Search Box

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trump's spontaneous acts of generosity

A friend just forwarded an article, Trump Does the Unthinkable, about Donald Trump's various acts of impulsive kindness over the years.

The friend said, "It's hard to imagine Hillary doing these things."

(True enough: Hillary once famously used her husband's donation of his used underwear as a tax write-off.)

You can say that it's easier to be generous when you're rich, and that's certainly true. But these acts are also interesting as a window into what stirs Donald Trump, especially since they all seem to have been done on the spur of the moment, and most occurred long before his political career started.

The relevant excerpts from the article:

In 1986, Trump prevented the foreclosure of Annabell Hill’s family farm after her husband committed suicide. Trump personally phoned down to the auction to stop the sale of her home and offered the widow money. Trump decided to take action after he saw Hill’s pleas for help in news reports.

In 1988, a commercial airline refused to fly Andrew Ten, a sick Orthodox Jewish child with a rare illness, across the country to get medical care because he had to travel with an elaborate life-support system. His grief stricken parents contacted Trump for help and he didn’t hesitate to send his own plane to take the child from Los Angeles to New York so he could get his treatment.

In 1991, 200 Marines who served in Operation Desert Storm spent time at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina before they were scheduled to return home to their families. However, the Marines were told that a mistake had been made and an aircraft would not be able to take them home on their scheduled departure date. When Trump got wind of this, he sent his plane to make two trips from North Carolina to Miami to safely return the Gulf War Marines to their loved ones.

In 1995, a motorist stopped to help Trump after the limo he was traveling in got a flat tire. Trump asked the Good Samaritan how he could repay him for his help. All the man asked for was a bouquet of flowers for his wife. A few weeks later Trump sent the flowers with a note that read: “We’ve paid off your mortgage."

In 1996, Trump filed a lawsuit against the city of Palm Beach, Florida accusing the town of discriminating against his Mar-a-Lago resort club because it allowed Jews and blacks. Abraham Foxman, who was the Anti-Defamation League Director at the time, said Trump “put the light on Palm Beach – not on the beauty and the glitter, but on its seamier side of discrimination.” Foxman also noted that Trump’s charge had a trickle-down effect because other clubs followed his lead and began admitting Jews and blacks.

In 2000, Maury Povich featured a little girl named Megan who struggled with Brittle Bone Disease on his show and Trump happened to be watching. Trump said the little girl’s story and positive attitude touched his heart. So he contacted Maury and gifted the little girl and her family with a very generous check.

In 2008, after Jennifer Hudson’s family members were tragically murdered in Chicago, Trump put the Oscar-winning actress and her family up at his Windy City hotel for free. In addition to that, Trump’s security took extra measures to ensure Hudson and her family members were safe during such a difficult time.

In 2013, New York bus driver Darnell Barton spotted a woman close to the edge of a bridge staring at traffic below as he drove by. He stopped the bus, got out and put his arm around the woman and saved her life by convincing her to not jump. When Trump heard about this story, he sent the hero bus driver a check simply because he believed his good deed deserved to be rewarded.

In 2014, Trump gave $25,000 to Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi after he spent seven months in a Mexican jail for accidentally crossing the US-Mexico border. President Barack Obama couldn’t even be bothered to make one phone call to assist with the United States Marine’s release; however, Trump opened his pocketbook to help this serviceman get back on his feet.

In 2016, Melissa Consin Young attended a Trump rally and tearfully thanked Trump for changing her life. She said she proudly stood on stage with Trump as Miss Wisconsin USA in 2005. However, years later she found herself struggling with an incurable illness and during her darkest days she explained that she received a handwritten letter from Trump telling her she’s the “bravest woman, I know.” She said the opportunities that she got from Trump and his organizations ultimately provided her Mexican-American son with a full-ride to college.

Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement in 2016 defending her boss against accusations that he’s a racist and a bigot. She tearfully revealed how she’s struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. Instead of kicking her to the curb, she said the Trump Organization and his entire family loyally stood by her through “immensely difficult times.”

I've said several times that despite supporting him politically, I find Trump personally unlikable. His garish tastes are off-putting, he responds to political attacks with gratuitous personal insults, and he boasts far too much. 

But, he hasn't boasted about any of the above at all. And as closely as I follow the news, I haven't read about any of these incidents. (Someone once told me that story about paying off the Good Samaritan's mortgage, but I wasn't sure whether to believe it.) 

What these incidents show is that Trump has a strong sense of justice -- that virtue deserves more than itself as a reward -- and also has a soft spot for the middle class. This sets him apart from most politicians on both the Left and Right, most of whom just pay lip service to the middle class. 

And if Trump is stirred by the same things that stir most of us, how bad can he be? Certainly not as bad as the media are trying to make him out.

In fact, these incidents put him in quite a favorable light. They deserve to get far more publicity than they've gotten so far. 


The Ambivalent Misanthrope said...

OMG, you're going to turn me into a Trump supporter with this post, and that simply can't happen --- not where I live! I'm going to be tarred, feathered and driven out of town!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It literally brought tears to my eyes. This is a quality that you want in a leader, being able to have compassion for your fellow man, doing something positive for them in their time of need (giving without expecting anything in return). Donald Trump has been a Good Samaritan in his lifetime).

- Susan

John Craig said...

Ambivalent Misanthrope --
In that case I strongly suggest you stay in the closet as a Trump supporter.

John Craig said...

Susan --
I actually found these actions sort of moving too. Would never have expected that from Trump. From the way the media talks about him, you'd think he had spent his spare time marching people into ovens.

Anonymous said...

I love TRUMP.
The love of TRUMP separates the worthy from the unworthy.
Please, join us, on the Island Of the LOVE-FOR-TRUMP, however you are able to arrive here, walking, running, crawling, please, and be folded into the bosom of the humans for whose sake GOD WILL FOREBEAR TO DESTROY AMERICA.
I am certain that you, Mister Craig, and almost all of your blog readers, will be happy with us on the Island of the LOVE-FOR-TRUMP...we have a song, on our island, which we sing to the rest of the world, which has reference to the island's Indian name, "KIZMIAZ":

"Take a magic carpet to the olden days
To a mythical land where everybody lays
Around in the clouds in a happy daze in Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz

Flamingos stand easy on bended knees
Palm trees wave over tropical seas
Of azure waves and lazy breeze on Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz

Over raspberry skies spires of the Shaz
Point to the heavens that this place has
You would swim all the way from Alcatraz to Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz

It lies on the horizon in a golden haze
No one believes their eyes, the legend says
Held hypnotized in a frozen gaze on Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz

Over raspberry skies spires of the Shaz
Point to the heavens that this place has
You would swim all the way from Alcatraz to Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz

Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz
Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz
The vibrations kiss the ships would pass Kizmiaz, Kizmiaz"

[seriously, though, I love TRUMP]


John Craig said...

Ha, I didn't even get it at first (the pronunciation of the name).

Well let's just hope that island grows large enough. As of righ tnow it looks a little doubtful.

Anonymous said...

Trump also gave the Miss Universe a second chance when she was caught drinking and partying etc which is against the rules?


John Craig said...

Andrew --
Not sure I'd put that one in the same category as some of his other gestures, but it did show a certain flexibility, which is always good.

I suspect you and I would give Miss Universe a second chance as well.

Steven said...

Sam Harris, neuroscientist and leading critic of Islam, laid out in his podcast why he thinks Trump is a dangerous candidate. Here are some excerpts:

I am someone who has bemoaned our political correctness about the connection between Muslim violence and the doctrine of Islam and Trump is someone who seems to speak with refreshing candor on this topic. He has even said that we should bar all Muslims from the United States, if only for a time. Well apart from being a totally unworkable, unethical, and needlessly inflammatory policy position, the deeper issue is that it is absolutely obvious that Trump doesn't know anything about Islam or jihadism. He is an ignoramus on this topic and on every topics related to it..and it is obvious.

I'm sure he's going to cram for the final exam before the debates with Clinton and he'll be able to speak a paragraph on this topic that isn't starkly delusional, but if pushed beyond that paragraph he'll once again expose his basic ignorance of middle east politics and history and the theology of Islam. And while it is true that Clinton spoons out the most sanctimonious pablum on the topic of Islam, there is abundant evidence that she understands the nature of the problem. She is in fact far more hawkish than most liberals are comfortable with. She has already shown a commitment to killing jihadists, every bit as much of a commitment as Trump claim to have.


I think I share many people's opinion that this is partly an act and I don't know why I think that. Its just a hunch... I would not be at all surprised to learn that he is far more liberal and psychologically balanced than he appears and that he doesn't have a racist bone in his body for example. This strikes me as possible. What doesn't strike me as possible is that he might actually be a brilliant and extraordinarily knowledgeable person who is qualified to be president of the Untied States. There is simply too much evidence for the poverty of his thinking. There is too much evidence for the fact that he basically knows nothing about the world and that he doesn't care that he knows nothing. He's just winging it. He gives the overwhelming impression of being a conman.

The ability to reason well, for instance, is transferable from one domain to another and so is an inability to reason. A desire not to seem incoherent, this is something that intelligent, well informed people tend to have. When you hear someone speak at length on topics that are crucial to the most important enterprise they're engaging/engaged in and all they've got is bluster and bombast and banality, strewn with factual errors, it is quite irrational to believe there is a brilliant mind behind that just waiting to get out. Trump is not hiding his light under a bushel, he is all bushel. And bizarrely I've heard from many people that because he is rich he must be deeply knowledgeable about economics at least. No! And you should read what largely conservative economists have written about the prospect of a Trump presidency. They are terrified of this. The idea that we might want to default on our national debt, that we can renegotiate it as if the US were a golf course or casino that were going under. We're talking about a world destabilizing bit of stupidity and only one of many that he has given voice to.

Mark Caplan said...

Hillary's campaign strategy is to portray Trump ruthlessly squeezing his own workers and shafting his own suppliers. One attack ad shows an architect whom Trump offers 33 cents on the dollar that is contractually owed, take it or leave it. Trump's legal team warns the little man he can sue for what Trump legitimately owes him, but the drawn-out lawsuit's expenses will ruin him.

Trump shafted golf clubhouse architect (3:38 min)

(Of course, this is a one-sided account put out by Corrupt Hillary, so judge it on its merits as an attack ad rather than as a factual slice of history.)

John Craig said...

Steven --
Thank you for that. I get the sense, though, that what Harris is reacting to is the picture of Trump that has been painted by the media rather than the real Trump. My guess is that Trump is actually more of a dove than Hillary would prove to be. As a woman, she would feel she had something to prove, and pretty much every one of her initiatives as Secretary of State failed. That said, it's true that Trump hasn't done his homework. But knowing the names of all of the players in the Middle East is less important in a President than having the right instincts, and Trump's instincts seem to be to have a strong military but not use it, and he would have people around him who would help with the details. (I think Hillary would see the military as a vehicle for social change the way Obama has.)

I agree,btw, that being rich does not make one knowledgeable about economics. But as far as economics go, for every theory going you can find "smart" people on both sides of the fence, meaning, the fact that you can find smart economists who disagree with Trump is sort of meaningless.

And keep in mind, we've just had a President for the past eight years who was basically a radical socialist, even if he was unable to budge the system nearly as far as he would have liked.

John Craig said...

Mark --
I did see that account on the front page of the NY Times this morning, and it does make Trump look sleazy. There's also no question that his Trump University was basically just one big con.

That said, since we're delving into the candidates' pasts and asking people who've dealt with them what they think of the candidates, I wish the NY Times would interview all of Trump's bodyguards and other employees and ask them what they think of Trump. And, they should interview all of the Secret Service people and Arkansas State Troopers who protected Hillary, and ask them what they think of her. (Some of that has already slipped out.)

Steven said...

Can you find many smart economists who agree with him?

How is Obama a radical socialist? I haven't paid attention to his domestic policy but it seems exaggerated when I hear it. His Obamacare, even in its pure form, is presumably not as socialist as European healthcare systems are and anyone here who is pro- NHS (most people) is not considered radical. Even right wing politicians have to give lip service to supporting the NHS. Is this just a case of the political centre being very different in Europe and the US?

John Craig said...

Steven --
Obama was brought up by radical Leftists, and all his life he was drawn to radical leftist professors (by his own admission), Leftist or black nationalist preachers like Jeremiah Wright, and Leftist friends like Bill Ayers. This was not just some gigantic coincidence. When he ran for President, his goal was to be elected, not to be honest, so he ran as a regular Democrat, not as a Marxist. And when he ran the country, he had to be realistic about how far he could push the country to the Left. But in so many things he says and does, it's obvious that his most cherished views are far Left ones.

arthur thurman said...

One thing that will be noticed is that the media will dismiss these kind acts. It will be said he did it to get noticed or that it was disingenuous.

On the other hand if Hillary Clinton had done any of these things we would never hear the end of it and they would be held up at shining examples of how perfect a human being she is....

John Craig said...

Arthur --
So true. as far as the media is concerned, Hillary can do no wrong and Trump can do no right.

The thing is, these actions date back far enough that he couldn't have been thinking in terms of politics when he started doing them, and the things he responded to actually were inspirational acts of goodness, for the most part, on the parts of the people whom he rewarded, so that makes it seem more like it came from the heart.

Anonymous said...

I talked to one of my sister's yesterday and a good friend - both voted for Trump. I woke up yesterday, dreading finding out the results. Fortunately, the news was good - Trump had won the race. My body reacted by causing my hands to slightly shake. The shakiness faded away. I had the thought this morning that I am grateful for the internet because it helped to inform people about what is really going on behind the scenes (exposing HRC's actual character, the DNC's shadiness, the media's manipulativess, etc.). I feel better about the USA, having so much more hope for our country and our children's future (which is a blessing). I think that God was involved in this election, answering the prayers of many people who were very concerned about the state of our country.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Yes, thank goodness for the internet. Imagine if all the information we had came from the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, ABC, NBC, and CBS? That's the way it actually was back in the dark ages. Now people can tell the truth, so others don't get completely brainwashed.

Unknown said...

That's the problem, John Craig. You can't listen to the biased liberal news media because they have nothing but bad things to say about Trump, even things that are not true, like the whole Russia scandal. Those people are owned and bought by the democratic committee. Just look up who heads and works at those news stations and how they are connected to the politicians leading the democratic party. No wonder they are so biased, but they could not withstand the vote of the American people.

John Craig said...

Unknown --
You are exactly right. The media are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Left. The good news is, more and more people seem to be able to see through them these days.

Steven said...

I'm just enjoying reading through the comments on this ask reddit question about people who met Trump before he ran for president and what their experience was. Reddit doesn't like Trump but they liked him that day- all the answers paint him in a positive light.

This is one of the best:

'I went to school with his daughter Tiffany so I had a few interactions with the Donald and all were positive. The one anecdote that I'll share is from the school plays. Tiffany was involved in the school theatre program and so was my brother so I was usually helping out as an usher for the plays. Donald attended all the plays that were put on despite living across the country from our school in LA. The thing that was most impressive was how here arrived to the plays, he was always late, just 1 minute late. He'd arrive and take his seat in the rear just after the house lights went down so he didn't draw any attention away from the kids. He'd slip out as quietly as he'd arrived, when he was at the school his focus was 100% on his daughter and not himself. Despite living in a pretty solid liberal area most people from that school admit that's it kind of hard to square our experiences with him up with the media's portrayal of him as a brash, egotistical idiot.'

John Craig said...

Steve --
That's a great story, thank you for that. What I've always been struck by is how much his employees, and even most of his former employees, seem to like them. The one theme they all sound is how loyal he is, at least to people who are loyal to him.

All this said, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that he's a narcissistic personality, just based on the amount of boasting he's done over the years and the way he can't let any insult go unanswered, even as President. And I"m saying this as someone who supports the platform he ran on completely.

But, while he's egotistical, and prone to hyperbole, I never got the impression he was a bad guy, or a sociopath. The media lionized Bill Clinton, who was a bad guy, and Barack Obama, who was basically a con man; yet they make Trump sound far worse than either, and really, he's better. Trump can be a buffoon, but he's certainly not the way the media portrays him.

Steven said...

yeah, agree. After reading all those anecdotes, its hard not to like him, at least a bit.

How is his presidency going? has he achieved anything from his platform or will he?

John Craig said...

Steven --
It seems he's achieved some small victories, rescinding some of Obama's executive orders. Illegal immigration has evidently slowed to a crawl. As far as getting anything by Congress, so far the repeal of Obamacare has flopped. We'll see whether he's able to get anything done on tax reform.