Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The First Amendment says nothing about your getting paid for saying anything. It just says you can say it. I don't believe that if a corporation pulls all the money out of you or a network pulls their money away or you get fired, you're being censored.”     Penn Jillette

April 25, 2011

Donald Trump: Corporatist Bully

by Stephen Littau

I do not like Donald Trump. I don’t dislike him because of his wealth; he probably earned most of his wealth honestly. Some dislike Trump because he is a self promoter. I don’t dislike Trump for this reason either. Many successful individuals are great at self promotion and developing a successful brand (a very good attribute to have to have a successful political campaign).

No, the reason I really dislike Donald Trump – even putting aside his becoming the new face of the Birther movement in recent weeks, his support of the auto bailouts, raising taxes, his anti-free trade proposal that would place a 25% tariff on all Chinese products, and his support for single payer universal healthcare – is quite simply that he is a corporatist bully.

For those who don’t quite understand the difference between a capitalist and a corporatist, I highly encourage you to read Brad’s post “Mercantilism, Fascism, Corporatism — And Capitalism.” This distinction is an important one. Donald Trump is the poster child for what many on the Left as a greedy capitalist; a caricature of everything that is wrong with capitalism as preached by the Ralph Naders and Michael Moores of the world.

But those of us who know better know that Donald Trump isn’t a capitalist at all but a corporatist. Trump doesn’t try to work within a framework of a free market as a true capitalist would, but like far too many businessmen, he uses his wealth and influence to encourage the government to work on his behalf to his advantage (and at the expense of anyone else who would dare get in his way).

In the early 1990’s, an elderly widow by the name of Vera Coking was in the way. Coking’s home that she had lived in for 30 years was on a plot of land that the Donald coveted. The Donald wanted the property so he could add a limousine parking area to one of his Atlantic City casinos. When Coking turned down his $1 million offer to buy the property, the Donald decided to enlist the help of his goons on the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Authority. In 1994, these government thugs filed a lawsuit to take Coking’s property for $251,000 and gave her 90 days to leave her property (if she were to stay beyond the 90 days, men in uniforms with guns would forcibly remove her from her home).

Fortunately, Coking’s case gained enough media publicity to gain the attention and help of The Institute for Justice (think a more libertarian ACLU with a focus on property rights). With the IJ’s help, Coking was able to keep her property. In 1998, a judge made a decision that turned out to be final finding that the Donald’s limousine parking area was not a “public use.”

John Stossel confronted the Donald about his failed attempts to take the widow’s home away; he reprinted this exchange in his book Give Me A Break on pages 152 and 153:

Donald Trump: Do you want to live in a city where you can’t build roads or highways or have access to hospitals? Condemnation is a necessary evil.

John Stossel: But we’re not talking about a hospital. This is a building a rich guy finds ugly.

Donald Trump: You’re talking about at the tip of this city, lies a little group of terrible, terrible tenements – just terrible stuff, tenement housing.

John Stossel: So what!

Donald Trump: So what?…Atlantic City does a lot less business, and senior citizens get a lot less money and a lot less taxes and a lot less this and that.

Earlier in the book (page 25) Stossel gives his impressions of this confrontational interview:

Donald Trump was offended when I called him a bully for trying to force an old lady out of her house to make more room for his Atlantic City casino. After the interview, the producer stayed behind to pack up our equipment. Trump came back into the room, puffed himself up, and started blustering, “Nobody talks to me that way!”

Well, someone should.

Had this case taken place after Kelo, the Donald may well have prevailed. In the wake of the Kelo decision, Neil Cavuto interviewed the Donald on Fox News (7/19/05) to get his reaction.

Trump:

I happen to agree with [the Kelo decision] 100 percent, not that I would want to use it. But the fact is, if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it’s local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make area that’s not good into a good area, and move the person that’s living there into a better place — now, I know it might not be their choice — but move the person to a better place and yet create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good.

Donald Trump is not one who respects property rights (other than his own). “Tremendous economic development” and “jobs” are great reasons to employ the full police power of government to take away someone’s property in the Donald’s world view.

I shudder to think of what a Donald Trump presidency would look like. Imagine the Donald with control of our CIA and our military. The Donald doesn’t have any problem using force to get what the Donald wants.

Now consider President Trump with a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. What sort of Justice would he appoint? Most likely one who would view Kelo quite favorably.

This bully, Donald Trump is the guy who is polling second place in some early Republican primary polls? Wake the hell up Republicans!

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7 Comments

  1. I would vote for trump. I love his ideas and I think taxing china 25% would work.

    Comment by Andrew — April 25, 2011 @ 11:13 pm
  2. This dude Trump just looks to me like he would use his presidential powers to promote his own companies

    Comment by Stanley Moran — April 26, 2011 @ 12:16 am
  3. Donald Trumps is a bully and if elected he would be a Dictator just like Gadahfi who gave him money.

    He has no respect or class and likes to intimidate journalist, or anyone that says negative things about him.

    Yes, Republicans and Americans wake-up voting for this guy would be a huge mistake and with his views of China Etc. we would have a third world war.

    Comment by Dee — April 26, 2011 @ 5:55 am
  4. people forget that this man drove many of his businesses to bankruptcy due to his brilliant ideas; plus he hasn’t even been able to recover half of what he lost and most of what he has is managed by others who actually know what they are doing.
    He is an extremist and a caricature. Who cares about the president being a good student, at least he obtain a college degree.

    Comment by nancy — April 26, 2011 @ 6:18 am
  5. Trump polls well among Republicans today because he has name recognition. When his viewpoints and attitudes become more widely known, his appeal will plummet. Unfortunately, the Republican Party’s potential presidential candidates are unknowns, RINOs such as McCain and Romney, or freedom-hating far-right Christians. It is likely that Obama will win despite his abysmally bad first term.

    Comment by Dr. T — April 27, 2011 @ 5:57 pm
  6. [...] has made a career out of never being embarrassed or conflicted by anything). Stephen Littau has more. (Bonus: The Onion has also been in a Trump state of mind [...]

    Pingback by Linkavaganza | Nobody's Business — April 29, 2011 @ 3:08 pm
  7. The way I see it, Trump is perfectly qualified to be President. He’s proven brilliant at separating other people from their money and pissing it away on fruitless projects.

    Comment by Quincy — May 1, 2011 @ 7:49 am

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