News-Record & Sentinel, February 26, 2020

Jerry Falwell, Jr. isn’t one to hide his thoughts.  But in a Washington Post interview last year, he did dodge one question.  His substitute answer deserves our attention. 

Q: You…have strongly supported President Trump. What about him exemplifies Christianity and earns him your support?

A: What earns him my support is his business acumen….We needed someone who was not a career politician, but someone who’d been successful in business to run the country like a business. That’s the reason I supported him.

Elsewhere, he said Trump’s skills will translate into recovery from our almost $20 trillion debt.

People support Trump for many reasons.  That’s fine.  But for a university president to do it for Trump’s business acumen?  Yikes. 

I won’t dwell on Trump’s business failures because each of them has its own Wikipedia page — Trump University, Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks, Trump (magazine), Trump: the (board) Game, Trump Shuttle (airline), Trump Mortgage.  And oh yes, Trump casinos in Atlantic City.    

The disasters had several things in common.  They were designed to glitter up the “Trump brand.”  They (mistakenly) assumed that people wanted to live a bit of the Trump lifestyle.  They were mostly suggested by others who stroked his ego in selling an idea.  Outrageous claims were made.  Lies were revealed in lawsuits.

Topping everything off, in June 1990, Trump was forced to turn over control of several businesses to his bankers to avoid personal bankruptcy. 

An article in The New Yorker last year gives detailed numbers.  (Google “new yorker 2019 trump losses real.”)   

Ah but the American economy is booming.

Yes, it is.  I will just pass on this Andrew Jackson anecdote. 

The Bank of the United States was a privately-held bank where the government deposited its money.  The bank, in turn, distributed money to state and local banks.  Jackson hated the bank.  Even though Congress had voted to renew the bank’s charter, and the Supreme Court had ruled that the bank was constitutional, Jackson slowed government deposits and ultimately vetoed the bank’s charter renewal. Government money went to “pet banks” in the states.

The result was chaos on the frontier.  Notes issued by many banks were worthless.  Jackson responded with a “circular” that required purchases of federal land be in gold and silver. 

Jackson was out of office before the Panic of 1837 hit, a depression that lasted seven years.