    Here is a person who constantly boasts of his intelligence and athletic ability who goes crazy at the thought of anyone researching whether his college record matches his rhetoric 

      As someone who is the same age as Donald Trump, attended similar colleges, and likes to think of himself as a scholar athlete, I find Mr Trump’s indignation both amusing and revealing. Anyone who knows how to use Google can find evidence of my athletic career at Columbia, the fellowships I received or the academic awards I earned. You don’t have to ask Columbia for that information, it’s all there on the internet.  By contrast, a Google  search of Mr Trump’s  college years will find no evidence of academic or athletic success. What’s going on? 

         That someone  whose record displays a modest level of athletic and academic success  ends up as a professor and the one whose record is shrouded in myth, if not outright fabrication, ends up being President is a telling commentary on where our country is at at this historical moment. 

       Although I have an extremely happy life and have  no  desire to trade places with Mr Trump, the comparison does lead me to examine what traits he possesses that helped elevate him to his current exalted position- traits that I seem to lack

        And I’ve come up with three—Ruthlessness, Racism and Riches.  First ruthlessness. In ways that I could never imagine, Mr. Trump was able to betray friends, stiff creditors, and destroy rivals without a moments grief. No conscience, no consequences, no limits. Then there was racism, institutionalized in the way his family companies did business during his formative years,  in his private discourse, and his ability to mobilize xenophobia and white supremacy to advance his ambitions. And finally there were riches, the hundreds of millions of dollars his father used to bail him out when his businesses failed

     Because of the three R’s, Donald Trump could have a mediocre college record, hide it behind lies, deception and threats, and still rise to the highest office in the land, 

      There is a lesson here for the nation’s young people, but not one many of us would want them to learn

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