Candidate Profile: Donald Trump


Freshman Elle Rogers, a Politics, Philosophy and Economics major, will be writing a weekly profile of each candidate in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Rogers plans on pursuing a career in public policy after graduating. Her hobbies include reading books about political theory, singing Disney songs and eating cookie butter, and once she finished an entire carton of Ben and Jerry's strawberry cheesecake ice cream in one sitting. This is Rogers' first profile. Follow Rogers on Twitter here. 1. Who is Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is a business mogul, reality TV personality, real estate developer, and bestselling author. The Queens native holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and currently lives in Manhattan with his third wife, former model Melania Knauss. Although The Donald lacks political experience, he has donated to numerous campaigns and spoken out for various political causes. Fun fact: Trump is the only presidential candidate with his own board game; Trump: The Game launched in 1989 but was discontinued due to poor sales.

2. What's the theme of this candidate's campaign?

Trump's slogan is "Make America Great Again."

3. What issues are the most important to this candidate?

The Trump campaign has focused almost exclusively on pointing out the failures of the Obama administration and on tapping into the anger of the American people regarding political hypocrisy and broken promises. Trump's official website lists only one official issue: immigration reform (discussed in more detail below).

4. Position on the Iran Deal?

In an op-ed published by USA Today, Trump likened the recent Iran Deal to "amateur hour", arguing that it will not stop Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities. If elected president, Trump promises to renegotiate the deal, enable the release of all American prisoners held hostage by the Iranian government, and urge Congress to reinstate nuclear sanctions. 

5. Positition on immigration?

Perhaps Trump's greatest triumph has been vocalizing the public's desire for immigration reform, particularly as it relates to President Obama's amnesty policies. The Trump website outlines a plan for reform (link above). Major tenets of the proposal include building a wall along the southern border (to be paid for by the Mexican government), deporting the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the US, and ending birthright citizenship for their children. Experts estimate that the plan will cost upwards of $166 billion.

6. Position on climate change?

While Trump has taken no official position on climate change or proposed reforms to current policy, he has called global warming a "hoax" created by the Chinese government to weaken the United States' manufacturing industry.

7. Position on national debt?

In order to alleviate the national debt by several trillion dollars, Trump proposed a one-time "net worth tax" on individuals or trusts worth $10 million or more, a plan recently praised by left-wing populist heroine Elizabeth Warren. Although Trump introduced the policy during his unsuccessful 1999 campaign for the Reform Party's presidential nomination, he has yet to refute it.

8. Positions on education issues?

Throughout his campaign, Trump has berated former Florida governor and fellow presidential candidate Jeb Bush for his support for Common Core. At a Tea Party convention, Trump claimed to be "totally against Common Core," saying at a later event that education "should be local" (same article). During the Tea Party speech, Trump further alleged that the the Department of Education ought to "be cut way, way, way down."

9. Position on ISIS?

Trump claims he would "hit ISIS so hard your head would spin" but refuses to provide further detail, as he doesn't "want them to know the game plan." He does, however, believe he can destroy the terrorist group's wealth by taking their oil.

10. Position on health care?

Although Trump called Obamacare "a disaster," he said in the same interview that he still believes in "healthcare for everybody," reiterating his former support for universal healthcare.

11. Position on abortion?

As of 2011, Trump is pro-life. After drawing criticism from conservative voters and pundits for his former support for reproductive rights, Trump's special counsel told reporters that "people change their positions all the time, the way they change their wives." Trump's most surprising fan base is Planned Parenthood, who applauded his pledge not to defund the group.

12. Position on trade policy?

Trump is heavily opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a comprehensive free trade agreement being negotiated by the United States and 11 other nations that would add $223 billion annually to the global economy by 2025. This position echoes his criticism of current trade policy with China and Mexico, whom Trump berates for "taking our jobs." Trump has even advocated revoking parts of NAFTA, a landmark free trade agreement signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. 

13. Is he a controversial figure? Why?

Controversy follows Donald Trump like preteen girls follow the Kardashian family. Aside from drawing heavy criticism by each of his positions, the brash businessman has made enemies through offensive remarks about womenimmigrantsveterans, and African-Americans. Many are concerned by Trump's lengthy friendship with the Clinton family, a friendship that has included campaign advice, wedding invites, and donations to the possibly criminal Clinton Foundation. Some also view Trump's changing views as a cause for alarm: in the past, Trump has supported abortion, universal healthcare, assault weapon bans, and what many view as crony capitalism; he has also shifted political parties five times, which doesn't scream consistency to some (nor does his record of filing for bankruptcy). 

14. What's one humorous or summarizing quote from this presidential hopeful?

"Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and(sic) you all know it. Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's (sic) not your fault" (source).

Photo: The Telegraph