Donald John Trump is leading in the Republican Primaries and may even be beating Hillary Clinton in the race for the presidency, but who is the billionaire and why is he such a divisive figure?

Donald Trump vs The World

Donald Trump: Fascist or Fool?

Donald J. Trump, entrepreneur, business magnate, investor, author, TV personality, and candidate for the US Republican presidential nomination. Prior to the race for the presidential nomination Trump was best known for the American version of The Apprentice in which he played the equivalent role of Sir Alan Sugar in the UK version.

He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts.

More importantly he is also called  The American Christ, a fool, an ‘Epic Hero’, and the new Adolf Hitler.

And that’s just for starters.

So what has he done to earn such polarized coverage?

Donald Trump vs Migrants

According to this article by the Washington Post, Mr Trump has built his campaign on the racist contingent of Republican supporters. This began with Mexicans trying to cross the boarder to the U.S. (which isn’t an issue as much as the reverse). But it seems that after the Paris Attacks that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Mexicans Crossing the Boarder

Mr Trump’s campaign began with absurd statements against Mexican immigrants, including the building of a giant wall (that he will somehow make Mexico pay for). And yet this condescension pales in comparison to the legendary xenophobia that really kickstarted his campaign:

‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the 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’.

A merciful concession there that some Mexican migrants might not be rapists. But even if they are he seems to think the current government would grant them citizenship. During a tiff with Mexican drug cartel leader El Chapo Trump tweeted that even El Chapo would be welcomed by the ‘weak’ Obama administration.

That is, in fact, categorically untrue as felonies such as rape, aggravated assault and, yes, drug trafficking, will permanently bar an individual from becoming a U.S. citizen.

So began the string of strange, and often false, claims Mr Trump has made via Twitter and during speeches.

Muslims and Syrian Refugees

Let’s start with the weekend just gone. Mr Trump has been accused of suggesting that all U.S. Muslims be required to sign up to a database.

With many sources even citing that he would also expect Muslims to carry identification clarifying their religious beliefs.

MSNBC reporter asked Mr Trump how this system of registration was different to the registration of Jews during World War II (which eventually led to the Holocaust).

Mr Trump replied by saying ‘you tell me’. Trump doesn’t have a wonderful track record with regard to the Holocaust, publicly thanking Holocaust-denying Iranian state TV which placed him above Hillary Clinton in a recent poll. In fact, the U.S. Holocaust museum came out pleading with the people of the U.S. not to condemn the Syrian refugees since many U.S. senators wish to refuse them entry to the country.

Trump is a man of nuanced and complex political views. In fact, I may have difficulty in ascertaining what those views are. PolitiFact, in regards to the American Muslims database, calls his comments ‘contradictory or confusing’.

Yahoo Reporter: ‘Do you think we might need to register Muslims in some type of database, or note their religion on their ID?’

Trump: ‘We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully’.

So granted Trump didn’t give an affirmative ‘yes’ or ‘no’, a cringe worthy political trick to avoid the question, a question that most certainly needs a no, even if the answer should be yes. Things quickly escalated over the following days.

When an MSNBC reporter asked Trump about the database he responded saying:

‘There should be a lot of systems. Beyond databases I mean, we should have a lot of systems’.

Aside from being about as meaningless a statement as a politician can give it does seem to suggest Trump is in favour of the database. As an aside, it is worth mentioning that when asked how he would register refugees he replied saying it would just be, ‘good management’.

The backlash against this has been enormous. The most potent criticism coming from Muslims in the U.S. Armed Forces on Twitter:

According to former employee, President of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino John R. O’Donnell revealed that Trump extends the olive branch of hatred to other races too. According to Mr O’Donnell, Trump doesn’t like black people handling his money, he would much rather Jewish people do so. That’s two birds with one stone as far as offensive stereotypes are concerned.

And then there’s climate change denial. Trump claimed that climate change was ‘created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive’.

On most issues then, he is either incorrect, or just wrong.

Who is Donald Trump?

So is Donald Trump a fascist or a fool? The answer, based on all available evidence, is both.

Though he may be right on one thing:

‘One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government’.

And he certainly isn’t helping the matter.

 

Sources:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/26/joseph-curl-donald-trumps-an-idiot-but-hes-also-a-/?page=all

https://newrepublic.com/article/122559/donald-trump-epic-hero

http://twitchy.com/2015/11/25/all-hail-der-donald-politicos-roger-simon-john-kasich-compare-realdonaldtrump-to-hitler/

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/jun/22/bill-clinton/bill-clinton-zero-net-migration-mexico-2010/

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/crimes-that-will-prevent-you-from-receiving-us-citizenship.html

http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/20/donald-trump-says-hed-absolutely-require-muslims-to-register/?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/us/politics/donald-trump-sets-off-a-furor-with-call-to-register-muslims-in-the-us.html

http://theslot.jezebel.com/donald-trump-on-how-his-fascist-plan-to-track-muslims-i-1743717026

http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/262526/donald-trump-holocaust-denier-iran-press-tv/

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/09/06/427930/US-Donald-Trump-Hillary-Clinton-poll

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/11/19/in-rare-political-statement-a-concerned-u-s-holocaust-museum-clear-message-on-syrian-refugees/

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/260778-senate-dems-vow-to-block-refugee-bill

http://www.politiwhat.com/2015/07/28/donald-trump-and-his-trumpisms/