About the Author
Donald J. Trump is the very definition of the American success story, continually setting the standards of excellence while expanding his interests in real estate, sports, and entertainment. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance. An accomplished author, Mr. Trump has authored over fifteen bestsellers and his first book, The Art of the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the most successful business books of all time. Mr. Trump has over eight million followers on social media and is a frequent guest across a variety of media platforms.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Crippled America PREFACE
YOU GOTTA BELIEVE
PEOPLE SAY THAT I have self-confidence. Who knows?
When I began speaking out, I was a realist.
I knew the relentless and incompetent naysayers of the status quo would anxiously line up against me, and they have:
The politicians who talk a great game in campaigns—and play like total losers when they try to actually govern because they can’t govern; they don’t know how to govern.
The lobbyists and special interests with their hands in our pockets on behalf of their clients or others.
The members of the media who are so far lost when it comes to being fair that they have no concept of the difference between “fact” and “opinion.”
The illegal immigrants who have taken jobs that should go to people here legally, while over 20 percent of Americans are currently unemployed or underemployed. Believe me, they’re all over the place. I see them. I talk to them. I hug them. I hold them. They are all over the place.
Congress, which has been deadlocked for years and virtually unable to deal with any of our most pressing domestic problems, or even the most basic ones, such as passing a budget. Think of it: a little thing like passing the budget. They don’t even have a clue.
Meanwhile, the bedrock of this country—the middle class—and those 45 million Americans stuck in poverty have seen their incomes decline over the past 20 years. Understandably, their disenchantment and frustration at what’s happening grows every day, and it gets worse and worse and worse.
And even our lawyers and judges, the reflective “wise men,” have been stepping all over the US Constitution, the bulwark of our democracy. They have recklessly appointed themselves to be policy makers, because our actual elected officials are paralyzed by partisanship. They can’t move; they can’t act. They are totally impotent.
As for the presidency and the executive branch, the incompetence is beyond belief.
As I write this, Russian president Vladimir Putin is totally outmaneuvering our president by putting together a coalition in Syria that will make Putin the only effective leader in the world. He and his allies—most notably Iran—have positioned themselves exactly where President Obama and our military have failed miserably for years. They are total failures. They are not leaders. We are no longer a leader. Putin has become the leader, and it’s an embarassment to our country.
We’ve wasted literally trillions of dollars in the Middle East, with virtually nothing to show for it except for alienating our best ally, Israel. To make matters worse, we’ve negotiated a worthless and costly nuclear treaty with Iran (now Russia’s best friend) on the supposition that it will lead to greater harmony and world peace, which it won’t. It will lead to just the opposite.
The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished.
Despite all of these challenges—and actually because of the challenges—I decided to do something about it. I couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way. It needs someone with common sense and business acumen, someone who can truly lead America back to what has made us great in the past.
We need someone with a proven track record in business who understands greatness, someone who can rally us to the standard of excellence we once epitomized and explain what needs to be done.
When I started speaking out, I had no idea what the reaction would be. I know I’m a great builder, I’ve built buildings all over the world. I’ve had tremendous success. But I hadn’t fully exposed my political thoughts and ideas to restore America’s greatness.
I also knew that the Trump brand is one of the world’s great icons of quality and excellence. Everybody talks about it. Everybody knows about it. It’s very very special. I’m very proud of it. Our buildings and resorts now stand very proudly (and beautifully) all over the United States and in many other countries.
I started with the issue of illegal immigration, and proposed building a major wall that would be very high and completely impervious to the flood of immigrants who we don’t want or need here illegally. We love people coming in, but not when it’s done illegally.
Suddenly, Americans started to wake up to what was going on with regard to illegal immigration. Despite the large number of candidates who were running for the Republican nomination, what I was saying started to really hit home with people, and everybody picked it up and they picked it up gladly.
I started drawing crowds so large that we had to move our rallies into football stadiums and convention centers. The first national debate drew 24 million viewers, which set a record for cable television. Despite some of the ridiculous, antagonistic questions—or maybe because of them—I fought back as I always do and began to explain my vision. As a result, most people thought I won the debate.
People were applauding. All of a sudden, people who had never cared about elections or never voted were rushing to our rallies. The rallies became massive. The crowds were unbelievable. The enthusiasm was based on pure love and love of what we were doing.
The media, the politicians, and the so-called leaders of our country reacted in horror. But I persevered and went directly to the people, because I don’t need anyone’s financial support, nor do I need anyone’s approval of what I say or do. I just had to do the right thing. I had to do it. I had no choice. I see what’s happening to our country; it’s going to hell. I had to do it.
I have now begun to fill in some of the details of my vision. I’ve released a tax plan that gives the middle class and those with lower incomes a chance to keep more of what they earn, while restructuring how the richest Americans will be paying taxes.
I’ve committed to a truly more powerful military, one prepared and equipped to stand up to any and all of our foes. When we draw a line in the sand, it needs to mean something to all—especially our enemies.
I’ve introduced a whole new approach to job creation by encouraging companies to bring more of their jobs and manufacturing back to America (home where it belongs), along with the trillions of dollars currently being held in foreign banks overseas. We’re bringing that money back. It’s a massive amount of money. And guess what? Lots of good things are going to happen. They’re going to spend that money on roads, on bridges, on companies, on jobs. It’s going to be amazing.
I’ve explained why Obamacare is a costly, ludicrous solution to our health care woes and one which must be repealed and replaced with a much better option. We need to fix the problem by creating competition in the private sector between insurance companies, and by allowing patients to choose the family doctors they want. This will be a much better plan, a much less costly plan—better doctors, better service. It will be something really special. And think of it: the United States will save a fortune as a country. People will be better served. A combination that cannot be beat.
Competition is a magic word in education as well. Parents should have the right to choose the schools where their kids can get the best education. The weaker schools will be closed, and ineffective teachers will be fired. One-size-fits-all education—Common Core—is bad. It’s not going to happen. We don’t want our children to be educated from Washington. We want local education. Education should be locally based.
Domestically, we need to undertake a massive rebuilding of our infrastructure. Too many bridges have become dangerous, our roads are decaying and full of potholes, while traffic jams are costing millions in lost income for drivers who have jobs in congested cities. Public transit is overcrowded and unreliable and our airports must be rebuilt. You go to countries like China and many others and you look at their train systems and their public transport. It’s so much better. We’re like a third-world country.
I could go on and on regarding many of the ideas I’ve written about in this book, and more that will be forthcoming. But let me add that while my critics are pushing their policy agendas, the last thing we need are more plans that evaporate after the elections.
What we need is leadership that can deal with our mess and begin to apply practical solutions to our problems. My goal is not to design hundreds of pages of government regulation and red tape like others propose. We need to outline commonsense policies and then knock some heads together if necessary to make them work. The fact is we are over-regulated. People can’t move. They’re stymied. Companies can’t be built. We’re over-regulated.
I know how to deal with complex issues and how to bring together all the various elements necessary for success. I’ve done it for years and have built a great company and a massive net worth.
This book is designed to give the reader a better understanding of me and my ideas for our future. I’m a really nice guy, believe me, I pride myself on being a nice guy but I’m also passionate and determined to make our country great again.
It’s time we turn America around from despair and anger to joy and accomplishment. It can happen, and it will happen.
Our best days still lie ahead. There is so much untapped greatness in our country. We’re rich in natural resources, and we’re rich in human talent.
Enjoy this book—and together, let’s make America great again!
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