Donald J. Trump flew off to Scotland yesterday. To be a witness to the historic Brexit vote? No, to re-open one of his golf courses there. Trump...isn’t that the same guy who is running for president of the United States? He must be so far ahead in the polls that he can take a break from campaigning to relax a bit. Or is it a case of his business coming first?
Business and Trump, Trump and Business—now there’s a baffling pairing of words. It reminds me of Winston Churchill’s description of Russia as a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Is he the successful businessman he claims to be? Or is he a conman and a fraud as his many critics charge? Is he worth ten billion dollars as he says? Or is he all but broke as some of his critics maintain. Is he truly receiving no funding from outside donors as he has long insisted? How much of his own money has he spent on his campaign? Does he even have funds for advertising in swing states? Does he pay any income taxes?
I doubt we’ll ever get hard answers to any of those questions. To do so we would have to see Trump’s tax returns, and he, unlike any presidential candidate in decades, has refused to release them. (Strangely, he insisted that Mitt Romney release his back in 2012. Something of a double standard there, eh?)
Yet Trump claims his life in business has prepared him to be an effective president. Pardon my skepticism. I don’t want to be too much of an Aristotelian, but business hardly schools you for the presidency. The purpose of a businessman is to make a profit for yourself and your investors, almost always in competition with others in a zero sum game. The function of a president is to serve all (or as many as you can) citizens in meeting all of life’s needs, while doing your best to keep a nation united.
To check on my claim, I researched the occupation/profession of all our past chief executives. Most were lawyers, soldiers, farmers. Onlytwo were identified as businessmen. They were? George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Television coverage of Trump’s rededication of his refurbished Scottish golf course made for a strange if amusing spectacle. While the citizens of Great Britain were making earth-shaking history by voting to leave the European Union, Trump stood in sunlight describing in snooze-inviting detail the improvements he had made to his resort; at one stage he pointed out a nearby lighthouse that had been restored or preserved or something, placed it in Florida, then caught himself and quickly restored the landmark to Scotland.
Throughout the ribbon cutting ceremony an unfriendly neighbor flew the Mexican flag in plain view. And when some orange golf balls were rolled out, presumably for some demonstration, each was adorned with a swastika; needless to say, some wit’s prank was quickly scooped up and removed from sight. Scots Wha Hae!
Before Trump flew from the U.S. to Scotland, he had scheduled a stop at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, County Clare, Ireland, another golf course he had acquired in 2014. He cancelled it. Why? Apparently he got word that a lot of folks were fixin’ “to kick up a fuss when this man touches down.”
One of them was TD Richard Boyd-Barrett who spoke for Ireland’s United Left Alliance: “He’s a dangerous and vile racist, and warmonger, and sexist. And we need to show absolute opposition to everything he stands for.”
Labor Senator Aodhan O Riordain went further: “We believe that Donald Trump has advocated policies that, if he were elected, would make his country a serious threat to international peace and security.”
Eamon Ryan of the Green Party called for “a peaceful, purposeful protest to show the world that Ireland rejects the divisive views espoused by Trump.”
Add all that up and you can see why Gauleiter von Trump decided to overfly the Emerald Isle.