Not as much as you think.
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Since declaring his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has been at odds with his Republican rivals, allegedly the RNC executive committee, political action committees, the Democrats, and particularly the press who appears to despise this political outsider. The media paints a picture of a loudmouthed, uncouth racist, who is greedy beyond words and, therefore, evil. Let me go on the record by saying you cannot be successful in business, be it large or small, by practicing racism or dirty tricks. Maybe organized crime can get away with it, but there are simply too many bureaucratic rules and regulations to allow this to happen. Besides, it doesn’t make business sense to do so. Trump’s projects as a land developer and entertainer are well known and documented, but the private side is a little sketchy, making fodder for the press.
So what do we truly know about Mr. Trump? First, he has repetitively said he doesn’t smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs, nor do his offspring. Anti-smokers should love this, as should Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). Marijuana proponents though will have a problem with his stance on drugs. He also loves sports, which most red-blooded American men should appreciate. We do not truly know how deeply religious he is, but he claims to be a proud Protestant, a Presbyterian to be exact. When he was younger, he was impressed by the work of Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, the acclaimed author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” which touted “Believe in yourself!” and “Have faith in your abilities!,” lessons which Trump seems to have embraced.
Then there is the matter of Trump’s philanthropic projects which are often criticized by his antagonists. If you search the Internet, it won’t take long to compile a list of some of the charities he has contributed to, including:
American Cancer Society
American Diabetes Association
Alliance for Lupus Research
Arnold Palmer Foundation
Celebrity Fight Night Foundation
Children with AIDS
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
David Foster Foundation
The Doe Fund
Friends of Scotland
Institute for Implant Analysis at the Hospital for Special Surgery (which treated Trump’s parents).
Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation
Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation
Make A Child Smile Appeal
Mississippi Animal Rescue League
Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
National Network to End Domestic Violence
New York City Police Foundation
New Yorkers For Parks
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Pediatric Epilepsy Project
Police Athletic League (PAL)
Ronald McDonald House of New York
St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters
Vietnam Veterans Plaza in New York
Wounded Warrior Project
That’s 39 charities listed here, not to mention those supported by his children, particularly The Eric Trump Foundation (ETF) which is dedicated to raising money for terminally-ill children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It is my understanding that, to date, ETF has pledged nearly $28 million.
Yet, Trump’s detractors in the press still portray him as “Scrooge.” Even if he was to donate all of his assets to charity, they would still find something wrong with his philanthropy, that he didn’t give enough.
As to Trump’s acts of kindness, there are several stories circulating, most notably the “5 Acts of Kindness” by Donald Trump. To paraphrase the popular article, the five acts include:
1. After three members of singer Jennifer Hudson’s family were murdered, Trump provided a free sanctuary in Trump Tower to allow her to grieve. He also provided security to Hudson and her family to respect their privacy, all at his expense.
2. When airlines wouldn’t help a boy with serious medical issues, Trump provided his own jet to transport him.
3. He saved a family’s farm from going into foreclosure.
4. When former Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi was released from a prison in Mexico last year, Mr. Trump sent him a generous check to help him re-start his life.
5. In 2013, a Buffalo, New York bus driver stopped to coax a woman from jumping off a bridge. After learning of the incident, Trump sent the bus driver $10,000 to thank him.
There is also the story of a man who allegedly helped change a tire on Mr. Trump’s limousine. In gratitude, Trump and his wife sent the man’s wife a huge bouquet of flowers along with a note stating Trump paid off their mortgage for them. Scopes claims this story is unsubstantiated, but it still may be true.
These are the stories the press has been made aware of, there may be many others particularly within his corporate empire. The fact is, we know Mr. Trump is capable of random acts of kindness. It certainly does not jive with the press’ depiction of Trump as a tyrannical ogre. He is hardly the heartless heathen the media characterizes him as.
Donald Trump is a tough businessman who relishes success, and rightfully so, which is what capitalism is all about; to enjoy the bounty of your efforts. However, there is nothing requiring him or anyone else to help others, but he does so willingly as he has demonstrated on several occasions. Regardless of what his detractors say, there is nothing to dispute his religion, his philanthropic projects, and his acts of kindness.
If the anti-Trump people are even half correct about his contributions, he is still a generous philanthropist.
Keep the Faith!