It cannot be denied that Donald Trump is the most divisive figure in U.S. politics. In his attempts to gain the presidency, many believe that Trump has stirred up racial discontent, used immigration to play the politics of fear, and has even encouraged the gun lobby to take action against his rival Hillary Clinton. It is a rare day that passes without Tump being involved in some sort of controversy. As reported by the Independent just last month, Trump outraged many “Gold Star families” when he attacked the parents of a U.S. serviceman who was killed in action.
Those families were outraged that Trump suggested that his “sacrifices” in business equated with the loss of a loved one on active service. The clear implication was that in comparison to their suffering Trump’s biggest hardship runs to having to brush his own teeth.
“We are all Gold Star Families, who have lost those we love the most in war. Ours is a sacrifice you will never know. Ours is a sacrifice we would never want you to know.”
“Your recent comments regarding the Khan family were repugnant, and personally offensive to us. When you question a mother’s pain, by implying that her religion, not her grief, kept her from addressing an arena of people, you are attacking us. When you say your job building buildings is akin to our sacrifice, you are attacking our sacrifice.”
Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press highlighted once again just how divisive a figure Trump is. Trump is set to visit a Detroit church today, and it seems that religious leaders in the community are less that impressed. They plan to hold a series of protests against Trump’s visit and have released a joint statement in which they slam Trump saying that he and his policies have no place in the White House.
“We… have been avoided and overlooked in regards to the upcoming appearance of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Detroit.”
“Racism, bigotry, misogyny, hate speech, sexism, divisiveness, threats, a call to harm, discrimination, bullying, and fear mongering have no place in the White House in the greatest country in the world.”
Just yesterday, the Huffington Post reported that Trump had failed to pay senior members of his own campaign team. In a somewhat extraordinary turn of events that story contains an editorial footnote that attacks Trump in the strongest way possible.
“Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”
Of course, Trump simply shrugs his shoulders and either claims he has been taken out of context or attacks his critics as being somehow “un-American.” In the midst of a slick presidential campaign it can be easy to overlook Trump’s failings but sadly there is a history of evidence going back decades to support the allegations that the Huffington Post and the Detroit religious leaders lay at Donald Trump’s door.
The Atlantic recently laid out a very long list of the scandals that have dogged Trump for the whole of his business life. They point out that Trump’s claims his immigration policy, seemingly centered on forcing the Mexicans to build an impenetrable wall and instant deportation, is “simply following the law.” The article lays out dozens of cases where Trump has come into conflict with the law and action has been taken against him either by federal authorities or by individuals. The clear suggestion is that Donald Trump is a man for whom the rule of law is something that only applies to him when it suits his needs.
Trump has been found guilty of employing workers who are not entitled to work in America and of conspiring to avoid paying union pension and welfare contributions for the illegal workers. In typical fashion, Trump denied knowing that his workers were illegal. What seems obvious is that Trump either knowingly employed illegal workers or that he failed to provide the oversight necessary to ensure that Trump companies were acting within the law. Either way, you have to ask if Americans can afford to have a Commander-in Chief who bends the law for his own purposes or fails to see the obvious.
The fact is that the allegations Trump faces go back over four decades. The claims against Trump range from allegations of mafia ties to unscrupulous business dealings and from racial discrimination to alleged marital rape and sexual misbehavior. Trump is accused of keeping black women out of his beauty pageants and of denying housing to black families.
Trump is even accused of using over $55,000 of campaign donations to buy copies of his own book which he then gave away to attendees at the Republican National Convention. In doing so, Trump arguably found a way to channel campaign donations directly into his own pocket. It is claimed that Trump even hiked the rent on his buildings that were being used as campaign hubs when he stopped funding his own campaign, again meaning that Trump used campaign donations to benefit his own finances.
Back in June, USA Today ran an expose claiming that Trump has stiffed contractors employed on his projects by not paying his bills. In some cases, Trump owes contractors up to $400,000.
“Donald Trump casts himself as a protector of workers and jobs, but [our] investigation found hundreds of people – carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers – who say he didn’t pay them for their work.”
“[Our] analysis found Trump has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.”
The scandals have continued throughout Trump’s presidential campaign and just last month “Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event.” It seems incredible that Trump can claim to “protect workers rights” when he is so often accused of stiffing those who work for him.
As has been widely reported, many prominent republicans are distraught that Trump managed to secure the party’s presidential nomination. According to the New York Times there are clear signs that the relationship between Trump and the GOP is one fraught with tension.
Across the world, people look on incredulous at Trump’s campaign and wonder how a man like Trump is allowed anywhere near politics much less be one step from the White House.
Trump’s history of scandal and controversy suggests a man who will do anything to further his own interests. Come polling day, many will be asking if Donald Trump is willing to stiff his own people will he also ultimately stiff America and the world.
[Photo by Evan Vucci/AP Images]