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Alex Salmond says dealings with Donald Trump prove 'dangerous manchild' isn't worthy of the White House

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 2:06 PM
  • 1 Replies

Opinion piece by Scotland's former First Minister (2007-2014):

Alex Salmond says dealings with Donald Trump prove 'dangerous manchild' isn't worthy of the White House

THE former First Minister, writing in today's Daily Record, reflects on just how bizarre the behaviour of the businessman and Presidential candidate was

Trump with Salmond


“In your guts you know he’s nuts”

This was the devastating campaign slogan that the Democrats deployed against Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in the 1964 US Presidential campaign.

In fact Goldwater wasn’t “nuts” at all, just a free market Republican who advocated a tough line against the Soviet Union.

His own campaign theme, “In your heart you know he’s right”, had been designed to entice the support of many Americans, particularly in the southern states, troubled by the burgeoning civil rights movement.

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The confident reply from the Democrats contributed to a landslide that saw President Lyndon Baines Johnson re-elected by a massive majority.

Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Donald Trump swept to victory in the Republican primaries

Fast forward half a century and we find the Republicans with their most controversial candidate since Goldwater.

However, in terms of presenting a real and present danger to the security of the American Republic, Donald J. Trump makes Goldwater look like Goldilocks.

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I’ve only met “the Donald” in person twice, although that is two more times than his new best international buddy Vladimir Putin.

But I have spoken to him often enough by phone as well as being on the receiving end of enough “green ink” scribbled messages to fill a dozen waste paper bins.

These overnight and always “urgent” messages were before Trump discovered new media around 2012 and since then some of his observations about me have even made it into social media selections of his worst ever tweets.

Indeed for a time I was a key target for the bizarre Trump ravings, right up there with the likes of Barack Obama, Katy Perry, Bill Maher, and, of course, Hillary Clinton.

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Getty Donald Trump
Donald Trump

However, I can honestly say that whenever I either met him or spoke with him, Trump didn’t spout anything like the anti-Mexican or anti-Muslimism views which have disfigured his Presidential campaign.

This lends support to the explanations of one of his former campaign managers, Paul Manafort. He reportedly used to tell anxious party funders that the candidate was just putting on “an act” as a means of securing support in the Republican primaries.

And yet, despite these repulsive views, the fragmentation of the Republicans, being outspent and outfunded, the sacking of campaign managers and blunder piled upon blunder, Trump is only a few polling points behind Hillary Clinton.

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Unlike the popular Johnston in 1964, Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic candidate, seems incapable of communicating the strength of her experience and considerable personal warmth into any enthusiastic popular support.

On Trump’s racist remarks it is a matter of debate as to whether it is more comforting to believe that a candidate says disgusting things not because he believes them but because he thinks they might benefit him in a campaign.

It is an open question whether a demagogue is preferable to a genuine racist.

Reuters
Trump is up against Hillary Clinton for the nomination

Most of the views he imparted to me were about Donald Trump and his own popularity. In a 2011 phone call he told me that such was his hold over the American imagination he would sweep the nomination if he put his name forward as President for the 2012 contest.

I mildly enquired as to what party he would be representing, given that I had thought he was a registered Democrat and they had a sitting President. (I later found out that he had switched to the Republicans in 2009).

He treated the question as if it were totally irrelevant to the greater purpose of securing his election. Indeed, he subsequently was to change his registered affiliation to “independent” to clear the way to running as a third party candidate before deciding against and reverting to the Republicans.

In the same phone call he offered to endorse me publicly as First Minister in the Scottish elections.

I politely declined suggesting that Scots would not take too kindly to Americans telling them how to vote. In reality I felt that Scots would not take too kindly to Donald Trump telling them how to vote!

My fall out with Trump was not about his golf course. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the golf course in Aberdeenshire which is of fine quality. The problem is all with its owner!

This manifested itself in a number of ways. For example his wish to pursue compulsory purchase of his local neighbours. This I persuaded him to drop.

Thereafter his failure to keep to the commitments of “billions” of dollars of investment and “thousands” of jobs that he made before the public enquiry which granted him planning permission and, crucially, his extreme opposition to an offshore wind demonstrator in Aberdeen Bay.

Scotland should be open to international investment. It is an important part of our economy. However we should not be open to international investors who then decide that this gives them an entitlement to instruct us on how to run our economy.

That is what Trump tried to do in Scotland and why his conduct should give us all the heebie-jeebies.

Trump swings from public support to extreme opposition with no intervening period whatsoever. Indeed in the course of a single phone call he would veer alarmingly from bonhomie, to bullying, to pleading and then back to a jocular mood. Emotionally he is a Peter Pan – the boy who never grew up

And this disagreement between us was just about wind turbines! Imagine the consequences if similar phone calls were taking place from the Oval Office, not Trump Tower, and the subject matter was not wind power but hard power - the use or deployment of military force and nuclear weaponry.

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Back in that 1964 Presidential campaign the Democrats had a TV slot which was only shown once and only ever had to be. It is the advert which came to be known as “Daisy”.

It shows a lovely young girl counting daisy petals from one to ten which then morphs into a countdown to a nuclear strike from ten to one. Its purpose was to highlight the danger of a Goldwater Presidency.

As this Presidential campaign now reaches its climax they should consider using such an approach again.

Because while many disgruntled Americans are still attracted to the Trump anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-big Government rhetoric there are only a few who want to risk a manchild in the White House.

The truth is indeed out there because “In your guts you know he’s nuts”.

***Alex Salmond was First Minister of Scotland between 2007 and 2014***


by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 2:06 PM
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MyMyOhMy
by Gold Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 8:40 PM

Alex's head is twice the size of Trumpy's.

I guess it isn't only his hands.

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