Trump takes pride in outsider status

Alison Malek, Staff Writer

Donald Trump’s road to the White House has not taken the typical Presidential candidate’s route. And the Republican nominee is proud of that. In fact, he argues it is one of the main reasons why he is best suited to be the country’s Commander in Chief.

“He’s from the private sector, not a politician,” touted Sarah Palin in officially endorsing Trump during a speech in Iowa earlier this year and echoing Trump’s appeal to many of his supporters.

Trump was raised and attended school at the New York Military Academy. He was born into his father’s successful real estate business, and he is best known as a business mogul and reality TV producer and star on “The Apprentice.” During his career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and even bought a beauty pageant.

While not a career politician, Trump has belonged to various parties throughout his life. Trump was a Republican from 1987 to 1999, then favored the Reform party, became a Democrat from 2001 to 2009, and then an independent from 2011-2012. More recently, he returned to the Republican party in his run for President.

Trump does bring political experience to the campaign, though, in his vice presidential candidate pick, Mike Pence.

Pence is an attorney and Governor of Indiana, and previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives. While Trump is perhaps best known for his controversial remarks, Pence is known for signing some controversial bills into law including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allows for individuals to exercise their religious beliefs as a defense for legal purposes. After signing the bill, though, Pence encountered resistance from some members of his party, the business community, and LGBT advocates. He then signed an additional bill acting as an amendment intended to protect LGBT people.

In a campaign marked by controversy that involves backlash from even some of his own party members including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump rarely makes apologies for offending. The exception to that, however, came after the recent release of a 2005 video of Trump making lewd comments about women while talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus.

“This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close,” Trump said in a statement after the video was released. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”

One of Trump’s most memorable initiatives throughout his campaign has been a promise to build a border wall separating Mexico from the United States and to make Mexico pay for it. He says he also wants to enforce immigration laws at the border and in the workplace.

“We’re going to make great trade deals, we’re going to have a strong border, we’re going to bring back law and order,” Trump promised during the second Presidential debate.

He went on to add, “Let me tell you, I’m going to force them right back into their country.”

Another area where Trump and his opponent, Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton, sharply disagree is the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare. While Clinton contends she will keep Obamacare but tweak it, Trump wants to repeal it and is calling for a competitive patient-centered health care system that allows for selling health insurance across state lines. Trump adamantly contends that Obamacare has failed.

“Obamacare is a disaster…We have to repeal it and replace it with something absolutely much less expensive. And something that works, where your plan can actually be tailored. We have to get rid of the lines around the state, artificial lines, where we stop insurance companies from coming in and competing,” Trump noted during the second Presidential debate.

Other issues key to Trump’s platform include renegotiating U.S.-China trade deals, opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement, a reform of care for U.S. veterans and tax cuts.

“One thing I’d do is get rid of carried interest. I’m lowering taxes, actually, because I think it’s so important for corporations because we have corporations leaving, massive corporations, and little ones,” Trump said.

Trump has also called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States who come from countries with a proven history of terrorism, at least until the United States has a level of vetting that can screen out potential terrorists.

“And we have to make sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on,” Trump said during the second Presidential debate.

Trump has also stated repeatedly in debates and in speeches, that a top concern for him is that “radical Islamic terrorist groups” are reigning wild around the world, a crisis that he attributes in part to Clinton’s vote as U.S. senator to authorize force in Iraq in 2002.

So while previously Trump’s name was synonymous with lucrative business dealings and luxurious addresses, his dive into the political arena may now overshadow that brand. And the effectiveness of his highly controversial campaign for Commander and Chief will soon play out at the polls. Or will it? Trump said in the final Presidential debate that if he loses, it will be because of voter fraud and a rigged election.

Madison College student Gloria Stendel says she is still undecided on who to vote for on Nov. 8 for President. But she notes, “If people reflect back to when Donald Trump was riding down the escalator and he declared that he was going to be the next Republican Nominee and everybody laughed, so you better not count him out.”

Stendel predicts a lively election with the potential that, “Red states will flip blue and blue states will flip red.”

Stendel adds, “At this point, the only thing we can do is vote for the lesser of two evils.”