Over the last few months, billionaire businessman Donald Trump has taken the political world by storm after rising to the position of the Republican frontrunner for the 2016 election shortly after announcing his decision to run. Since his candidacy was announced in June 2015, Trump’s campaign has been wildly successful. In only two months, he rose to first place and has maintained that position since August 2015 (Scherer 113). Trump has promised massive changes in many areas of the US government, which has earned him a massive following. News coverage of Trump has allowed him to not release any television advertisements until January 2016. But what if Trump’s plans for America would leave us worse off? Donald Trump would be an abysmal president, and this is why.
For years, Donald Trump has made it clear that his reality is disconnected from that of the average American. Trump comes from a rich family. His father, Frederick Trump, was a wealthy real estate developer. Some supporters cite this as a point in his favor: if Trump is so rich, then how could he be swayed to change his opinion? The answer is that there is no reason that Trump would refuse to accept large sums of money or even other favors in exchange for political action.
When asked if he had ever been told “no,” he responded that “[his] whole life really has been a ‘no’” and that he had “fought through it.” He complained he only received a “small loan of a million dollars” from his family (Campbell). Although the Small Business Administration has a $5 million limit on loans, the average loan in 2015 was $371,628, giving Donald Trump an advantage over the average entrepreneur even without adjusting for inflation (“7(a) Loan Amounts, Fees & Interest Rates.”). Adjusted for inflation, his “small loan” is actually worth $6.8 million—more than the maximum (Diamond).
Trump has also shown that he cares very little for the environment. In a tweet posted on November 6, 2012, Trump wrote that climate change is a “concept . . . created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” (Jacobson). If this was true, there would be no reason for China to invest $90 billion in clean fuel sources in 2014 (Worland). Trump later retracted the statement about China, claiming that it was a “joke,” but in September 2015, he still said that he does not “believe in climate change” (Jacobson; Haddon).
Trump’s statements about climate change are not the only times he has shown his disdain toward the health of the environment. In Scotland, he fought a long legal battle over a project that would construct 11 wind turbines, claiming that it would ruin the view from his nearby golf resort (Cramb). The case was lost twice before it was overruled by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (Cramb). Along with attempting to prevent the construction, the construction of Trump’s resort tore up long sections of the sand dunes along the beach and replaced them with artificial hills for his golf courses (You’ve Been Trumped). Trump called the project “the greatest thing [he would] ever do for the environment,” and that many environmental organizations supported the development (You’ve Been Trumped).
Scotland’s ecosystem was not the only thing affected by the construction plans. Residents of the nearby village of Balmedie were threatened with compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) of their homes (You’ve Been Trumped). CPOs are a system through which “certain statutory bodies can take land or property without the consent of the owner” (“Compulsory Purchase of Property”). This was not the first time the Trump Organization has tried to abuse the legal system to achieve its goals. In 1996, the Organization attempted to force Vera Coking, a widowed homeowner, to sell her house to them (“Atlantic City Condemnation—Vera Coking.”).
Trump has also stated that vaccines cause autism, despite the fact that extensive research has proven that there is no correlation between vaccinations and autism (“Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism”). During the 1st CNN Republican Debate, Trump said,
. . . you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump—I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me. Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic (CNN Republican Debate ).
Vaccinations are a vital part of keeping the population healthy and without them, outbreaks of preventable diseases can take innocent lives (Salzburg).
Trump has also made many polarizing statements that some have deemed offensive. These people cite racism and sexism as complaints. During the first Republican debate, moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about why he had called “women [he does not] like ‘fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,”’ to which Trump replied, “I think the big problem that this country has is being politically correct” (Fox News Republican Debate). Another controversial statement he has made is that he will ban Muslims from entering the country. As well as upsetting many Muslims living in the United States, legal experts such as Laurence Tribe, a law professor at Harvard, think that this would be unconstitutional. Tribe says, “I believe Trump’s unprecedented proposal would violate our Constitution. Both the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses and the equality dimension of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment” (Melber). When asked about his statement in the 2nd CNN Republican Debate on December 15, 2015, Trump said,
As far as other people like in the migration, where they’re going, tens of thousands of people having cell phones with ISIS flags on them? . . . They’re not coming to this country. And if I’m president and if Obama has brought some to this country, they are leaving. They’re going. They’re gone (CNN Republican Debate ).
Trump generalizes Muslim immigrants as ISIS supporters and says that not only will he stop them from entering, he will make them leave as well. Some of Trump’s supporters claim that his lack of a filter and his willingness to speak his mind are positive factors. However, many of Trump’s statements have upset people across the nation. The president is responsible for diplomacy—so why should we allow somebody who cannot avoid insulting almost half of the nation be in charge of our relations with other nations?
Donald Trump is not a politician, and it shows in his decisions. As a businessman, there was little need to compromise with others in how he ran his company. However, as the president of the United States, he must balance the decisions of Congress and the Supreme Court. Many of his promises are either impossible, thought out poorly, or incredibly vague. When asked about healthcare, he responded that he would “Repeal [the Affordable Care Act] and replace it with something terrific,” without actually explaining anything about his plans for healthcare (Ferris).
Trump has stated multiple times that he wishes to build a wall along the border of the US and Mexico. When questioned about the feasibility of this endeavor, he responded:
We can do a wall. We’re going to have a big, fat beautiful door right in the middle of the wall. We’re going to have people come in, but they’re coming in legally. And Mexico’s going to pay for the wall because . . . the leaders are much sharper, smarter, and more cunning than our leaders (CNBC Republican Debate).
Trump has not given Mexico a reason to foot the bill, nor has he addressed the massive cost of building a wall that stretches along around 2,000 miles of land. A previous effort to secure the border enacted by former president George W. Bush cost $2.4 billion and consisted only of fences stretching almost 700 miles across the border (Drew). Trump himself claimed that the wall would cost $8 billion to construct (Hensch).
Trump has also promised to deport all illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. An article published by the BBC estimates this would cost over $100 billion and take over 20 years (“Donald Trump Wants to Deport Every Single Illegal Immigrant—Could He?”). This would also tear apart families and potentially force people back to countries they fled due to dangerous conditions.
Donald’s personality is unfitting for a president. He has proven to be narcissistic, hypocritical, and unintelligent many times in the past. Multiple professionals in fields related to psychology have called Trump’s actions classic signs of narcissistic personality disorder.
According to one psychologist, “He’s so classic, that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true” (Kreger).
After his rival Ted Cruz won the Iowa Republican caucus, Trump refused to acknowledge that he was responsible for his defeat. He instead claimed that the media should give him more attention for coming in second place without funding from voters and unfairly ignoring his “long-shot great finish” (O’Neil).
Trump has also made hypocritical statements while campaigning. When backing up his position against marriage equality, Trump said that he is “just for traditional marriage” (Champion). This statement has been criticized because Trump himself has been married three times.
Donald Trump has shown that he is not intelligent. An analysis of his quotes from his debates and speeches shows that he speaks on a 3rd-grade reading level, compared to competitor Ted Cruz’s 9th grade and Ben Carson, Scott Walker, and Mike Huckabee’s 8th grade (Shafer). Trump’s official Twitter account recently retweeted a tweet by a white supremacist neo-Nazi account called @WhiteGenocideTM, which brings into question his supporters (Walker). During a rally, the crowd shouted racial slurs at and attacked civil rights activist and protester Mercutio Southall with punches and kicks (Scherer 101). When asked about the incident, Trump responded, “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” (Scherer 101). Trump has received a highly-criticized endorsement from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, whose own competence has also been commonly questioned (Rappeport & Haberman).
There are many reasons why Donald Trump should not be elected in the 2016 US presidential election. He has shown no respect for the environment, makes statements that have offended many people, has no experience in politics, has vague or impossible plans, is a hypocritical narcissist, and has been shown to be of low intelligence. Trump is currently the leading candidate in the Republican party. With the results of the first primaries coming in, it seems increasingly likely that Trump could somehow end up as the president of the United States. Trump won the New Hampshire primaries by a landslide, and came in a close second place in Iowa. During his time as president, both he and the US would be subjected to ridicule by both Americans and foreigners alike. As the election approaches, it is important to act now. Please do not vote for Donald Trump, and if anybody you know plans to vote for him, try to convince them otherwise.
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- You’ve Been Trumped. Dir. Anthony Baxter. 2011. DVD.