Trump Is an Icon Worth Celebrating

Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:11 PM

By Armstrong Williams

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While reading my daily dose of Newsmax and preparing for the issues of the day, I was intrigued by their story that the Donald was still contemplating a run for the White House.
 
The New York Post reported on Monday that Trump has spent $1 million to research his political standing in certain states. He told the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Michigan last week that it was “highly unlikely” that he would seek the White House in 2016.

“I’d be very happy if the president did a great job,” Trump said. “Before I am a Republican, I am an American. I want this country to be great again. It’s not going to be great again.”
 
Following Donald Trump’s CPAC speech earlier this year, many were calling The Donald an embarrassment to the party, senile, and even a Democrat mole. Trump is many things: a shrewd businessman, a tireless self-promoter (many who are successful can make that claim), and an American Icon. He is neither an embarrassment nor a mole; he is a man that has a platform to voice his opinions and boldly uses it, unbeholden to anyone but himself.
 
This is a man that took his father’s construction business and turned it into an empire. He has brought businesses back from bankruptcy (none of his personally) stronger than before. He has constantly pushed the motto “dream big and go for it,” becoming a living embodiment of that ideal. Whenever foreign dignitaries and businessman come to visit the US, he is one of the top persons they request to meet. Throughout the world he is respected and seen as an example of the American Dream writ large.
 
Like everyone in this world, Trump has opinions. However, due to his success, he has a worldwide platform to espouse his views. Trump is unique because he uses his soapbox to tell it like he sees it. Most celebrities with the kind of media reach Trump has will moderate their thoughts, saying what they think the audience wants to hear. When they roll out new ideas, the statements have usually been focus group tested to ensure they receive the pre-selected crowd’s best response.
 
Trump eschews this model, and it is refreshing. So often we complain that political and entertainment figures are too scripted and relish (or attack) when one goes off the reservation and tells the world how they really feel. Trump is unscripted each and every day. Sometimes he may say something you agree with, sometimes not; he is human after all.
 
Trump was embraced by many Republicans for calling out President Obama about his birth certificate. Whether you are a birther or not, you have to admit that The Donald, and only The Donald, was able to get a response from the president. His voice helped put the issue to bed. Folks on both sides of the aisle should be thankful for that.
 
At CPAC, Trump was not talking about conspiracy theories, rather he was doing what he alway does — calling it like he sees it. He stated that entitlement reform is a losing argument, illegal alien amnesty will cost Republicans, and Romney did not run a good campaign.
 
Maybe Republicans do not want to admit these things, but that does not make Trump an embarrassment. Rather Trump is the cold splash of water — shocking everyone by saying what many were thinking, but too afraid to say out loud.
 
Trump is right about Americans and their entitlements — they don’t want anyone to touch them. Even when they agree in theory about entitlement reform, once you ask someone to give up his specific entitlement, he'll balk. It’s a classic case of take their stuff, but leave mine alone. Entitlement reform is obviously something that needs to be addressed, but a frontal assault scares the vast majority of Americans and sends them running for the hills. What the GOP needs is a different tack and message that Democrats can’t easily spin into Republicans trying to push grandma off a cliff.
 
On illegal amnesty, Trump was absolutely correct again. Not one to mince words, he blasted the GOP establishment for trying to rush flawed legislation that they hoped would grab some of the Hispanic vote. Instead, those short-sighted laws would have signaled the party’s doom. Giving 8-11 million likely Democrat voters, amnesty will not win elections for the GOP. (Former) illegals will not credit the Republicans for granting citizenship, immigrants that went through the process legally will resent the GOP for giving others a shortcut, and the base will refuse to support such an act.
 
One accomplishment that Trump always enjoys discussing is the Central Park ice rink. The city of New York had let the rink fall into disrepair. When the city attempted to renovate it, the project went over budget and past schedule, resulting in the rink becoming an even greater disaster. To Trump, this was a stain on the great city he called home. He rang the mayor and said he would repair the rink quickly and under budget. And he did.
 
Trump did not do that simply for publicity. Nor did he do it just to prove that private business can do the government’s job cheaper and faster. He was embarrassed that a simple project was such a fiasco and made New York look bad.
 
When Trump complained about the tent at a White House dinner and offered to build a ballroom, he was embarrassed for the nation and the president. In many ways he was using the story as a metaphor for the current state of America. But he also saw it as a simple to fix detail many dismiss as unimportant, but nevertheless leaves a bad impression.
 
Those are the actions of a proud American who wants the whole world to see how great his country is. They are also the actions of a man that knows most people are not willing to speak up when they see a problem for fear of ridicule or ostracization.
 
Donald Trump truly is an American Icon who should be celebrated. Just because he does not pander, just because he is outspoken and a tireless self-promoter does not mean he should keep his mouth shut. It is Trump’s willingness to shoot from the hip and cut through the fog that has made him the success and luminary he is. It is also what makes his words something to consider even when you do not agree.
 
We can learn a great deal from one of the most celebrated of modern Americans, and I hope he continues to tell it like he sees it.
 
Armstrong Williams is an African-American political commentator who writes a conservative newspaper column, hosts a nationally syndicated TV program called “The Right Side,” and hosts a daily radio show on Sirius/XM Power 128 (7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m.) Monday through Friday. Read more reports from Armstrong Williams — Click Here Now.
 
 
 

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