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Donald Trump: brash and wrong

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Sometimes I receive suggested topics for my blog. A reader, who happens to be a client, suggested last week that I write about the fallout from Donald Trumps’s statements on immigration.

“Jack, in your left leaning missives, how about considering this?

“Political Correctness. Let’s all never say anything that could or would be potentially upsetting to anyone. Might as well erase the first amendment while we’re at it. …

“Why do I bring this up? I’m incensed about the treatment of 51 beautiful, educated, progressive motivated women by NBC in its dropping of the Miss USA pageant. The treatment of the tens of thousands of support family, friends, organizations and contestants in the fifty states that NBC decided to tread on without a thought. … You may not like the way he said it or that he said it at all, but the comments he made are true …

“And what do Trump’s comments have to do with the Miss USA pageant? Pretty much nothing except that the Trump organization is part owner of the pageant. …”

Let’s start by reviewing what Trump said:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you.  … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Before focusing on those words, let’s address what happened to the Ms. USA contestants. The loss of a major network to broadcast the pageant is terrible. I get the disappointment and heartache. These women have taken a big hit through no fault of their own, but that doesn’t mean we should overlook Trump’s responsibility for their loss.

Business is about relationships, and those relationships are affected by words and actions. If our business partners say or do something that embarrasses us or harms our brand, we get to terminate the relationship. (In some cases, it may cost us contractual damages to do so, but that’s another matter.) Remember how fast Gillette dropped Tiger Woods after his extramarital affairs hit the news?

Trump said things that NBC didn’t like, and so he was shown the door. That was the risk Trump bore when he spoke about immigrants. And, no, this isn’t a First Amendment case or about  being politically correct. The government isn’t weighing in here. This is a matter between two private parties.

I bear the same risk when writing this blog. I might take a position that offends a client, maybe even the client who gave me the idea for this article—I hope not—and be fired as a result.

But more than just choice is at issue here. Trump made statements that are, well, just plain wrong and troubling for their generalization. After likening Mexicans to droves of rapists and drug runners crossing the border, he tried to soften his words by ending with, “And some, I assume, are good people.” Some? How many is some?  Some sounds like a small percentage. Where did Trump get his numbers?

The Washington Post reported that Trump’s campaign pointed to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission to support his statement. The commission tracks the citizenship of offenders in federal prisons by primary offense, which is the offense with the longest maximum sentence when a person is convicted of multiple offenses. Of primary offense cases in fiscal year 2013 involving illegal immigrants, 17.6 percent were for drug trafficking, and 3.8 percent were for sex abuse.

Trump is wrong about how many illegal immigrants are criminals and how many are “good people.”  But Trump is wrong a lot. FactCheck.Org found Trump to be wrong on a number of issues, most of which deal with the economy.

No surprise, but Trump declined to back down. In an interview on MSNBC, he said, “We have drug dealers coming across, we have rapists, we have killers … I mean it’s common sense. What do you think, they’re going to send us their best people, their finest people.”

What common sense is Trump talking about? Is Trump saying it’s common sense that foreign governments are exporting criminals like commodities? If so, I haven’t read anything to support that idea. Is Trump saying it’s common sense that most illegal immigrants are rapists and drug runners? If so, the statistics cited by the Washington Post don’t support that idea.

Trump is brash and likes to be the focus of attention, and he finally went too far. This time it was NBC saying, “You’re fired.” I don’t see a problem with that.

If Trump is brash and wrong, why has his approval rating recently soared? Simple. He taps into emotions. Americans are worried about a porous border, crime, terrorism, the economy—things that make them feel at risk for their well-being and security. Trump steps up and “tells it like it is.”  He doesn’t have to be right. He just has to tap into that part of the brain that generates fear, and emotions take over. By telling us how scary the world is and how tough he is, people are attracted. Regrettably, emotion generally overcomes reason.

Here’s my prediction. Trump will go the way of Sarah Palin. She was once a beacon for the conservatives and resonated with people on a core level just as Trump does. Where is Palin now? When it became apparent she was more sound bite than substance, she faded. And so will Trump eventually. NBC was just the first one to catch on.

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Jack D’Aurora writes for considerthisbyjd.com

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Discussion

  1. Larry Clarke  July 22, 2015

    Jack;
    Trump is a self centered egotistical narcissists bully.Oh! and a loud month. But, your wrong on several points. What people are sick of is political correctness.and wishy washy namby pamby politicians and their own narcissistic agenda. I’m not a fan of Donald Trump but to compare him to Sarah Palin is absurd. What is attractive with Trump is he is saying what people want to hear someone with some balls. Today world has become so sensitive to someone words its crippling and enabling the entire county. What happened to stick and stone will break my bones but, words will never hurt us.
    Larry Clarke

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  2. BZ  July 22, 2015

    Trump and Kasich – Foils?

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  3. Tim  July 22, 2015

    I agree with much of your assessment of Trump, but realize it is not JUST fear the he taps into. Many Americans are sick and tired of political correctness dictated by networks, politicians, governmental bodies and the self-proclaimed intellectually elite who generally lean to the left and condescendingly label things spoken about by middle America (and often themselves when the cameras are turned off) as being improper, inflammatory, discriminatory, etc.

    Also, I disagree that Trump will go the way of Palin, though I wish in many ways that he would. He has significant, self-generated $ that she didn’t, and that will keep him going for years. Finally, he will not fade away. It’s all about publicity for him, and rest assured that for every television channel and vendor that boots him, ten others will be standing in line waiting to hop on his politically bombastic fueled ratings gravy train. Trump is merely the political equivalent of the Kardashians. And just as the Kardashian’s brand grows with each inch added to Kim’s back side – notwithstanding the fact that most of us can’t imagine who is actually watching their television show – so too will the Trump brand grow and prosper.

    Don’t kid yourself – Macy’s may pull his shirts, but you’d better believe K-Mart or some other vendor looking to move product through the heartland will be all too happy to clear out a little aisle space for him. Collectively, we Americans have always been particularly fond of our freedom and democracy, but what Americans really love in these days of 755 channels is a good train wreck, and rest assured The Donald is now open for business and serving those up by the dump truck load. Bad comb over anyone…….

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  4. CHARLES VITELLI  July 23, 2015

    I FEEL RIGHT OR WRONG BUT, HE HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY WHAT HE WANTS ACCORDING TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT ALLOWING FREE SPEECH. I BELIEVE IN SARAH PALIN AND HAVE READ HER BOOKS SHE SAID WHAT SHE WAS TOLD, NOT HER OWN WORDS. DONALD TRUMP IS OUT SPOKEN MAYBE THIS IS GOOD THAT HE IS WILLING TO SAY WHAT OTHERS OUR JUST THINKING. I FEEL NBC GOES TO FAR CUTTING OUT THE PAGEANT, FOR THEY ARE SO BIG THAT IF YOU ARE NOT FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY YOUR GONE TO BE CUT. HAPPEN TO JAY LENO WHEN IN OCTOBER 2014 HE REFUSED TO PUT JANE FONDA VIET NAM’S GOLDEN GIRL.

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  5. miriam rafferty  July 23, 2015

    I think it is great that we live in a society in which a large institution can decide not to endorse or accept another’s belief system because it does not jive with their own values. Trump has shot himself in the foot with the way he uses his words. He thinks he can get away with it because he has the financial backing. But what do we all expect? He is not a true seasoned politician.

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  6. Jay  July 23, 2015

    I think Trump is brilliant. Now, before any of you have a heart attack or allow your blood pressure get out of control, rest assured I think very poorly of Trump. He could lead me into neither prayer nor a room full of naked women. In the very conservative environment in which I entered adulthood, Trump would have been labeled a douche bag, which he remains, in my view.

    Sure, every pejorative remark about him and his personality is likely true, but he understands marketing and knows he needs ‘something’ to stand out from the crowd, and that ‘something’ comes quite natural to him. It’s not unusual for a candidate to appeal to one group during the primaries, and then shift to a more centrist narrative in the general election. I would not be stunned if he did that too, although I concede that ‘moving to the middle’ may look different to him and less dramatic than we might suppose. All I am sure of is that he is a tremendous marketeer and his number product is himself. He is the PT Barnum of our age.

    As much as I dislike the guy and think he would be a horrible president, I have to respect his success. I know, I know, he led a pampered life growing up and inherited $200k, not a bad nest egg in the mid-’70s. But please, do the math. He turned that nest egg into $10B. That’s like you and me turning $50 into a million. Think about that.
    The only thing that saddens me more than his coarseness in the public debate is the appeal of that coarseness to the populace. But that’s another story for another night.

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