Commentary by John Manfreda, edited by Marita Noon
Third of four parts.
When it comes to presidential conspiracies, no one’s presidential campaign has generated more conspiratorial talk then Trump’s. One of the more popular ones was that he is a Democratic plant.
People forgot that before Donald Trump was ever a Democrat, he was a symbol of 1980’s wheeling-and-dealing Reaganomics wealth boom. He wrote a best-selling novel and had his own board game. He was a Republican for a long time, before he ever tried out the Democrats.
People pointed to his campaign contributions as proof that he really was a Democrat. From 1989 to 2011, Trump did donate $581,350 to the Democrat Party and only $497,690 to the Republican Party – with a good amount donated to Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi.
In his defense, when operating in the real estate industry, where permitting, approvals, licensing, and government bureaucracy were part of his everyday life, he had to maintain good relations with public officials of all parties, not just Republicans.
Trump is also in the gaming business. Naturally he is going to befriend a powerful Senator from Nevada who is very influential on public policy in the gaming industry. Remember, he had to protect his business.
Regarding the Clinton donations, she was a senator in his home state. She carried a lot of weight in the Senate. He also lives in a Blue state – which requires him to have good relations with his public officials that are Democrats (especially the very influential ones.)
When it comes to Nancy Pelosi, she was the Speaker of the House. Trump had, in 2006, a newly opened Los Angeles golf course. While not directly in her district, Pelosi is still in the state of California. As Speaker, she has enormous sway over federal law. It made sense, to protect his golf course, for him to befriend the most powerful lawmaker in the state. In addition to California, he also holds major properties in New Jersey and New York – all states that generally elect lawmakers who are Democrats. As a businessman, Trump did what was best for his business and protected his assets.
Looking at his donations from 1989 to the present, Trump’s donations to Republican candidates outnumbered his donations to Democrats. So overall, his campaign contributions to Republicans are still greater than those made to Democrats – Republicans: $961,140; Democrats $584,850. Trump has donated significantly more to Republicans than Democrats.
If he had been a plant for the Democrats, they were probably unaware of, or overlooked, the disparity.
In 2004, his show, The Apprentice, finally aired on NBC – which is a left-leaning news organization. Before claiming the Democrat plant conspiracy, at least consider the possibility that he joined the Democrat Party to get NBC to air his show. I have no proof that this is true, but the idea is worthy of consideration – especially in light of the “plant” conspiracy that floated around.
Proof Trump was Serious
When Trump announced his candidacy, many claimed he wasn’t serious; that he was just putting on a show. As previously stated, however, political office is something he has been considering for years – during which time his ideas were percolating. Go back to his 1988 interview on the Oprah Winfrey show. In it, he talked about making our allies pay their fair share. He criticized Japan for not allowing U.S. companies to sell products into their markets, while we allow them to sell into our market. He ranted about our trade deficits. He claimed the Kuwaitis were living like kings. Most importantly, he said if things continued the downward trajectory, he wouldn’t rule out a run.
The Trump heard on Oprah’s nearly 20-year-old interview, sounds a lot like the one we heard in the primary election: bad trade policy, our debt, and the horrible shape of our country. You can easily replace his Japan rhetoric of the 1980s, with that of Mexico, or China today. In fact on page 189, Trump says this about Japan: “What’s unfortunate is that for decades now they have become wealthier in large measure by screwing the United States with a self-serving trade policy that our political leaders have never been able to fully understand or counteract.”
When you look at his past political actions and campaign strategies, they reflect his Art of the Deal views.
But if you want more proof that he was serious from the beginning, and will do what he says once in the Oval Office, look at page 60 in chapter 2. This chapter is called Trump Cards: The Elements of the Deal. In it, one of the listed elements is: “Deliver the Goods.” Part of the Trump Brand isn’t just promotion, marketing, and bravado, it’s being able to back up its publicity with results.
If being able to talk a big game were all that was required to build a real estate empire, there would be tons of Donald Trumps out there. But he is unique. Building the Trump brand requires more than talk; it requires action and results. This is why he isn’t all talk when he is on the campaign trail, and what seems to be more important to him than money is his brand. That is a brand that communicates quality, excellence, and results.
If Trump were to go back on his word, break his promise to the people, and not deliver the “goods,” he wouldn’t be considered just another politician, like so many candidates. Other politicians don’t have a brand, Trump does. If he were to act like many politicians – all talk and no action – he would destroy his brand. Any successful entrepreneur/business owner will tell you, your brand means everything. The old saying is: “my word is my bond,” but to Trump, his brand is his bond.
This is what makes Trump unique, this is why he isn’t a politician, and this is why if elected, he would deliver the results, because that is the Trump Brand.
If you want more proof that Trump is serious, Mexico and China have both responded to Trump’s accusations that the countries are ripping America off. If they thought Trump was just putting on a show, the respective leaders wouldn’t have tried to make their case directly to the American people. Remember, they have their own country and people to please.
In part 4 tomorrow: what kind of President will Trump be?
John Manfreda majored in Pre-Law at Frostburg State University and received his MBA at Trinity University. He has co-authored The Petro Profit report and dividend stock report, and is a former Bullion Broker. He has been featured in Forbes, the Edmund Burke Institute, The Money Show, the Examiner, and the Smart Money investor. This piece was originally written during the early primary season and predicted Trump’s win. It has been updated and revised to reflect the current political environment.