Candidate Profile: Donald Trump

| Forum Editor

Almost 10 months ago, I wrote our first Forum article on Donald Trump. Back in February, we were still in shock that Trump had won the New Hampshire primary…and now, 49 primaries later, the Donald has a chance of being our next president. For (hopefully) our final Trump profile, it’s time revisit America’s Nasty Man and his chances in the 2016 presidential election.

Who is this guy?

Back in the primaries, we said that 700 words weren’t enough to explain the enigma of Donald Trump. Now, you could write a book on the man and still not understand him (but you might get sued in the process, like Trump did to his biographer Tim O’Brien in 2005).

Trump is willing to do just about anything to win the presidency: He brought three of Bill Clinton’s sexual assault accusers to our Town Hall debate, has called Hillary a “nasty woman” on television, threatened to send her to jail and played the role of middle school bully in the presidential debates (from sniffling constantly, to using the word “wrong” more than a teacher grading Trump’s book report).

And unfortunately, we know a lot more about Trump’s private life than we did last spring. He thinks that locker room talk is an excusable behavior, that consent is not necessary if you’re a celebrity and that every single woman who has ever accused him of sexual assault should be sued for defamation.

But you know what might be the most damning part of Trump’s character? He is a serial liar who denies the existence of even the most basic truths. The Toronto Star just published an article categorizing 494 lies Donald Trump has told in this election…including 68 lies on Clinton’s policies and a whopping 67 lies on the Clinton family’s “corruption.” Trump has continued to deny his support of the Iraq War (see his book in 2000, an interview with Howard Stern in 2002, and a Fox News interview in 2003). Even more hilariously, he refuses to admit that he called global warming a hoax on twitter.

What does he care about?

At this point, it’s hard to know what this guy actually cares about. Since we spent most of the debates listening to him interrupt Clinton, his politics have been buried deep in his growing armory of defensive rhetoric.

But how about his two most controversial ideas—the ban on Muslims and the wall? Well, he’s still screaming at his loyal followers that Mexico will pay for the wall, but he has seriously backed off deporting the illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. According to a recent September speech, he said he wouldn’t rule out a path to citizenship. About Muslims? His proposal for an outright ban has “morphed” into process of “extreme vetting”. Who knows what that means, but he is clearly trying to find a medium between his most extreme remarks on policy and the conservative approach to politics.

I’m bored, tell me something funny about him:

You know at this point, it’s time to be real: Trump is not a funny person. He is a menace to our political system who has turned this election season into a laughingstock. The world may be entertained, but it’s time to stop taking him as a joke.

You know what’s not funny about Trump? He has been endorsed by the KKK. He has praised the leadership of the Russian government. And the real highlight? He refuses to say that he will accept the results of the election if Hillary wins. He fundamentally undermines the foundations of American democracy.

Will he win the election?

As of Sunday morning, FiveThirtyEight put Trump’s chances of winning the election at 35.4 percent. Right now, that election forecast includes Trump winning North Carolina and Florida (both states are currently very close to an even 50/50 vote when you account for margin of error). If he wins those states, we could see a very close vote. If Hillary can steal either state however, this may be a runaway for the Democratic party.

Best Late-Night Moment:

Easily the three SNL cold open skits reenacting each presidential debate: Alec Baldwin hits Trump right on the head and manages to throw in his own flair for good measure. My favorite moment may have been when Baldwin stalked Kate McKinnon in the town hall skit, and after brooding behind her, jumped in her face and whispered, “wrong” into the microphone.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe