These days, the first thing I want to know about anybody is whether they’re antismoking or not. And if they’re antismoking, my opinion of them will start falling, and it’ll carry on falling indefinitely thereafter.
So the first thing I set out to find out about US presidential candidate Donald Trump, currently leading the Republican field, was whether he was an antismoker or not. This is where Hillary Clinton falls down in my estimation (and never gets back up).
First the bad news:
In his book “The America We Deserve,” Trump claims that he’s never tried marijuana. “I’ve never taken drugs of any kind, never had a glass of alcohol. Never had a cigarette, never had a cup of coffee,” he wrote.
Not looking good: he’s a man who doesn’t even drink coffee. Yet it seems that, even though he doesn’t partake himself, he’s not a prohibitionist.
The Donald says if he is elected President he would legalize drugs and use tax revenue to fund drug education.
That’s what I’d do too. But I want to know what his attitude to tobacco is. There are lots of people who’d legalise marijuana, and criminalise tobacco, all in the same breath. Here’s the answer, maybe:
The anti-smoking movement has garnered a religious-like adherence to the belief that government should dictate to businesses whether they can allow smoking, partial-smoking, or no smoking in their establishment. The anti-smoking movement has sparked a fanaticism in people as anti-smokers harness and abuse the power of government to smokers the ability to patronize pro-smoking establishments. In this anti-smoking climate, there can be no choice, no freedom, and no civil liberties in public for both smokers and business owners.
The sad part is that a good thing – namely, the promotion of health – is being distorted to create an evil outcome. In other words, UAW casino labor union, American Cancer Society, and many do-gooders are trampling to the rights of casino owners and patrons in the name of health. There is more to the health component in this circumstance of government-imposed smoking bans. There is the question, “will America continue to be a free society, comprised of a free people taking responsibility for their choices?” in Atlantic City, the answer is most certainly and unfortunately “no.”
Those who seek to impede on the freedom and liberty of all fight tirelessly to achieve their ignoble desire. Where are the smokers fighting for their right to smoke while they gamble? Where are the casino owners to defend the right to set their business affairs? Besides Donald Trump, the casino owners have deserted the cause of fighting for their rights. They are resigned to the fact that smoking will be banned in their casinos.
So Donald Trump is a casino owner who fights for the right of gamblers to smoke.
Maybe Trump has passed my principal test? But what’s his attraction otherwise?
Enough with politicians
Many Americans have realized that politics has become an ugly game in this country where those who are supposed to represent us aren’t fiduciaries working on our best interests. With that landscape, people are looking for any candidate who can’t be bought off or isn’t beholden to some group or groups because they need the campaign financing. This is part of what Trump symbolizes to them.
Enough with political correctness
Many Americans are also done with political correctness. Virtually anything that you can say or do these days will end up offending someone or some group. The P.C. police seem to think that being offended is some type of civil-right violation, which leads to too many not being willing to say anything at all…
Trump, despite the language in which he often communicates, gets points for not being worried about offending anyone. He says what he thinks — and, apparently, what is on the mind of many — even if it’s done in an inelegant or downright gruff manner. It is the willingness to say things the way that he sees them and not having to caveat, water down or dance around his take that is appealing to many.
Stop being a wussy
People want the type of leader who won’t swap Taliban terrorists for a believed deserter, who will enforce laws already on the books and who will hold the philosophy of “go all in or don’t go in at all.”
Well, I’ve had it with the British and European political class too. They don’t represent me either. And I’ve had it up to here with political correctness as well. And interestingly, although he says he would come down hard on the so-called Islamic State, Trump actually opposed the Iraq war.
Since entering the race, he’d been pummelling lots of people, including George W Bush, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and more. ZeroHedge has the list.
Donald Trump is a multi-billionaire who made most of his money in real estate. He announced his candidature in the middle of June. He’s always been a rather flamboyant self-promoter, and as one of the judges on the Apprentice TV show he became a household name in the USA (if he wan’t one already). The result is that a lot of people don’t take him seriously. Ralph Nader:
This is a teachable moment for the mass media. Failing to take Trump seriously could set a dangerous precedent for future candidates with fresh ideas, looking to shake up the controlling status quo.
The Huffington Post, which carries my column, announced that it is excluding Trump from its political coverage and instead filing all stories about the man leading the Republican field, according to the most recent polls, under entertainment.
If they existed in the 1980s, would they have done this to that B-list actor, Ronald Reagan?
As far as I can see, nobody is taking Trump seriously. Almost everybody assumes that it’s just a stunt he’s pulling to boost his name recognition, and say that he won’t last the race.
And maybe they’re right.
But what if they’re wrong?
I haven’t taken any interest in US politics for 10 years or more. That may start to change. If nothing else, Trump is different. He’s breaking all the rules. And naturally he’s being called a racist and xenophobe.
Here’s Trump’s presidential announcement speech. The bit where he makes supposedly ‘racist’ remarks about Mexicans is at the 8:00 minute mark. I didn’t think they were racist. You judge for yourselves: