The Big Apple

In New York City this week to see Hamilton, I went for a short walk and passed by Trump Tower. It seemed ironic to link Trump Tower and Hamilton in the same breath. I wonder whether fellow New Yorker Alexander is turning in his grave when ever President Trump commits a boorish act. A lot of movement I would guess.

Alexander Hamilton was born from common stock, some say he was illegitimate. Who cares when one thinks about what Hamilton made of his life. Few dispute Alexander Hamilton became an educated man and served his adopted country well.

Our President describes himself as a self made man too. And if one does not consider being born into wealth, attending only the best schools, and inheriting more than enough starter funding to fuel his “rags to riches” success story, I guess self made seems accurate.

Hamilton never became President, Donald Trump, on the other hand, is our President. Hmmm.

The Broadway show “Hamilton”, is based upon Robert Chernow’s biography and leaves the audience with a wonderful entertainment experience coupled with a positive view of the early days of our Country. Hamilton was far from a perfect person but he, as much anyone else, contributed to establishing the Federal Government’s effectiveness. His word, honor, and integrity meant everything to Hamilton.

Fast forward until today. President Trump has along with the GOP controlled Congress sought some terrible cuts in healthcare, reductions in the Federal Budget covering “meals on wheels” and school nutrition programs, while astonishingly seeking tax code changes rewarding the very wealthy who do not need any help.

All these actions, however, are on us, that is, the American electorate. By a narrow margin, but a plurality never the less in the electoral college, Donald Trump was the choice of American voters. His mess is our mess.

President Trump’s boorish behavior, however, he owns entirely. Each time the President commits some amazingly obtuse, ignorant, or impolite act domestically or internationally, he does not speak for America. The President speaks for himself and simply sullies the name “Donald Trump”.

Alexander Hamilton was accused often by political opponents that he was personally profiting from his time in office. Never once while in office, nor with the distance of time, have any of the charges been proved.  Hamilton’s name is linked with honesty, competence, and honor.  Hmmm.

President Trump has not been accused yet of any crime but some his campaign staff and been implicated in suspicious contacts with Russian officials. The FBI and both houses of Congress are investigating.  The President denies these contacts were ever made and if they were, they were not illegal. President Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner is now a person of interest in this investigation. What could this be about?

The media writes about Kushner “seeking to establish back door line of communications” with the Russians. Why?

Speculation range from attempts to cover up campaign collusion with Russia operatives in attempts to sway the American electorate to business deals. Collusion might be possible but pretty amateurish. Or, what about a more fundamental potential involving the line of work that both Kushner and Trump share. Real Estate and specifically the money to finance it.

To be a wealthy real estate mogul, one must be able to borrow large sums of money and from time to time refinance that debt. Russian oligarchs are rumored to have financed a lot of Donald Trump’s recent ventures. Rather than making a clean break with these questionable sources of funding, Kushner (speaking on behalf of himself and his father in law) may have wanted to ensure that those running the Trump and Kushner day to day operations could enjoy the same friendship on going as before the election. This type of behavior gets pretty close to bribery, not to mention creating real conflicts of interest, I would think. And I don’t believe that’s what the American people signed up for on November 8th.

Alexander Hamilton stood at the center of early American power and acquitted himself well.   So far the same cannot be said for President Trump.

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