Trump vs. Nordstrom’s: What lies behind it?
By Glen Argan
My friend suggested to me that Donald Trump’s presidency will be a kleptocracy, an allegation I didn’t take seriously. While my respect for the new president does not run deep, I still thought he had more class than to spend a billion dollars on becoming president so that he could raid the people’s treasury of billions more.
However, now that I have seen his outrage over Nordstrom’s stiffing his daughter Ivanka’s line of exquisite clothing because sales had collapsed, I may have to re-evaluate my assessment of Trump’s motives. Is he angered because Nordstrom’s alleged unfairness to his daughter hurt him deeply or is the only deep place he knows his pocketbook? Time will tell.
In the meantime, I’m going to get that plaid shirt that I bought at Nordstrom’s in Spokane more than 20 years ago out of the closet and start wearing it again. It’s my favourite shirt of all time, but it’s showing its age. The department store deserves support for daring to upset the King of Anger, and since Nordstrom’s still hasn’t opened a store in Edmonton, wearing that shirt is the only means available to me.
The president’s stepping up for his daughter – while leaving political ethics experts aghast over the seeming abuse of power – comes at the same time as his wife Melania has re-filed a US$150-million lawsuit against the corporation which publishes the Daily Mail’s website for reporting that she was a high-end escort in the 1990s.
Trump reportedly said the story was “100 per cent false.” The lawsuit says the article hurt her ability to establish “multimillion-dollar business relationships” during the years in which she would be “one of the most photographed women in the world.”
The California lawyer working for the Trumps said the filing was being “misinterpreted.” Melania has no intention of using her position as first lady for financial profit, he said. Exactly how those claims in her lawsuit should be interpreted remains unclear.
These incidents might well be viewed in light of the president’s refusal to sell his own business interests or to put them in a blind trust while he is in power. Such distancing of one’s holdings from potential conflicts of interests is taken for granted for elected officials in any Western democracy.
However, Trump is determined to stage a revolution in American politics. That now seems to include using his political power to protect his and his family’s financial worth. As I said above, whether that also includes raiding the public treasury funded by the hardworking people of the United States remains to be seen.
Still, the question needs to be asked: Why does Donald Trump need more money, and why is he so determined to hold on to every penny he’s got? I thought his revolution was supposed to serve the interests of old-stock Americans who allegedly are being taken to the cleaners by immigrants and free-trade deals.
Forbes magazine last year listed him as the 113th wealthiest person in the U.S. with assets of $4.5 billion. He is 70 years of age. Say Trump lives to age 90. That gives him $225 million per year to look after his needs, assuming that his assets do not grow in value over that period.
Of course, he would like to leave some of this bounty to family members who survive him. Even so . . .
Even so, life offers things much more important than money, such as life in Christ and the opportunity to use the gifts God has given us to serve others. Indeed, everything we have is a gift to be shared with others.
[Glen Argan has been a member of the lyin’ media for almost 40 years.]