imageThe business magnate and TV reality star, Donald Trump, seems to be making a splash looking at recent polls.  One primary reason why – name recognition.  In The Wall St. Journal/NBC poll he had 96% name recognition.

We know his name.  We know that he’s outspoken.  We know of his straight talk in the boardroom of his show The Apprentice

What do we really know about Donald Trump?

We’re sure he’s got good business acumen.  He caught some people’s attention with his speech at CPAC.  We know he questions President Obama’s place of birth.

But again what do we really know about Donald Trump that we’d want to make him our President? 

On abortion for instance do most people understand where he lands?  One quote I found back in 2000 in his book, The America We Deserve, he says he is pro-choice, but he was in favor of the partial birth abortion ban.

I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban, (pg. 31-32).

He supported a progressive tax on the rich back in 1999, do people today know that?  Has his position changed?

What about his position on “civil rights,”again from his book, The America We Deserve, we read.

One of our next president’s most important goals must be to induce a greater tolerance for diversity. The senseless murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming-where an innocent boy was killed because of his sexual orientation- turned my stomach. We must work towards an America where these kinds of hate crimes are unthinkable, (pg. 31).

So apparently Trump supports a thought police.  I always figured that murder was a crime of hate, but apparently it is only hateful when it is a certain class of person.  How many people are supportive of his position on gay rights?

On school choice, at least from his position in 2000 shared in The America We Deserve, I can resonate with.  He said…

Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone, surrounded by a very high union wall. Why aren’t we shocked at the results? After all, teachers’ unions are motivated by the same desires that move the rest of us. With more than 85% of their soft-money donations going to Democrats, teachers’ unions know they can count on the politician they back to take a strong stand against school choice.

Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition -open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children.

Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition-the American way, (pg. 80-81).

Do people realize that he supported universal health care in 2000?  Again from The America We Deserve…

I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare.

Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice. Possible? The good news is, yes. There is already a system in place-the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-that can act as a guide for all healthcare reform. It operates through a centralized agency that offers considerable range of choice. While this is a government program, it is also very much market-based. It allows 620 private insurance companies to compete for this market. Once a year participants can choose from plans which vary in benefits and costs, (pg. 206-208, 218).

Has his position changed?

Then there is the fact that like Newt Gingrich he’s been married three times.  That should be a stumbling block for him in states like Iowa and South Carolina.

There is much about Donald Trump that voters really don’t know, while we know his name, we really need to get to take time to know him.  I would hope that Iowa Caucus goers would be more discerning before deciding to throw their support to him.

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