As a result of disparaging remarks Donald Trump made about undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Macy's announced that it will no longer carry the Trump menswear collection. They join NBC Universal, which announced Monday that it would remove him as host of the Apprentice and no longer air Trump's Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. Both are part of a growing chorus of people and organizations that are distancing themselves from Trump after he made remarks that included...
"When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they're rapists."
Any American citizens whose families originate from Mexico are bound to be hurt by these comments.
Tale of two images
If Donald Trump wants to craft a consistent and favorable image for himself, he is not doing an effective job. While some believe he is a great businessman, others view Trump as a modern Wizard of Oz with little substance behind his self-proclaimed image as a winner. In 2013, New York's Attorney General filed a lawsuit that accuses Trump of defrauding students of Trump University -- an unlicensed seminar company that does not satisfy the legal requirements of being called a university. One thing is certain. Trump has become a celebrity that likes to be in the spotlight. What is not certain is how much of Trump is real and how much is "reality show" or smoke and mirrors?
Successful businessman image
Up until this latest brouhaha, Trump has Mark Burnett to thank for contributing to his business image. Burnett created the Apprentice -- a reality show that portrays Trump as an "effective businessman." In dramatic Boardroom scenes, Trump decides which contestants to fire and which to save so they can compete to become his apprentice. Even though the show has been deemed a success, reviews of Trump by contestants are not always complimentary.
The show was not his first success. Born into a wealthy family, The Donald (as his first wife Ivana branded him) took over the family real estate business. He had some early development success acquiring properties at favorable rates -- often using other people's money, improving them and selling them at a profit. He successfully rode several real estate booms. However, there were busts too.
Failures paint another picture
His development activities created a mountain of debt that led to a series of business failures and bankruptcies. His marriage to his first wife collapsed because of an extramarital affair with Marla Maples, whom he later married and divorced six years later. He has since married his third wife, Melania Knauss. The suit filed by New York's Attorney General is just the latest in a string of lawsuits involving Mr. Trump and his companies.
Attacks on others have reflected poorly on him
In addition to being litigious, Trump has publicly attacked President Obama - questioning his American citizenship and his college record. He has also attacked a long list of public figures including Rosie O'Donnell, Arianna Huffington, Lord Sugar (host of the UK version of the Apprentice and member of the House of Lords), and even fellow Republican Karl Rove (recognized as chief architect of George W. Bush's two presidential wins). What he apparently does not realize is that every attack has had a boomerang effect on him. As a rule, good businessmen understand that disparaging others is not an effective strategy. This is why some openly call Trump a wind bag, scam artist and a fraud. Even friends have criticized his attacks.
Even when proof was provided to trump his allegations about President Obama's citizenship and education record, he has questioned the authenticity of the evidence without even examining it. Similarly, the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of New York does nothing to help Trump's credibility. What Donald Trump should realize is that (1) his behavior has damaged his image and (2) he is not helping his cause by attacking the Attorney General via Twitter. He has turned into the boy who cried wolf. If he really wants to improve his image, he needs to stop attacking people and start providing independent, credible, 3rd-party proof to support his claims. Otherwise, he will continue to contribute to the erosion of his image in the minds of the public. This cannot be good for his business or his political aspirations.
This pattern of behavior is not presidential. Probably the only ones smiling are the GOP candidates that will face Mr. Trump in debates and primaries. If he wants to remain a viable candidate, Mr. Trump should realize that the United States is a country of immigrants, and the President of the United States represents all constituents. Singling out immigrants from a particular country is not what a GOP candidate for the nomination should be doing. Moreover, if he paid attention to the news, he would know that the United States has just become the 2nd-largest Spanish speaking country in the world behind Mexico - with more Spanish speakers than Spain. While the 52 million Spanish speakers are from many different countries and don't vote as a single block, they are certainly sensitive to any attack on Spanish-speaking immigrants -- documented or not.
What's ironic about this entire episode is the guy who seemed to relish saying, "You're fired" to contestants on the Apprentice seems to be receiving a heavy dose of his own medicine from the companies that provided him with a significant source of revenue.