There are seemingly infinite variations of an old saw along the lines of “You can’t choose your family; but you can choose your friends.” It is often utilized as one of those lessons in life moments between a parent and a child. Donald Trump’s campaign has given it new meaning and voters should be aware.
I’m not going to discuss Trump’s wives or children today. (My policy is to leave the family of politicians out of my discussions unless they are active in the campaign; besides there is plenty of fodder for today without the many Trumps that have been active in the campaign.) I’m taking a bit of poetic license with the term friends. First off it appears Trump really doesn’t have any friends. Today I’m focusing on his executive choices in his campaign.
As of this writing three different men have headed up Trump’s 14 month old campaign. What well led company has three Chief Operating Officers in 14 months? The first (and arguably most successful) was Cory Lewandowski who narrowly escaped assault charges for his manhandling of a female journalist from a friendly publication. Next was Paul Manafort who is rumored to be under federal investigation for his relationship with foreign governments and there still is the possible matter of $12 million in unreported income. Now we have Steve Bannon.
From the moment of his appointment as CEO of the Trump campaign we knew Bannon was a right wing nutcase who had been running Breitbart News. His appointment’s biggest contribution to American politics appears to be that it brought the term alt-right into the mainstream nomenclature. As his profile increased so did journalist scrutiny and has that gotten interesting!
The first skeleton to become public is that he was charged with domestic violence against his then wife some 20 years ago. (In full disclosure and to put some things in perspective: I have served on the Board of Director of Safe Space; an organization dedicated to fighting domestic violence and sexual assault for the past several years. In the course of that experience I have learned a lot about the process a victim endures.)
The charges against Bannon were ultimately dropped when the victim was a no show in court. The sad (and frustrating for law enforcement and the judiciary) rule of thumb is that victims normally don’t completely leave the perpetrator until the seventh time; assuming they live that long. One of the major reasons is their lack of financial independence. Bannon was accused of financially threatening his now ex-wife and her children. It’s a he said/she said, and it is up to you to weight the evidence.
While anti-Semitism seems to surround the Trump campaign and it is certainly a core belief of the many Bubbas who flock to his rallies I do not believe the candidate himself to be anti-Semitic. In divorce papers it is revealed that Bannon didn’t want his children attending schools with a lot of Jews. Does Trump vet these people?
Now we come to the issue of Brannon’s voter registration. Florida law requires that a citizen live at the address where they are registered to vote. Last week, after reporters started to investigate the matter, Brannon suddenly changed his registration from an address in Miami-Dade County to one in Sarasota County which is on Florida’s other coast. When asked, the owner of the Miami-Dade address said, “Nobody lives there.” Remember Trump, like most Republicans rails against the almost non-existent problem of in person voter fraud. In fact he asked his Pennsylvania supporters to form a vigilante squad to patrol, “Certain neighborhoods” (you draw your own conclusions on that dog whistle) on Election Day.
One thing a campaign does is give us some insight into the managerial ability of a candidate in large part by the people they choose to surround themselves with. If these three choices are an example of what we could expect from a President Trump we are in a world of hurts!
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