Donald Trump Opposes Some Very American Values

For someone who plans to make America great again, he sure hates a lot of what makes America great.
A New York Times investigation revealed that Trump may not have paid federal income taxes in 18 years.
A New York Times investigation revealed that Trump may not have paid federal income taxes in 18 years.
Jessica Kourkounis via Getty Images

Many supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump like to think of themselves as “real Americans,” who believe they embody American values like patriotism and a strong work ethic.

But Trump isn’t the most in tune with those ideals.

It’s possible that Trump, unlike most Americans, did not pay federal income taxes for 18 years ― a benefit acquired from poorly managing three casinos, jumping into a failed airline business and buying the Plaza Hotel in New York at a bad time, according to a New York Times investigation.

Trump, who consistently undersells the role his wealthy father’s connections played in amassing his current fortune, has also advocated for a U.S. rival to hack the email server of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, rented office space to an Iranian bank with connections to terrorist groups and collected federal 9/11 recovery grants designated for small businesses.

But that’s not all. Here’s an incomplete list of other times Trump has been less than patriotic.

A protester is escorted out after she disrupted a rally with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his supporters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
A protester is escorted out after she disrupted a rally with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his supporters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

He’s not a big fan of free speech

When Colin Kaepernick decided to sit for the national anthem during a football game as a protest against police brutality, Trump said the San Francisco 49ers quarterback should leave the U.S.

“I think it’s ― personally ― not a good thing,” Trump said. “I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try. It won’t happen.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has advocated extreme consequences for people exercising their rights to free speech. He routinely taunts protesters at his rallies and encourages his followers to harass them physically and verbally, which has led to frequent violence.

A Huffington Post survey of police departments found that at least 52 people ― most of them protesters ― were arrested or cited at Trump events between Feb. 29 to March 14. And the violence doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon.

He’s not big on religious freedom, either

At a campaign event Wednesday in Iowa, Trump asked all the conservative Christian attendees to identify themselves, then asked non-conservative Christians to make their presence known.

“Raise your hand if you’re not a Christian conservative. I want to see this, right? Oh there’s a couple people, that’s all right,” Trump said. “I think we’ll keep them, right? Should we keep them in the room, yes? I think so.”

Though he appeared to be joking, Trump’s comment plays into his tendency to single out people based on their religious beliefs ― such as when he called for a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S. in December following the San Bernardino terror attacks. After repeated walk-backs of this policy, Trump said at the Republican National Convention in July that he would be expanding the ban.

Trump has also said he will make Americans “one people, under one God, saluting one American flag,” suggesting that religions other than Christianity would not be welcome in the U.S. In June, Trump said he would advocate for religious liberty by making department store employees say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” and would push for public officials to outwardly express their Christian beliefs.

Trump repeatedly mocks reporters including one who is disabled.
Trump repeatedly mocks reporters including one who is disabled.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

He supports restrictions on the press

The U.S. has a remarkably free press thanks to the protections of the First Amendment, and Trump doesn’t seem to like that. He has threatened to “open up” U.S. libel laws so that he could more easily sue media organizations that print information about him he perceives as dishonest, playing on the distrust his supporters hold for the media.

“I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws,” Trump said in February during a rally in Fort Worth, Texas. “So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”

Trump, who routinely mocks reporters, has placed harsh restrictions on the press during his campaign. Journalists have been removed from rallies and barred from leaving the press pen while Trump is in the room. And, until early September, reporters from certain news organizations were blacklisted and could not formally attend events.

Trump also complained about being fact-checked by moderators ahead of the first presidential debate. He also suggested that freedom of the press makes it more difficult to fight terrorism.

He disrespects veterans and their families

Following an impassioned speech from the Khizr Khan, the father of an American war hero, at the Democratic National Convention, Trump questioned why the fallen soldier’s mother did not speak during the address. The comment about Ghazala Khan was an obvious stab at the couple’s faith.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” Trump said during an interview with ABC a few days after the speech.

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said during a speech in Iowa in July 2015. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

He also sought to have homeless veterans barred from their street vendor stalls on Fifth Avenue, discriminated against veterans in hiring and scammed a veteran’s widow out of thousands of dollars.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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