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Monday, April 4, 2016

Donald Trump - The Flip of a Coin

Part of me really wants to like Donald Trump. He's an all-American success story. While some dispute his economic achievements as merely inherited wealth, the facts argue otherwise. Just for the sake of it, let's have a look,

If his father's $200 million company was divided equally between Donald and his four siblings, he would have inherited $40 million. Add to that another $10 million that he may have received from his father as starter capital and unsecured loans. Certainly he made a good living working for the family business, and he was wealthy long before his father passed away in 1999. The truth is likely that Donald Trump did indeed start his own ventures with a $1 million loan from his father, while still earning a personal income as president of Fred Trump Sr's company.

Now, that's looking at things as objectively as possible. An anti-Trump partisan might attribute the complete value of Donald's inheritance to Donald himself and discount the fact that it was actually divided between five siblings and several grandchildren. A Trump partisan would stick to Donald's own statement that he only received a $1 million start-up gift. I'm attempting to factor in as many variables as are known and estimate using reasonable figures. I neither love nor hate Donald Trump as a candidate, so I'll stick with what is most likely.

Let us say that Donald Trump received $50 million in either gifts or an inheritance from Fred Trump Sr. Today, his net worth is estimated to be $4.5 billion, and that's a very conservative estimate. In terms of raw inflation, his $50 million would be worth about $314 million today. (You can calculate this on a handy inflation calculator here.) In short, he has managed to multiply what he received fourteen times over. That's no small accomplishment.

Having established that Donald Trump is an economic success, it is also obvious that Donald Trump is a proud American. He's a blatant nationalist in an era in which such an unqualified nationalism is shocking. The media is flabbergasted by it. A United States led by Donald Trump would be unapologetic. That is a markedly different approach from our current president, who has bent over backwards and forwards to apologize for his country.

I like Trump's position on immigration. Immigration should really only exist insomuch as it betters the lives of those already here. It isn't a welfare program. It isn't a right earned by having a terrible life somewhere else. It is a way for America to gain the kinds of people it needs to keep improving itself. Runaway immigration by the uneducated masses is doing nothing constructive for the country.

However, there is another side to Donald Trump. In fact, it is the flip-side to what makes him an attractive candidate. He is a bit too candid for his own good. Trump doesn't understand that you can't ad-lib everything. You need to wait to speak until you are aware of the intentions of the questioner. You need to respond only after you are aware of the pertinent facts and have had time to ponder the question. The abortion debacle wasn't an example of Donald Trump's insensitivity toward women, but an example of a tendency to improvise. You can't run a country by improvisation, or at least you shouldn't. Things won't go well.

Both the tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and the ability to tell it like it is are facets of the same personality type. Donald Trump does both frequently. A Trump presidency would likely see some great strides in immigration enforcement and a whole slew of gaffes diplomatically. I trust that he would be more hesitant to hit the nuke button than the tweet button on Twitter, but that streak of unpredictability has more than a few people worried. Donald Trump would be either the best or worst president America has ever had--it all boils down to the flip of a coin.

I'm currently hoping for a Ted Cruz victory. I'd have preferred Ben Carson, but it didn't work out. If Trump wins the nomination, I'll vote for him over either Hillary or Bernie. I'll take capitalist Republican crazy over socialist Democrat crazy any day of the week. I suggest you do the same. Those who failed to show up and vote for Romney gave us Obama part 2. Please, please learn a lesson from that experience!

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