Donald Trump, the flashy New York City billionaire, has made his intentions known that he plans on running for the presidency in 2012. He has also given indication that, should he fail to secure the GOP nomination, he may run as an independent. Apart from all this reviving memories of Ross Perot and the 1992 race, there are serious questions Republicans - establishment and voters alike - must ask themselves; not the least of which should be 'Who really is Donald Trump' and 'Can the country afford a Trump presidency'.
We stand at a critical juncture in our history when the U.S. has to choose one of two diametrically opposed paths. We must either find sanity and put our fiscal house in order now, which will undoubtedly call for sacrifices, or we will forge full steam ahead on the path of unsustainable debt accumulation which will inevitably give our children an America that is wrought by crippling effects of crushing debt payments and a weak dollar.
The latest warning of what is in store for the U.S. came on Monday when S&P issued a negative outlook on our debt as a result of apparent long term budget impasse between the Democrats and the Republicans. A week before that, countries including China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa openly called for creation of a new world currency. And of course, we should not forget the dire warnings of the President's Debt Commission last year.
With the U.S. fiscal house of cards on or near life-support, America deserves to be able to make a clear choice on the direction it wishes to embark on for the next 4 years. The Trump candidacy will make this at best a murky choice as no one really knows who Trump ideologically is (although I have a pretty good idea).
Apart from his latest antics, including reviving the Obama birth certificate controversy, Trump is little bit of an enigma. Lets take a closer look at the apparent, and somewhat conflicting, ideology of Donal Trump.
Trump, in the past, has said that Democrats are better for the country. He praised President Obama soon after he was elected. He has contributed more to Democrat candidates than Republicans in past election cycles, including far left candidates like Charles Rangel, Charles Schumer, and Anthony Weiner. He was registered as a Republican until 2000 when he apparently switched his party allegiance to the Democrat party. He holds many progressive stances on taxation (he is for a one time wealth tax), social issues (gay marriage for one), single payer healthcare, as well as what can be considered anti free trade positions alongside more conservative stances. As a less meaningful anecdote, his daughter Ivanka is married to son of Charles Kushner, the staunchly partisan billionaire Democrat fundraiser (and a felon). In short, he is at home in the ultra-liberal environment of NYC.
These conflicting stances put Trump in the same category as Mayor Bloomberg and his ilk who have roamed the political spectrum in search of opportunities. One thing is clear: Donald Trump does not have the convictions of his own ideology because he is not about principles; he is clearly only about one thing: his own ego.
The coming elections are about America’s future and the American people deserve unambiguous answers to critical questions in order to make an informed decision.
Is Trump a Democrat at heart who is out to assure that there will be no further conservative ascendancy? No one knows for sure.
Is he an egocentric crony capitalist? By all appearances, yes.
Can America survive a Trump presidency? Considering the critical juncture we find ourselves in, the answer is: 'no more than it can survive the presidency of any other egomaniacal opportunist regardless of party affiliation'.
One thing is for sure. The Republican establishment has to be wary of whom they are getting in to bed with.