• 46°

My Turn, Jack Burke: The real Donald Trump

Jack Burke

Jack Burke lives in Salisbury.

Jack Burke lives in Salisbury.

Twenty-four million Americans got their first real look at Donald Trump in the Aug. 6 debate. This is one American’s reaction. I’ve tried to be fair, but I don’t promise anything. You readers be the judge.

Starting off, Mr. Trump, alone among the candidates, refused to promise to support the successful Republican candidate. To me his explanation sounded like the kid who, if he didn’t get his way threatening to take his bat and ball and go home. Not an impressive start.

When Megyn Kelly questioned him about comments on his Twitter and Facebook pages about women, he clearly didn’t like it and denied making them. The comments were subsequently verified by others. Trump’s reaction was “you can see where blood is coming out of her eyes. and out of … wherever.” I didn’t see any blood, or evidence of anger, just an aggressive reporter challenging what I thought was an offensive and sexist attitude. Later, Trump claimed he meant her nose and ears. I don’t believe it.

On being questioned about taking four of his companies into bankruptcy, Trump justified this as being in accordance with the federal laws, which it was, and that the lenders were all “sharp guys” who didn’t need any sympathy, all true. But would you lend him money? I wouldn’t. His marker isn’t good.

When challenged on his claims to have evidence supporting his charge that the Mexican government was shipping criminals, murders and rapists across the border, his answer was that he’d been told this by Border Patrol officers. Period. Basically, “Trust me.” I don’t. Trump was on the border less than an hour, not enough to become even minimally knowledgeable on the subject. He also claimed to be the only candidate to bring immigration up for discussion. Patently not true. Anyone who has followed this issue knows it has been a subject of debate for over 20 years, by every candidate. He’s a couple of decades late to that party.

On the question of his financial support of Democrats, Trump was quite clear; as a businessman he gives money to anyone who can help him. Quite correct and proper, and most business people do the same. At least it gets your phone call answered, and he spreads his money evenly around the field. Any candidate who objects can always send the money back. None seem to have done so as yet.

As for his previous positions, for example on single-payer health care vs. Obama Care or pro-life vs. abortion rights, Trump seemed to have a problem saying “I’ve changed my mind and this is why.” It is hard and I don’t like doing it either, but I’m not running for president. I do think people are entitled to know why any candidate changed his or her mind on important and controversial issues.

On a number of issues Trump has claimed to have a plan to address them, but, like the other politicians, he has failed to lay his plan out. Sounds like a unanimous “just trust me.” Again, I don’t trust any of them.

On a personal note, two things struck me about Trump: first that he has an unusually thin skin, taking offense at anyone who challenges him, particularly women; and secondly, even for a politician he has an awesome ego. I have to wonder how he would get along with members of Congress who are also blessed with substantial egos and aren’t used to being told No.

With all that said, Trump definitely presents a real threat to the Republican establishment and their candidates. First of all, he can self-finance, taking away much of the GOP establishment’s leverage. Secondly, he clearly represents a lot of people who are sick and tired of politics as usual, and the same old promises from the same old candidates. Finally, Wharton doesn’t produce a lot of stupid people. With all of his faults, Trump is a smart guy and will or has already hired some very smart political technicians who know how to run a campaign and how to sign up delegates for the convention and convince voters for the election. I wouldn’t write him off as another rich flake. Very few people get that wealthy by being a flake.

Jack Burke lives in Salisbury.

Comments

Local

Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment

Local

Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing

Crime

North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges

News

Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads

Nation/World

GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives