Donald Trump and the Straw Man Fallacy Number 2 He is NOT a RACIST!

by Chuck Ewing on September 2, 2016

Name calling or labeling another person is often successful in convincing others about the moral fitness or character of a political adversary. As stated in Fallacy Number 1, it is dangerous to base a decision on a label without careful examination of the facts used to support such a label.

A racist is defined as a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

Prior to this election campaign, I could find no significant evidence or criticism of Mr. Trump citing racism. It seems logical that some “facts” must have recently been discovered to justify such a label. I have not found verifiable evidence of the numbers of Asians, Black, Hispanic or Native American employees Mr. Trump has in the past or now employs. However, it appears to be in the thousands. If in fact Mr. Trump is a racist, there must be dozens of successful complaints of discrimination against Mr. Trump. Surely the Department of Justice would have shut him down by now if he discriminated against minorities! Surely Dr. Ben Carson, Helen Aguirre Ferré, Director of Hispanic Communications, Republican National Committee, Omarose Onee Manigault, director of the African-American outreach for Trump to name just a few of his ardent supporters or employees must be confused and unable to discern his views. The black pastors and other evangelical leaders who passionately support Mr. Trump must be missing the point. I do not think so.

When deciding who to vote for please make your choice because Mr. Trump’s proposals are flawed or you have clear evidence of poor character. I confess that prior to Mr. Trump coming down the escalator in June of 2015 and announcing his candidacy, my opinion of him and his character was not very high. I did not have anything particular against him, but since I practiced Chapter 11 and 12 Bankruptcy reorganizations of businesses and I spent several years as a small time builder and developer I was keenly interested in what he had done. In recent years it was impressive to see the success in the vast majority of his undertakings. At the time I knew nothing of his family or how even the citizens of New York felt about him. His reality show although appearing very successful was of no interest to me.

When he gave his announcement speech, I happened to be listening. Immediately the substance of his speech intrigued me. My impression had been that he was always blunt – in fact more blunt than I would like. Not that he was necessarily wrong just indelicate (not politically correct). At the end of the speech, I replayed it and thoughtfully considered him and what he said. My opinion was that though he sounded good, he could never win the nomination. My views are mostly conservative thus Mrs. Clinton would not in my opinion make a good president. It was particularly annoying when she said to the effect that it was time for a woman president, thus it was her turn. Other women openly stated that it was time for a woman, in fact one said there was a special spot in hell for any woman who did not support Mrs. Clinton. Would it be nice for a qualified woman to be president – absolutely! It would also be horrible to elect the wrong woman because it was her turn.

For reasons to be discussed in later comments, a favorite qualification of mine for a candidate is to have successful executive experience. Either in the political arena such as mayor or governor or in the business arena such as Mr. Trump now or Mr. Romney in 2012. I thought we would be getting a 30 million dollar executive for the country if we elected Mr. Romney. His constant ranting against Mr. Trump utilizing the labels discussed in this commentary and some outrageous and unproven speculation regarding Mr. Trump’s taxes have given me pause regarding my former support for Mr. Romney. Perhaps it is this experience or more likely decades of experience in court and business that has made me cautious before supporting any one in the political arena. When Mr. Trump was labeled racist by several members of the media as well as others within his party it was very concerning. I began to explore the facts behind such a label.

There is an absence of facts to support such a label. Particularly troubling is after decades of business practice he was not labeled racist until he chose to run for president. People who have been around him are adamant that he is not a racist. Evidence that others have opined support the label are found in a series of “facts” to support the racist label.

His so called attack on the Gold Star family is discussed in Fallacy Number 1.

He has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, especially from countries where documentation is suspect and/or the country supports terrorism. Seriously? If a Muslim, Asian, Black person, Native American or a broken down old white man like me came to your door and asked to be let in would you not check that person out carefully if you even considered letting them in at all? I think not, in fact you would probably call the police if the person did not leave immediately or if the person was from a terrorist supporting Muslim nation.

But there is more: Mr. Trump must be a racist because he demanded to see Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, that is he is a birther. Considering that we have to provide our birth certificate to get into school, play little league softball or get a driver’s license, shouldn’t we be allowed to see a candidate’s birth certificate? If you agree that a valid birth certificate is a reasonable requirement for candidacy, do you not question the reluctance or in fact refusal to provide a birth certificate a valid area for question. It now appears that a valid certificate was provided years after the election. Why did it take Mr. Trump’s continued demands so long for us to see the certificate? That does not appear to support a racist label.

But there is still more: Mr. Trump, some say, has insinuated that Mr. Obama was admitted to Ivy League schools only because of affirmative action. I cannot find any direct quotes from Mr. Trump, however even if Mr. Obama got in on affirmative action and Mr. Trump is criticizing him, might it not be that he is criticizing his intellect not his race? If so critical comments about his intellect are in my mind legitimate questions.

More yet: Trump actually criticized a judge stating he was Mexican thus he must be a racist. Since I practiced law for years I would not publicly criticize a federal judge especially because he was of Mexican heritage. However, Mr. Trump is a defendant in a class action suit. That is where a plaintiff brings a case alleging certain wrongdoing and asks the court to certify that there is a class similarly situated that the plaintiff should represent. There are cases where such a suit is beneficial. However here, the original plaintiff’s claims were shown to be false and she was dismissed from the case. The law is not clear, but most often the entire case is then dismissed. Not so in Mr. Trump’s case. The judge then set the case for trial very near election time. Still not terrible although suspect. He then ordered the release of pre-trial discovery (evidence) again unusual. Shortly after releasing the information he again resealed some of the evidence. That is like putting toothpaste back into the tube. Mr. Trump alleges the judge often ruled against him in other questionable circumstances.

The so called racist comments were when Mr. Trump noted that the judge was of Mexican heritage. By itself not enough in my mind to disqualify the judge. However, the judge is a member of La Raza Lawyers a group whose national organization of similar name is loudly advocating for open borders and amnesty. The local group is not affiliated however its stated purpose is to promote the interests of the Latino communities throughout the state. Judge Curiel was on the selection committee who awarded an illegal alien a scholarship. Is it possible, perhaps likely he might not view favorably a man who wants to deport the said scholarship recipient. Judges are supposed to recuse themselves if there is a possible appearance of impropriety. My experience with other judges in similar circumstances is that he would not recuse himself. I think that ignoring an appearance that may lead to speculation that a judge is biased is wrong. None the less, calling the judge out for his views which are diametrically opposed is neither racist nor uncalled for.

Mr. Trump failed to disavow David Duke quickly enough to satisfy many. David Duke, widely perceived to be racist, expressed support for Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump did not immediately disavow Mr. Duke saying he was not sure who David Duke was. Considering the clamor for his attention and the demands of a campaign it does not seem improper for a few days to pass prior to addressing someone who endorses a candidate especially if the candidate does not endorse the person making the endorsement. Mrs. Clinton has endorsements from other racist organizations recently and as yet I have not seen her disavowal. However, she was effusive in her endorsement of Senator Robert Byrd whose career contained a several year stint in the Ku Klux Klan as Exalted Cyclops. Senator Byrd later apologized for helping start a chapter of the KKK noting that such membership was bad for his political career. Senator Byrd also joined a filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which provided many benefits to minority citizens. He is said to have regretted that effort. I do not believe her praise of Senator Byrd makes her a racist, nor do I believe the delay in denouncing the views of David Duke make Mr. Trump a racist.

Further evidence trumpeted by those frothing at the mouth about Mr. Trump, who refuse to analyze the facts is argued that he or his company was sued for alleged civil rights violations in the 1970’s by the Department of Justice. After counter suit, the case was settled by Mr. Trump not admitting anything, promising not to discriminate in the future and to send reports of vacancies to a minority group. No money! Does it seem reasonable that the Department of Justice would settle on such simple terms if there was proof of their allegations. This is further evidence of flimsy facts alleged to support the label of racist.

Mr. Trump may be indelicate when he offers some comments. Considering that he is more accessible than any candidate I can remember, if he makes a statement that is truthful but harsh or even mistaken, in my opinion is much better than the many who practice double speak or simply hide out from scrutiny. I still say vote however you wish, just please make your vote an informed vote. Electing a president should not be treated like a rivalry football game where one must choose the home team or the away team and support them no matter what. Lets choose the most authentic and successful leader we can.

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