Just when you thought there weren’t any more examples of Donald Trump lying about his charitable activities, here comes another story. Last year, Trump vowed that the proceeds from sales of his newest book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, would go to veterans’ charities. Ignoring for a moment the grossly ableist language of the title, it turns out that Trump has made somewhere between $1 million and $5 million of the books (200,000 plus sales), and that none of that has gone to charity. Of course it hasn’t.
As the Huffington Post points out, Trump is using the promise of charity for publicity. While people applaud him for giving, he’s actually not. He’s tricking other people into donating (people who generally can’t donate all that much in the first place) by promising that he’ll donate a lot. But he never does, and he never has. Charity is just another tool to political power.
What kind of president would Trump be, if he can’t even bring himself to donate some of his apparently huge wealth to charitable causes? Not only does he not donate, but he routinely lies about doing so, revealing a disregard for the truth. He doesn’t respect his voters, and he doesn’t respect the veterans he continually promises to help. And, of course, when the Huffington Post tried to reach out to members of his campaign, and to the executive at Simon & Schuster, who published the book, nobody responded. That doesn’t exactly paint the whole issue in a positive light, does it?
Trump is, through sheer force of money and bullying, someone with no small amount of influence in this country. He actually stands a chance of being elected president, and he sets a terrible standard for charity. His constant lying about his donations is dangerous, not just because lying is par for the course for this man, but because it creates a poor model for people who respect him. Don’t expect a Trump victory to usher in a new era of American generosity.