by Frank J. Batavick | CNBNewsnet
Dear Donald Trump,
I really like your “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan, even though you “borrowed” it from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign. No big deal. I know how hard it is for some folks to come up with something original. However, I do have a number of important and honest questions for you. If you wish to “Make America Great Again,” then:
- Why are your Trump-branded men's suits, dress shirts, and ties made in China and Bangladesh and all of Ivanka Trump's clothing line (shoes, dresses, purses and scarves) made in China?
- You said, “I want to see the day in the not too distant future where Apple makes its phones in this country." You have control over your own brand and have also said you "will make the greatest trade deals we've ever made in our country." If so, why haven’t you led the way with your family’s fashion line? Why are you giving so many jobs to the Chinese and not to Americans?
- Why won’t you release your income tax forms? You are the first president since Nixon not to do so. What is it you are hiding? Do you really not have a net worth of more than $10 billion as you claim? Is your annual income really not $557 million? If that’s true, then are you really not the super businessman you purport to be?
- Are you also afraid that if we looked at your tax forms we’d find out that you are not the ardent philanthropist you claim? A review of your IRS returns from 1990 to 2009 shows that you are the least charitable of all the U.S. Billionaires. Prior to your recent under- duress donation to veteran’s groups, you promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of enterprises: “The Apprentice,” Trump Vodka, Trump University, and two books. If so, your gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million. But during this time, donations amounted to just $2.8 million. What happened to the other 2/3s?
- How did you manage to dodge the draft during the Vietnam War? You and I are a little more than a year apart in age. I got drafted in 1967 and served my two years. Most male friends and family members my age also got drafted or enlisted. The draft lottery didn’t begin until December 1, 1969, so it can’t be that you had a high number. Did daddy pull any strings to help you avoid the draft? Regardless, with your apparent shirking of military service, what makes you think you are qualified to be our next Commander-in-Chief?
- Why don’t you believe in the First Amendment and freedom of the press? So far you have banned “The Washington Post,” “The Des Moines Register,” the Spanish language TV broadcaster, Univision, and the Internet news sites BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post from your rallies and press conferences. You refuse to credential reporters from these outlets because you judge their coverage unfavorable. This squelching of free speech, unprecedented in a presidential campaign, shows you are not a big defender of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
- Why didn’t you know what “Brexit” was as recently as early June? When you met with the “Washington Post’s” editorial board in March, you were skeptical about the importance of NATO despite Putin’s aggressive moves in the Ukraine and said you would launch a trade war to punish the Chinese for their actions in the South China Sea. All of this shows a dangerous naiveté about foreign affairs. Should we worry?
- You’ve been caught retweeting the messages of Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists numerous times. What’s up with that? (Yea, I know. It was a sheriff’s badge and not the Star of David on that pile of cash for Hillary.)
- I love my country, but when you say, “Make America Great Again,” to what era do you wish to return? The 1950s when segregation was rampant? The 1960s when a president, a civil rights leader, and a senator were assassinated and our cities erupted in riots? The 1970s when the country was riven by the bloody Vietnam War and home-grown terrorists like the Symbionese Liberation Army? Or are you summoning a gauzy nostalgia for the good old days when white people were in charge and the country wasn’t so diverse? Yea, that’s what I thought.
Frank Batavick is a graduate of Gloucester Catholic (‘63) and La Salle University ('67) with over 40 years of experience as a television writer/producer/director for public TV and media companies in IN and NJ. He has also served as adjunct faculty and visiting professor in Communications at colleges and universities in NY and MD. Frank now lives in MD with his wife Dori (GCHS, ‘63), where he is the vice chair of the Historical Society of Carroll County’s board of trustees, editor of the Carroll History Journal, and a weekly columnist and occasional feature writer for the Carroll County Times.