Oh Lord. I know I'm going to regret this, but what don't you get?
"I don't understand how anyone could possibly support Donald Trump. It's so obvious that he's such a horrible candidate. Hillary Clinton would be ten times better than Trump. Any idiot can see that!"
All right, I'll play along. Why would Hillary Clinton be better than Donald Trump? Is it because you don't agree with Trump's positions?
"No I actually agree with a lot of Trump's positions. I think building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants is a pretty good idea."
Okay. Is it because Donald Trump is a rude, crude dude? Is it because Donald Trump doesn't sound presidential, insults numerous people every chance he gets, and doesn't care what people think?
"Nope. It's pretty refreshing to see a Republican finally standing up to the bullies on the Left and the liberal media."
Is...is it because Donald Trump is a bigger liar than Hillary Clinton?
"No, Radius, that's the most retarded thing I've ever heard!"
All right, I give up. Why would Hillary Clinton be a better choice for president than Donald Trump?
"Radius it's so simple. Hillary Clinton is so much better than Donald Trump because Donald Trump has been a colossal failure!"
"Think about it, Radius. What's the one thing that Donald Trump loves to remind us about? The fact that he's rich as hell, and a kick ass businessman. How many times has he told everyone he's the best businessman in the whole damn country? Remember how he tells people he's the ultimate deal maker? What about that whole "blue collar billionaire" schtick he likes to put on? None of it's true!"
What...what do you mean?
"Oh sit back, Radius, you smug, beautiful bastard. I'm going to walk you through point-by-point just why Donald Trump is an abysmal business failure."
1. He didn't build that!
"Donald Trump likes to boast about how freaking rich he is. How many times has he said he's very, very rich. The richest man in the country! A self-made billionaire! That's what he wants people to think of him. Trump's got a YUGE problem, though. He may be a billionaire, but did you know that he inherited his money from his FATHER? Donald Trump didn't build any of that! It was all given to him by daddy!"
Well yeah, but...
2. Failure after Failure
"Oh, and Donald Trump is lying his ass off about his business record, too. Did you know that Donald Trump has had DOZENS of businesses flat out fail?"
"There was his Trump Steaks label that promised premium cuts of meat. Trump started out selling his steaks on a custom website, but once that tanked he tried to work out an exclusive deal with another company. What company do you think he chose? If you guessed "a company with a track record of selling premium meats" you'd be WRONG! He chose the SHARPER IMAGE. Who the hell chooses an electronics company to sell STEAKS?
"Then there was Trump: The Game. I mean what kind of megalomaniac puts his own face on a BOARD GAME? He struck a licensing deal with Milton Bradley in 1989 thinking it would be a YUGE deal. You want to know what happened? It shut down within a year."
"Oh, and then there was his disastrous attempt to break into football. Did Trump try to buy a regular old NFL team? Nope, he went over to the United States Football League and bought the New Jersey Generals. Once he did that he went about trying to bring the team over to the NFL. Probably so he could make even more money like the greedy bastard he is. Like everything else in Trump's life, though, it didn't work out very well. Hell, some people even credited Trump with causing the entire league to tank."
3. Bankruptcy after Bankruptcy
"Radius, I ask you, what do you think the normal amount of bankruptcies is for a businessman? I know nothing about business, so I don't know myself. What I DO know is that Donald Trump has gone through bankruptcy not once, not twice, but FOUR times. Four...freaking...times! How can anyone call themselves a phenomenal businessman when they've had four bankruptcies?"
4. If it please the court...
"Oh! And let's not forget the lawsuits. Donald Trump is involved in over 160 lawsuits across the country. I don't know anything about the legal profession, or legal proceedings, or the law in general. 160 lawsuits, though? That's a hell of a lot of people with a legal bone to pick with The Donald. How can anyone consider themselves a fantastic deal maker when they're involved in that many lawsuits?"
First of all...
"So knowing all that, Radius, how can anyone support Donald Trump? How can YOU support Donald Trump?"
Okay. Can I talk now?
"Yeah, sure. Go right ahead"
All right. First of all...
FIRST OF ALL yeah Donald Trump got much of his start up capital from his father. The elder Trump gave his son a loan of $1 million, and helped him secure loans from various other sources that totaled $100 million. You know what Donald Trump did with that money? He built a real estate empire in Manhattan. He bought casinos and hotels all over the world. Donald Trump took those loans and literally turned the name "Donald Trump" into a brand that literally became a household name. So what if Donald Trump got his start with help from his dad? Trump turned his father's loan into a worldwide empire worth BILLIONS. Where the startup capital came from doesn't diminish that in any way.
Now onto your second point, Mr. NeverTrumper. You said that Donald Trump has had a string of failures. Here's a question for you; do you know how hard it is to start a successful business?
I thought not. Starting any sort of business venture is fraught with all manner of peril. In fact, over 90% of businesses fail within their first year. Why? Market fluctuations, economic downturns, lack of demand for a particular service, whether or not the moon is full. The point is there are literally hundreds of reasons that can lead to a business failing. Yes, that includes poor management on the part of the CEO.
Now, was that the case with some of Donald Trump's business failures? Probably. Donald Trump is a man that does have a bit of an impulsive streak about him. Certainly that can be seen in failures such as the New Jersey Generals or Trump: The Game. Is that the case for all of his failures? Of course not. Like I said there are all sorts of factors that account for why a particular business would fail. It stands to reason that most of his business failures can be attributed to several factors rather than just "Trump is a horrible businessman."
"Yeah, but, but what about the bankruptcies?"
All right, let's look at the bankruptcies. Donald Trump has had to file for bankruptcy four times within the last 25 years. His first bankruptcy was the Trump Taj Mahal back in 1991. This was closely followed by the Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992. After that it was 12 years before Trump filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, this time on his Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts. The last time Trump filed for bankruptcy was in 2009 on Trump Entertainment Resorts.
That's quite a few bankruptcies to go through in that amount of time. However, there are two factors that we need to consider when looking at this. First and foremost is the fact that all four of these bankruptcies were Chapter 11 filings. What does that mean? Chapter 11 is a process that allows a business owner to reorganize and restructure the company's debt. It's an option that is intended to save a business and allow it to continue on rather than liquidating its assets. Typically the debtor keeps most of the company's assets, and runs that company under court supervision so that the creditors can be paid back.
Note: those of you who are interested can check out this link for a complete rundown of what Chapter 11 bankruptcy is and how it works.
The second factor we have to consider when looking at Donald Trump's bankruptcies is what exactly DID go bankrupt? Three out of four of Donald Trump's bankruptcies have been linked to casinos. All four bankruptcies involved the hospitality industry. These are industries that have been hit very hard by trends in the larger economy over the last few years. Why? Simply put, people have less money when the economy is bad. They travel less, spend less, and they certainly don't want to gamble away the little that they have in a casino. Losses in the gaming and hospitality industries are almost inevitable when economic times are tough.
In fact we can safely assume that's almost exactly what happened in all four of Donald Trump's bankruptcies. His first two Chapter 11 filings happened in 1991 and 1992, respectively. During that time the U.S. economy had just started to come out of a recession that had begun in 1989, and peaked in 1992. In fact it was the sluggish economy that led to George Bush Sr. losing re-election to Bill Clinton. It's reasonable to assume that this contributed heavily to Trump's first two bankruptcies.
Now on to Donald Trump's last two bankruptcies. Politifact looked at the 2004 bankruptcy of Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts, and found that the company as a whole had accrued over $1.8 billion in debt. That's a lot of debt for any company to have. It's no surprise Trump had to file for Chapter 11 in this case. Does that mean that Trump's poor management skills led to the company accumulating that much debt? Not necessarily. Again, the hospitality and casino industries are very heavily influenced by economic trends. It's likely that the company accumulated that much debt as a cost of doing business. Eventually it became too much, and Chapter 11 had to be filed.
Donald Trump's last bankruptcy occurred in 2009 with Trump Entertainment Resorts. You know what was happening in 2009? The Great Recession! The United States was knee deep in the worst economy since the Great Depression. The Great Recession hit the gaming and hospitality industries in Las Vegas and elsewhere like the proverbial Mack truck. Since then the industry has begun to recover, but this recovery, like everywhere else, has been slow. Casinos in Vegas were posting losses as recently as this past January. Is it the mark of a poor businessman to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the economy of the Great Recession? Hardly. Bankruptcy filings have been the norm for years.
"B-b-but the lawsuits!"
Yeah I was just getting to that. You say that Donald Trump is currently involved in over 160 lawsuits. That's pretty misleading, Mr. NeverTrump. Quite frankly it's embarrassing, even for you. It's true that Donald Trump has been named in 169 lawsuits, but those lawsuits date back all the way to 1983. These suits come from a variety of sources for a number of different reasons. Some of the lawsuits include business disputes, litigation over contracts, personal disputes and grudges both by and against Trump. Some of these are frivolous lawsuits brought by people that are, let's face it, just plain nutters. My favorite is the one by the guy who claims Donald Trump is an American Indian Witch. That guy has also sued the CIA director, by the way.
Are these lawsuits evidence of Donald Trump's failures in the business world? Hardly. Donald Trump does so much business with so many different people throughout the world that it's inevitable that he would be involved in a large number of suits. Combine that with Donald Trump's irascible personality, and you've got a perfect storm to create a very, very busy legal team.
Ah yes, Trump University. That's the big lawsuit facing Donald Trump right now simply by virtue of the fact that he's running for president. There are, however, some legitimate questions that need to be looked at with this lawsuit. Perhaps the biggest question is whether or not the presiding Judge Gonzalo Curiel-a member of a legal association that deals with the leftist Hispanic group La Raza-is biased against Donald Trump. That, combined with the fact that Judge Curiel scheduled Trump's deposition in the case to be given on the opening day of the Republican National Convention certainly gives the appearance of bias. It's likely something that we'll have to wait for the actual trial to see what happens.
It is worth noting, however, that the Trump University lawsuits are CIVIL lawsuits. There is no criminal case here. Donald Trump is not being accused of personally violating the law, and is not facing any jail time from these proceedings. You know who IS being criminally investigated by the FBI? Hillary Clinton, of course. It makes zero sense that Donald Trump would be disqualified from the presidency for facing a lawsuit over allegedly deceptive business practices. Yet Hillary Clinton can literally be facing a criminal indictment and substantial jail time...and no one bats an eye when she runs for president.
"<unintelligible sputtering and groaning>"
So you say, Mr. NeverTrump, that Donald Trump got his startup cash from his father. That he has had numerous business failures, four bankruptcies, and has faced down an obscenely large number of lawsuits. Your contention is that all of those factors mean that Donald Trump is a business failure. Let me restate that in a way that everyone can understand. You are saying that Donald J. Trump, a man whose net worth is in the billions, who has created thousands of jobs throughout the world, and who is now running for president is a colossal failure. Do you realize how unbelievably stupid that sounds? That's like saying Bill Clinton just really loves women.
"<more unintelligble, rage-fueled sputtering>"
You know what, Mr. NeverTrump? I wish that I had failed at life as hard as Donald Trump has. In fact, I wish I had failed even just a tenth as hard as Donald Trump. Then perhaps I could be a billionaire businessman with enough money to nearly self-finance a run for the most powerful office in the world as well.
"............RACIST! BIGOT! HOMOPHOBE!!!"
Yeah...that's pretty much all you've got left there, buddy.