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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Resolving a Question About Fred Trump

Trump is offending African American voters with his bleak portrayal of their living conditions.

Trump is also offending Catholics.  Raphael Bernal reports at The Hill:
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's new campaign CEO, previously accused Catholics of supporting Hispanic immigration to prop up the church's numbers on his radio program in the spring.

"I understand why Catholics want as many Hispanics in this country as possible, because the church is dying in this country, right? If it was not for the Hispanics," Bannon told Robert P. George, a Princeton law professor who, along with dozens of other leaders, wrote an open letter to fellow Catholics denouncing Trump.

"I get that, right? But I think that is the subtext of part of the letter, and I think that is the subtext of a lot of the political direction of this."
The Hill first reported on Bannon's March 8 comments Monday. Bannon railed against House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and said he was "rubbing his social-justice Catholicism in my nose every second."
Trump also employs an openly anti-Catholic spokesperson and has directly attacked Pope Francis. 

If he is serious about "pivoting," he should follow the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 1990, responding to reports that his father had been a Nazi, he asked the Simon Wiesenthal Center to investigate.  The Center found that the reports were true.  By being open and proactive, Schwarzenegger inoculated himself against his father's taint.  In 2003, his gubernatorial campaign suffered no damage when additional details surfaced about Gustav Schwarzenegger's Nazi activities.

Trump could make a gesture of goodwill by dealing with his own father's past.  Earlier this year, news accounts provided documentation that New York City police arrested Fred Trump in the wake of a 1927 anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan rally in Queens.  Donald Trump flatly denied the story, even though three separate contemporaneous news accounts noted Fred Trump's arrest.

These stories do not prove that Fred Trump was a Klan member, but they surely raise questions.  With his vast wealth, Trump might be able to settle these questions by sponsoring a full investigation of his father.  If the investigation finds that his father was not a Klan member, he can claim vindication. If it does, he can get credit for honesty and candor.

Mr. Trump, as you keep rhetorically asking African Americans, what do you have to lose?