When Donald Trump announced that he was running for President of the United States, we all had a great laugh and went about our business. We laughed and made memes while Trump made people start believing his hype, and we are now faced with the frightening reality that this man could be our next President. Trump was born in Queens in NYC to a stay-at-home mother and a real estate developer father. His mother was born on the Scottish island of Lewis and Harris and his father, born in Queens as well, was the son of German immigrants. A 13-year-old Trump left school due to behavioral issues and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy where he finished out high school. He went on to graduate with a bachelors degree in economics from the University of PA.
Trump managed to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War thanks to four student deferments and a medical deferment for heel spurs in one or both feet, depending on which day you ask him about it. He began working for his father’s company and eventually found himself in the spotlight when he was accused of violating the Fair Housing Act. Trume settled the charges without admitting any guilt. He was in court again regarding this issue several years later, again admitting no guilt.
He made a few successful business moves, but ended up bankrupting the Taj Mahal Casino in New Jersey after being unable to make loan payments. The death of his father in 1999 gave Trump a nice financial boost thanks to the division of the estate among Trump and his 3 siblings. As of July 2015, Trump’s income is said to be $362 million. He refuses to release his federal tax returns publicly because of “ongoing audits.”
Trump owns multiple properties, one of which is Trump Tower in Manhattan. This location houses his primary residence and the headquarters of the Trump Organization. The tower occupies the former site of the Bonwit Teller flagship store. During demolition, valuable sculptures slated to be sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art were destroyed. Trump also employed illegal Polish immigrant workers for the demolition process, paying them $4-$5 per hour for 12 hour shifts for the rushed demo.
Donald Trump has never personally filed for bankruptcy, but his businesses have certainly gone under. Trump himself has said that he plays with the bankruptcy laws and they are “very good” for him as a tool for eliminating debt. According to him, this is something that other “great entrepreneurs” often do. In 1991, Trump Taj Mahal filed, and in 1992, the Trump Plaza Hotel filed. In 2004, Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts filed, and Trump commented that he “figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine. What the hell did I care?” I actually told one bank, you shouldn’t have loaned me that money.” In 2009 and again in 2014, Trump Entertainment Resorts filed, and Trump actually ended up suing the company to get his name removed.
The Apprentice, Donald Trump’s reality show premiered in 2003 on NBC where people competed for a management position in one of Trump’s enterprises. Trump earned $50,000 per episode for the first season, but that was bumped to a million per episode after the show took off. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 for his work on the reality series. When Trump announced his Presidental plans, NBC decided to continue the show without him. In June 2015, NBC released a statement saying “due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBC is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” thus severing his ties with the show.
In 2011, Trump decided to question President Obama’s citizenship. He stated that his grandmother in Kenya said that Obama was born in Kenya and that she was there to witness it. Trump also questioned whether or not President Obama had good enough grades to get into Harvard Law School. He sent a team of private investigators to Hawaii, where Obama was born, and began releasing statements that suggested he had found out that Obama was not in fact a US citizen. His tactics resulted in the President releasing his birth certificate, which still wasn’t enough to shut the man up.
Trump has been married three times and divorced twice. His first wife was a Czech model, Ivana, who became a US citizen in 1988. He had an affair with actress Marla Maples which led to the divorce. After the couple split, Trump sued Ivana for not honoring a gag order in their divorce agreement, but claims that now the two are the best of friends. Trump married Maples, formally separated from her after 4 years and finalized the divorce two years later. He then moves on to another model, Melania. In 2006, Melania became a US citizen.
“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK, just knock the hell … I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell ya. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.” – Donald Trump
When I first heard that Donald Trump was planning to run for President of the United States, I had a good laugh about it. The thought of that floppy-haired old man running the country instead of telling people they’re fired in between bankruptcies was seriously comical. I was looking forward to seeing how he was going to campaign because it would be entertaining for us all. But then, something unexpected began to happen. People started to take Trump seriously. Supporters started to emerge from the woodwork and proclaim that Trump was the hero America needed. That he would indeed make America great again.
John Oliver delivered a masterful piece on Trump, AKA Donald Drumpf. The custom hats are sold out, and the video of Last Week Tonight received over 20 million YouTube views in about 10 days. Oliver discussed the power of Trump’s name, how it is the cornerstone of his brand, but countered with how his “real” name, Drumpf, is much less magical. He drove a lot of points home, the key one being that we’re getting far too caught up in the name and the myth of instant success that is associated with Trump. We’re overlooking the fact that the man is, for lack of a better term, full of shit.
Trump’s run for President isn’t funny anymore. Our modern version of Hitler seems to have successfully brainwashed thousands upon thousands of people, enough to win state after state as he plows his way through the country. Weak-minded people, mostly white folks in their 40s and higher, are promising to vote for Trump during rallies as their hold their hands high in the air. His support system grows stronger every time he appears on TV to yell about immigrants or his “meager” beginnings with a million dollars in his pocket.
This isn’t a matter of not liking a candidate because I disagree with their views, it’s a matter of not liking a candidate because he’s a colossal dipshit who shouldn’t be allowed to manage a game of Sims, nevermind an entire country. Donald Trump is a confused little boy whose parents told him he could do anything he wanted when he grew up, not knowing that their little boy would take that to the letter as an adult and try to buy a country. He enjoyed fear mongering. He’s a racist, and a sexist. He doesn’t know dick about what it takes to run a country. Hey, neither do I, which is why I’ll never try to get that particular job. It isn’t for everyone.
We are a country obsessed with celebrities. We make nobodies famous through reality television and YouTube. We created President Trump because we have a fascination with idiots and memes and GIFs, and Trump makes for good entertainment. We care more about upcoming SNL skits about Trump than we do about the fact that he will likely burn down America within his first week. We created the Jersey Shore, we are responsible for the dozens upon dozens of Kardashian shows, we ruined MTV, and we continue to obsess over the frivolous while ignoring reality.
Our current reality is that Donald Trump has a damn good chance of becoming President of the United States. Luckily for us, a good chance is very different than a secured victory. We still have time to make this right. We can put a stop to this cartoon world and right the ship before this vulgar human gets anywhere close to swearing in. We need to save this country from becoming little more than a running joke. We need to give a damn about more than cat videos and face swapping and actually see how harmful Trump truly is. Time is running out; this train needs to be derailed immediately. We need to decide whether we want to live somewhere that we can be proud of or live somewhere resembling a preschool playground.
- “You know it really doesn’t matter what they write, as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
- “There was blood coming out of her eyes… blood coming out of her… wherever.”
- “Women; You have to treat them like shit.”
TRUMP ON THE MILITARY: “26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military — only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
TRUMP ON FORMER PRESIDENTAL CANDIDATE CARLY FIORINA: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
I am going to have to try my best to be vague in order to protect the privacy of certain individuals, so bear with me. I am a government contractor, which often leaves me waiting until the last minute to find out if my contract has been extended and I still have a job. I’m not faulting my contracting company, as this is just the way it’s done. To their credit, I have never been out of work due to last minute renewals not going through as planned. Not everyone in my building is as lucky though; contracts end all the time and some without much warning. Last week, one was forced to put their employees on furlough “until further notice” because the funding was not approved and they have no way to pay their employees until it is.
Naturally, the affected employees were upset, and they had every right to be. One took to Facebook almost immediately to voice her disappointment. Her comment got feedback as you would expect, but one person (I’ll name him Bob) went slightly overboard. Bob was also affected by the furlough and was apparently more upset than anyone could have imagined. His comments were not only inappropriate, they were threatening towards important people in the United States. Word got back to his supervisor about what was said, because it’s Facebook and you can’t say anything on there without the whole world finding out. I heard rumors that the FBI and the Secret Service were both notified and looking for Bob. I heard for sure that both of his supervisors suggested he be dismissed immediately, as employees that say what he said should not be employees for the government. The whole thing is a mess.
Apparently, Bob went to the hospital shortly after stirring things up with his comments. The general opinion is that he did this in order to explain the comments away as some sort of temporary insanity. That opinion is just that, and he could be genuinely sick for all I know. From the feedback I’ve heard and the remarks from those involved, it’s not looking as though it will matter what frame of mind he was in when he said what he did. Regardless of intent, he made threats. I highly doubt Bob would have gone through with anything, but one look at the front page of any news website or paper will tell you that we’re no longer allowed to go easy on people and give them the benefit of the doubt. Too many psychos in the world are causing irreparable damage for anything to be ignored at this point.
What did surprise me though, which may reveal my naivety, is that Bob is very likely without a job now because of a Facebook post. I recently made a comment on Twitter that sometimes I’d like to throw people out of windows when they get on my nerves. I will go through life without throwing a single living thing out of a window though; it’s normal for us to turn to social media when stressed in order to vent. If my comment was about throwing my boss out of a window, would that be a threat? Would I lose my job? It’s a strange thing to think about, but offhand remarks about harming others are taken much more seriously now that we know that people exist that will be more than happy to follow through with a vengeance. If I posted about throwing my boss out a window, and then I did so, the first thing people would cry out is “why wasn’t anything done to her when she made those threats??!?”
Bob behaved like an idiot and unfortunately he and his family are currently paying the price. People are going to say awful things about he and his wife as they try to navigate through this mess. It’s unfair and could have easily been prevented had he just watched what he said or simply said it in the privacy of his home rather than a public website. Freedom of speech only goes so far. There are things you just can’t say. I can say Obama Sucks until I’m blue in the face, but I can’t say I’m going to track him down and do something awful without suffering some sort of consequence. I might know that I’m not being serious, but how is anyone else to know unless they check me out? I’m curious to know what you think. Where do we draw the line with critiques on our government and officials? What is okay to say and what is crossing the line? How should we decide what is a serious threat and what is just someone blowing off steam?
I never gave much thought to Government shut downs or furloughs until I moved to Indiana. It was never something that affected me or anyone I knew until I married a man who worked for the Government and until I eventually got a Government job myself. Call it blissful ignorance or a lack of concern, but it never felt like anything but a scare tactic to get people working harder to find solutions. I always figured that we could get ourselves together in time so that nothing would be shut down and no one would be temporarily without work and without their paycheck.
This year, my husband and many other Government employees were forced to lose one work day per week until the furlough was thankfully cut short and employees were allowed to return to their 40 hour work weeks. It seemed to be the easiest solution to cut salaries rather than cut other areas that wouldn’t force anyone to fall behind on their bills or enter into debt. In an effort to cut spending, my office eliminated overtime, reduced travel, and cancelled a very large training event that would have cost quite a pretty penny. But even with those cuts, we were not allowed to be exempt from the furlough and had our group of civilians out for one day each week. It hurt some people more than others; thankfully my husband and I made due and didn’t feel too big of a hit.
With the toddler-like behavior of our Government, we are now in a shut down and my office is again under furlough. This time though, they are out of work effective noon yesterday and do not know when they will be able to return; it could be an entire month until they are back in the office. I don’t have to explain what a crushing blow it would be if these people were forced to go an entire month without a paycheck. I also don’t have to explain what it will do to our office to have this reduced staffing for an entire month. Already, my work load has increased, not only because of the people in my office that are out, but because of the people in every state and territory that we work to serve. It’s barely been a day and things are already falling behind.
We are currently residing in quite the hole financially. Hopefully no one is waiting for a passport because that office is shut down. Too bad about your vacation because you’re not getting into those parks or museums. My apologies to any states waiting for mail from my office because our building’s mail service has cut their number of runs. I even heard on the radio this morning that clinical trials for children with cancer are now shut down as well, forcing an average of 35 children a day to go without this treatment. The LA Times reported that “about 800,000 federal employees have been sent home. Analysts say the shutdown means a reduction in collective American income of about $200 million per day. Communities near national parks are expected to lose $76 million a day in visitor spending. In Yosemite National Park, lodges and cabins had been scheduled to be filled to near capacity. Instead, thousands of visitors were given 48 hours to leave.”
More seriously, they go on to say that “domestic violence shelters in Montana and Vermont were no longer being reimbursed for their services, and said some shelters could be forced to close altogether. Scientific research across the country came to a halt because scientists could not get into their own labs. Head Start, the health, nutrition and education program for low-income children, is operated locally, but is funded by federal grants — some of which ended Monday. Federal grants were no longer being renewed as of Tuesday morning. According to organizers, at least 23 local programs in 11 states are now without funding. In Calhoun County, Ala., where a quarter of the residents younger than 18 live below the poverty line, hundreds of poor children were told that their preschools were closed. About 70% of the 86,000 civilians employed at the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have been furloughed.”
This shutdown is hurting people who can’t afford to be hurt, don’t deserve to have this burden, or are too young to even have a say it in at all. All the while, our so-called decision makers are sitting comfortably and continuing to earn their salaries while accomplishing absolutely nothing. It’s unfair, disgusting, and an embarrassment. When my office was instructed to cut funding in order to avoid a furlough, we did it in a timely matter and were able to cut enough to avoid it. But still we were furloughed once and have been furloughed again in the same year (although in different fiscal years, which is what matters to the Government).
It makes sense to cut overtime and travel, but it doesn’t make sense to cut work hours and close businesses. This is harmful to everyone and causes more problems than it solves. Cutting travel for one person for a useless business trip that could be handed via teleconference or otherwise would save enough money to keep another person in the office. But instead of doing things that slightly inconvenience some higher ups, they do things that greatly inconvenience the rest of us. Head Start, for example, is a great program that I’ve seen work is wonderful ways. Now those children are out of luck for who knows how long because a group of adults can’t quit bickering long enough to solve a problem that quite honestly, isn’t that hard to solve.
Right now, I have a stack of papers to my left. I will spend the day going through these papers and beginning the process of getting Service Members reimbursed for various expenses. Unfortunately, after I do my part, the process comes to a stand still because the civilians who have to do the next step in the process are not in the office today and I don’t know when they will return. It almost seems pointless for me to do this, but my stack of papers will only grow if I leave it because the other person who does what I do is also on furlough and I am picking up their slack. It’s not fair to the Service Members who are now having to wait on reimbursements, it’s not fair to the people who should be helping but are forced to stay home, and it’s not fair to me (although I rarely mind extra work, it’s the principle of the matter).
This furlough is doing so much more than keeping people out of work for a few days or weeks. It affects us all. Congress should be ashamed of themselves for forcing the Government into a shutdown; I know I’m ashamed of them and utterly perplexed by this total nonsense. I’m curious to hear what you think of this, what solutions you would propose, and any other thoughts you have on the matter.
As always, Twitter was the go-to place for information, opinions, and hilarious commentary on the final Presidential debate. Below are some of my favorites:
(I always love a reference to Alphas! Ryan Cartwright plays Gary, an autistic man who can read electromagnetic wavelengths with mind, allowing him to hack into cellphone signals, TV broadcasts, and Wi-Fi frequencies without any hardware other than his brain. What takes the typical hacker minutes or even hours, Gary can do in seconds.)
(A Homeland reference! The actor who plays Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban, was recently stopped by security in New York due to suspicion of him being a terrorist. Once the agents realized why the recognized him, he was let go and had no hard feelings)
(I’m a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race on LOGO, so this one cracked me up pretty good)
I’m not a political expert and I’m not about to pretend to be, but this year’s Presidential election just makes me sad. I felt similar in 2000; I didn’t want to vote for either Bush or Gore, choosing Harry Browne instead due to his views and promises. I knew he wasn’t going to win, but I didn’t feel that Bush or Gore were the best choices and I don’t have the right to complain if I abstain from the election. This time around, I don’t even have a Harry Browne to turn to.
There are over three hundred million people in the United States. Nearly two hundred million of them are 21 years old or over. Out of that two hundred million, there should be a fairly large number who are of the proper age to run for office, are natural-born citizens, and have the proper education and credentials. Yet, out of all those people, we are given candidate choices that are sub par at best. I was one who had faith in Obama and cast my vote in his favor in the last election, but my confidence in his abilities has wavered because he is either unable to do the job to the best of his ability due to checks and balances, or he doesn’t have the same vision he projected while campaigning. As for the other options we’re given, I have zero interest in any of them taking up residence in the White House.
When I learned about our government in school, I felt proud that our country allowed the people to make such important choices in deciding who runs what. The older I got, the less proud I became. I do appreciate the structure, but at this point in time I don’t feel that it’s working the way it was originally intended. Not due to the system being flawed (though it may be) but due to people being focused on power and influence rather than on keeping the country running like a well oiled machine. The people out there who could make major differences are outnumbered by those who have their own best interests in mind rather than those of the masses.
With as many people in this country who are qualified and able to run for President, I fail to understand why we seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for candidates. We should be choosing between the best people available for the position, not the people who a select few groups decide is the best. We shouldn’t feel this limitation in elections, knowing that either a Republican or Democrat will win, but rather feel that any of the candidates has a fair shot at the office. We shouldn’t have good people go unheard just because they can’t pull in the money that Democrat X or Republican Y can pull in to fund campaign costs. We should be choosing our President from the best of the best, and that is not what we are doing at all.
What sickens me further are the campaign efforts to sway the public vote one way or the other. I should be hearing what Person 1 can do for this country to make it better, not why Person 2 is a lowlife and doesn’t deserve my vote. I don’t care that Person 2 got a parking ticket last year, I want to know what Person 1 is going to do about the economic state of the United States. Unfortunately, every time an election approaches, we are smothered in ads insulting the opponent, sometimes offering the opposing and better view of the person we are meant to vote for, but it is overshadowed by the trash talk. What sticks in our minds is all of the negative, not the positive things the candidate can offer, and that’s simply not right.
I want to see things fair and balanced. I want every candidate to get equal air time to state their views and address public concern. I want all parties to be treated with the same amount of importance. I want to be presented with the best this country has to offer for that office out of the many people who are qualified. I want to hear exactly what each candidate has to offer our country without hearing nonsense about other candidate’s college days that has zero relevance to their ability to run this country. I probably want the impossible. At the very least, I want an improvement. We seem to be getting worse and worse as the years go on.