A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, April 24, 2011

2Samuel 12 and Donald Trump

Timothy Birdnow

Michelle Malkin tears The Donald apart over his support for Kelo and his abuse of eminent domaine to steal property in a fine piece at National Review Online.

Trump had this to say about Kelo:

"The fact is, if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it’s local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make [an] area that’s not good into a good area, and move the person that’s living there into a better place — now, I know it might not be their choice — but move the person to a better place and yet create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good."

End quote.

Kelo, as you all remember, is the court decision which said that governments could use their powers of condemnation and eminent domaine to take property from private owners - homeowners in particular - and give it to private developers for fun and profit. Eminent Domaine says that government can take property, with just compensation, for public works such as bridges or lakes or roads. What has been happening in recent years is that governments have been seizing homes or buildings from private owners solely for redevelopment, giving the property at bargain prices to high-powered developers so they can make mountains of money. This bipasses the necessity of bygone days for developers to make lucrative offers to holdout owners, and negotiate a deal that is ultimately fair because the land has intrinsic value to the developer. Instead, the developer gets government to take the property at market rate FOR THE UNDEVELOPED PROPERTY and then sell it to the developer at sweetheart prices, who then reaps a bounty.

It's the swindle so prominent in old Westerns; the railroad or mining corporation wants the land owned by a poor rancher, and sends in goons to force the settler off. Only this time the goons are lawyers with writs of eminent domaine, and the hired guns are police and marshalls. Our hero is powerless to stop them; he's likely to wind up in jail. Thugs and criminals can be fought, but you can't fight city hall, as the old saying goes.

But getting back to Trump; that quote shows plainly he is a redistributionist and believer in government as a tool to intervene in people's lives - something anathema to true Conservatism.

As the inestimable Michelle Malkin concludes;

"Like most statist promises of bountiful job creation, government-engineered redevelopment math rarely adds up. Trump’s corporations have backed casino-industry bailouts and wealth-redistributing “tax-increment financing” schemes — the very kind of taxpayer-subsidized interventions we’ve seen on a grand scale under the Obama administration.

Championing liberty begins at the local level. There is nothing more fundamental than the principle that a man’s home is his castle. Donald Trump’s career-long willingness to trample this right tells you everything you need to know about his bogus tea-party sideshow."

End excerpt.

How right she is!

And Trump has been more than willing to use these tactics. From the article:

"While casting himself as America’s new constitutional savior, Trump has shown reckless disregard for fundamental private-property rights. In the 1990s, he waged a notorious war on elderly homeowner Vera Coking, who owned a little home in Atlantic City that stood in the way of Trump’s manifest land development. The real-estate mogul was determined to expand his Trump Plaza and build a limousine parking lot — Coking’s private property be damned. The nonprofit Institute for Justice, which successfully saved Coking’s home, explained the confiscatory scheme:

Unlike most developers, Donald Trump doesn’t have to negotiate with a private owner when he wants to buy a piece of property, because a governmental agency — the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority or CRDA — will get it for him at a fraction of the market value, even if the current owner refuses to sell. Here is how the process works.

After a developer identifies the parcels of land he wants to acquire and a city planning board approves a casino project, CRDA attempts to confiscate these properties using a process called “eminent domain,” which allows the government to condemn properties “for public use.” Increasingly, though, CRDA and other government entities exercise the power of eminent domain to take property"

End excerpt.

I am mindful of King David in the Bible; David's advisor came to him with a case that needed adjudicating in which a rich and powerful man stole a small lamb from a poor laborer, a lamb the man had raised and loved tenderly, and that the rich man had the laborer murdered when he demanded justice. David was furious, demanding the man's head! The advisor then pointed out that David himself WAS THAT MAN, that his affair with Bathsheeba and subsequent sending her husband into battle on the front lines made him guilty. Is not Donald Trump and his abuse of people like Vera Coking similar? Do we want to turn the rich man into the King?

If Trump is willing to essentially steal the property of others, would he not be likely to do so all the more as president?

Do we want an unjust man sitting in the highest executive office?

America knowingly re-elected William Jefferson Clinton, a liar, adulterer, oathbreaker, slanderer, and perjurer to the presidency because times were good and people thought he was funny. We have paid dearly for that; Islamic extremism got out of hand as Clinton was too busy being fellated to pay attention to growing threats, we ramped up our spending, we turned China into a superpower under his watch (which he gleefully did in exchange for illegal campaign contributions) and now many of the chickens that hatched under the Clinton feathers have now come home to roost under a far worse president (albeit a more moral one, seemingly). The point is that people did not vote their conscience, did not care what was right and wrong, and now we are paying the price. If we continue this practice, where will it lead? If we put a man who steals into office, can we expect to maintain the integrity of our goods and households? If a man like Trump took what was not his when he was outside of the halls of power, how much more will he take while inside? This is a moral question, and if conservatives want to support Trump they had better ask those questions.

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