The 1950s are often held up as a beacon of conservative American morality; perhaps that is when America was great. When was teen pregnancy at its highest rate since researchers began recording teen pregnancy rates? The 1950s. The difference was that most women (or girls, as the case was) married before the baby was born, often locking themselves into less-than-ideal relationships. Girls who got pregnant and didn't marry were social outcasts, forced to quit school and often shunted off to private homes where they would give birth only to be forced or coerced into adoption. Young white women were expected to marry young and serve their husbands instead of finishing college or pursuing their own ambitions; women of color and working-class women routinely worked outside of the home for depressed wages and little respect, and were often vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault, for which there was little practical recourse. Gay men and lesbians largely lived firmly in the closet; those who stepped out could face public humiliation, loss of their jobs, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and near-total ostracism. Jim Crow laws didn't meet their end until the mid-1960s, and so while Trump may be enjoying Leave It to Beaver reruns, the black-and-white reality for much of the country was considerably uglier.
On September 26, 2016, Trump and Clinton faced off in their first presidential debate, which was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt. The TV broadcast was the most watched presidential debate in United States history. The second presidential debate was held at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. The beginning of that debate was dominated by references to a recently leaked tape of Trump making sexually explicit comments, which Trump countered by referring to alleged sexual misconduct on the part of Bill Clinton. Prior to the debate, Trump had invited four women who had accused Clinton of impropriety to a press conference. The final presidential debate was held on October 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Trump's refusal to say whether he would accept the result of the election, regardless of the outcome, drew particular attention, with some saying it undermined democracy.
Trump operated golf courses in several countries. He hosted several boxing matches at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, including Mike Tyson's 1988 heavyweight championship fight against Michael Spinks. He also acted as a financial advisor to Mike Tyson. In 1989 and 1990, Trump lent his name to the Tour de Trump cycling stage race, which was an attempt to create an American equivalent of European races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d'Italia.
Kennedy could even fall back on a certain modesty in describing the US role in the world (that, in those years, from Guatemala to Iran to Cuba, all too often did not carry over into actual policy), saying in one speech, “we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient—that we are only six percent of the world’s population—that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind—that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity—and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.” In that same speech, he typically spoke of America as “a great power”—but not “the greatest power.”
Trump's cabinet nominations included U.S. Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, financier Steve Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury, retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense, and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Trump also brought on board politicians who had opposed him during the presidential campaign, such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.
We searched Federal Election Commission records on spending by three Trump-related political committees since 2017 and found no evidence of flags, banners, or other campaign merchandise being ordered from entities based in China. If such orders had been placed, it is possible that they may have been recorded as disbursements to third parties or subcontractors, but we found no evidence that this had taken place.
The temporary order was replaced by Presidential Proclamation 9645 on September 24, 2017, which permanently restricts travel from the originally targeted countries except Iraq and Sudan, and further bans travelers from North Korea and Chad, and certain Venezuelan officials. After lower courts partially blocked the new restrictions with injunctions, the Supreme Court allowed the September version to go into full effect on December 4. In January 2018, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a challenge to the travel ban. The Court heard oral arguments on April 25, and ultimately upheld the travel ban in a June ruling.
Trump's supporters have some legitimate grievances. Wages for low-skilled work are depressed, and no longer can a man with a high school education or less expect to work in a factory his entire life and still support his family and retire with dignity. While much of the country is living longer, working-class white men without college degrees are now dying sooner than they used to. The promise of upward mobility is shrinking.
It's unpatriotic to suggest that America was ever not great. But for the majority of Americans, American greatness doesn't exist at a calcified point in history. The greatness comes in the striving, in the fact that over and over in the course of the American project, a handful of citizens of an immensely imperfect nation have demanded, "do better," until eventually history bends and we do indeed do better. Greatness isn't something we find "again"; greatness is in the progress, in the moving forward. Donald Trump's promise he'll make us great again is an insult to that legacy of self-examination and of betterment. And when you peel back the rhetoric and face the reality, what he pledges to return us to wasn't actually so great at all.
On May 8, shortly after reporter Cecilia Vega asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer about statements that Trump's 2016 campaign had issued in regards to temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States, Trump's campaign website purged itself of all campaign statements from the 2016 campaign. Campaign chairman Michael Glassner later announced that the website was being redesigned. The redesign of Trump's campaign website was seen by media sources as laying the groundwork for a full-bodied reelection campaign. After the deletion of press releases, the URL http://www.donald.trump.com/myplantofuckthepoor (my plan to fuck the poor) was redirected to a page about Trump's healthcare plan, and it was pointed out that the campaign's redesigned homepage originally featured a typo. The Washington Examiner's David Druckert pointed out on Twitter that the redesigned website featured an image of Trump with a uniformed military officer on its 'Donate' page, which violated the Department of Defense's regulation that prevented uniformed military officers from engaging in any political activity.
Narrator: The red MAGA hat retails for $25. Every purchase of a MAGA hat, along with any other item for sale on the Trump campaign's official website, counts as a campaign contribution. About 100 employees work in the factory, and, according to an interview Brian Kennedy did with the Los Angeles Times in 2015, about 80% of the workforce is Latino. According to the Trump campaign, all employees are verified US citizens. We didn't speak with any employees during our shoot. But in 2015, MSNBC visited the factory and reporter Jacob Soboroff spoke with some of the workers.
In the spring of 2018, President Donald Trump announced he would be imposing tariffs on more than 1,300 types of products imported from China. The move brought significant scrutiny, including claims that clothing had been excluded from the list of taxed products in order to benefit the president’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, whose clothing line has in the past sold products manufactured in China. (A few months later, Ivanka Trump said she would be closing down her clothing company.)
Is Trump instead harkening back to World War II, when the "greatest generation" went to fight in Europe and the Pacific theater, and women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers? Even then, women were paid at half the rate of men, and were swiftly removed from the workforce when the men came home. Very few were able to attend college. African-Americans, many of whom fought in the war, continued to live as second-class citizens under segregationist policies across the South. Japanese-Americans were locked up in internment camps.
Regarding the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Trump has stated the importance of being a neutral party during potential negotiations, while also having stated that he is "a big fan of Israel". During the campaign he said he would relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from its current location, Tel Aviv. On May 22, 2017, Trump was the first U.S. president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem, during his first foreign trip, which included Israel, Italy, the Vatican, and Belgium. Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017, despite criticism and warnings from world leaders. Trump added that he would initiate the process of establishing a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which was later opened on May 14, 2018. The United Nations General Assembly condemned the move, adopting a resolution that "calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem" in an emergency session on December 21, 2017.
We can be reasonably confident that "great" America did not exist long after that. Although the civil rights and feminist movements made great gains, knocking down legal barriers to equality and giving women, people of color, and sexual minorities greater rights and recognition than ever before, those victories brought with them a conservative backlash, which brought us an anti-abortion, anti-gay, often-racist wing of the Republican Party we still see today (and not just supporting Trump).
A group of Honduran migrants arrives to the Mexican side of the border after crossing the Suchiate River aboard a raft made out of tractor inner tubes and wooden planks, on the the border with Guatemala, in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. The entry into Mexico via the bridge that connects the two countries has been closed. The main group of migrants have moved about 30 feet back from the gate that separates them from Mexican police to establish a buffer zone. About 1,000 migrants now remain on the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico. Moises Castillo, AP
“I felt that jobs were hurting,” he said. “I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order. Then, of course, you get to trade, and I said to myself, ‘What would be good?’ I was sitting at my desk, where I am right now, and I said, ‘Make America Great Again.’ ”
The Trump administration has been characterized by high turnover, particularly among White House staff. By the end of Trump's first year in office, 34 percent of his original staff had resigned, been fired, or been reassigned. As of early July 2018, 61 percent of Trump's senior aides had left and 141 staffers had left in the past year. Both figures set a record for recent presidents—more change in the first 13 months than his four immediate predecessors saw in their first two years. Notable early departures included National Security Advisor Mike Flynn (after just 25 days in office), Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, replaced by retired Marine General John F. Kelly on July 28, 2017, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Close personal aides to Trump such as Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, John McEntee and Keith Schiller, have quit or been forced out.
In 2017, Matt Braynard, a key member of Trump's 2016 campaign staff, established the organization Look Ahead America. The organization has taken steps to target inactive voters in places such as New Hampshire. Trump came close to winning New Hampshire in the 2016 election. Look Ahead America has claimed that it will not be coordinating their efforts with the president.
In 1999, Trump filed an exploratory committee to seek the nomination of the Reform Party for the 2000 presidential election. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee George W. Bush and likely Democratic nominee Al Gore showed Trump with seven percent support. Trump eventually dropped out of the race, but still went on to win the Reform Party primaries in California and Michigan. After his run, Trump left the party due to the involvement of David Duke, Pat Buchanan, and Lenora Fulani. Trump also considered running for president in 2004. In 2005, Trump said that he voted for George W. Bush. In 2008, he endorsed Republican John McCain for president.
This, of course, is the line that Trump crossed in a curiously unnoticed fashion in this election campaign. He did so by initially upping the rhetorical ante, adding that exclamation point (which even Reagan avoided). Yet in the process of being more patriotically correct than thou, he somehow also waded straight into American decline so bluntly that his own audience could hardly miss it (even if his critics did).
The foundation's tax returns show that it has given to health care and sports-related charities, as well as conservative groups. In 2009, for example, the foundation gave $926,750 to about 40 groups, with the biggest donations going to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation ($100,000), the New York–Presbyterian Hospital ($125,000), the Police Athletic League ($156,000), and the Clinton Foundation ($100,000). From 2004 to 2014, the top donors to the foundation were Vince and Linda McMahon of WWE, who donated $5 million to the foundation after Trump appeared at WrestleMania in 2007. Trump later named Linda McMahon as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Trump has published numerous books. His first published book in 1987 was Trump: The Art of the Deal, in which Trump is credited as co-author with Tony Schwartz, who has stated that he did all the writing for the book. It reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, stayed there for 13 weeks, and altogether held a position on the list for 48 weeks. According to The New Yorker, "The book expanded Trump's renown far beyond New York City, promoting an image of himself as a successful dealmaker and tycoon." Trump's published writings shifted post-2000 from stylized memoirs to financial tips and political opinion.
On March 17, 2017 the campaign saw what was its highest single-day contribution total, with the campaign and its joint-fundraising-committee raising a combined total of $314,000. By the end of May the RNC had raised more than $62 million in 2017. The RNC had already received more online donations than they had in the entire year of 2016.
Trump is the beneficiary of several trust funds set up by his father and paternal grandmother beginning in 1949. In 1976, Fred Trump set up trust funds of $1 million for each of his five children and three grandchildren ($4.3 million in 2017 dollars). Donald Trump received annual payments from his trust fund, for example, $90,000 in 1980 and $214,605 in 1981. By 1993, when Trump took two loans totaling $30 million from his siblings, their anticipated shares of Fred's estate amounted to $35 million each. Upon Fred Trump's death in 1999, his will divided $20 million after taxes among his surviving children.
The second-oldest U.S. president is not expected to release the results of a full physical examination as his recent predecessors have, just as he won't release his tax returns. During the 2016 campaign, he issued a limited report from a family doctor. He is overweight, bordering on obese, and tries to hide it with loosely tailored suits and long ties hanging below the waist. He doesn't believe in exercise other than golf.
George W. Bush attempted to put Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and pushed comprehensive immigration reform, “No Child Left Behind,” the General Motors Bailout, etc. I opposed all those, but never doubted President Bush’s integrity, character, or faith. Frankly, Trump does not have the character or strong Christian faith I prefer in a President. But he is positively angelic compared to his political opponents and the press. Between Trump and his opposition, I would rather vote for him, despite his flaws, than his opponents who want a flawless progressive utopia. Trump is neither an ambassador for my values nor the articulate champion of my principles I would prefer. But he is a safe harbor in a progressive storm that seeks to both destroy my values and upend our constitutional republic.
That note of defensiveness first crept into the American political lexicon with the unlikeliest of politicians: Ronald Reagan, the man who seemed like the least defensive, most genial guy on the planet. On this subject at least, think of him as Trumpian before the advent of The Donald, or at least as the man who (thanks to his ad writers) invented the political use of the word “again.” It was, after all, employed in 1984 in the seminal ad of his political run for a second term in office. While that bucolic-looking TV commercial was entitled “Prouder, Stronger, Better,” its first line ever so memorably went, “It’s morning again in America.” (“Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?”)