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Bill Owens: Donald Trump Visits Plattsburgh, NY – My Hometown

Presidential candidate, Donald Trump visited Plattsburgh, N.Y. on Friday, April 15th.  Fortunately, I was out of town.

It was reported in print and on TV that Mr. Trump was spirited and vacuous.  He focused on jobs, immigration, strengthening the military and fixing bad trade deals.  All expressed in the negative, I’m sure it was an uplifting show.  Here’s a few quotes:

“We are going to make America great again”; “We are going to win, we are going to win, we are going to win so much you are going to get sick of winning so much”; “We are going to bring back jobs to New York State, we are going to do it very, very fast.”

He talked about companies leaving saying that, “There is no downside to them leaving” and “They are not going to leave with me, if they do they will pay for it”;        “I know what I am doing.  Believe me”;        “We are going to build a wall, and it is going to be so beautiful, as good-looking a wall as possible.  I am good at all this stuff”.

There is not much that he said in Plattsburgh that he hasn’t said repeatedly over the last year.  I’m confused. What do those phrases mean to me or any of his supporters?

If you examine any one of these statements, he fails to provide any analysis, context, or support, and much of it is simply rhetorical bombast.  If you believe in reincarnation, then you might view Mr. Trump as this generation’s B.T. Barnum.  It’s clearly a circus act.

If I were a supporter, I’d have just a few questions to which I’d like an answer.

As a successful businessman – how many jobs have you created? ; what do you pay your employees? ; have you ever developed a manufacturing business?  I know you said the IRS is harassing you with yearly audits, so why not provide a list of your businesses with their net worth?  Even an approximation would be fine with me.  Let’s see how successful he really is.

Mr. Trump is preying on the legitimate fears of his fellow citizens, but he’s not providing real answers, just puffery.  He’s a barker at a fair or selling his magic elixir.

If Mr. Trump is such a stupendous, amazing winner and negotiator as he proclaims, then let him go to the convention with the necessary delegate votes.  If not, he and his supporters need to do what he says he purportedly does best – negotiate his way to the nomination.  If he refuses, or he can’t negotiate a favorable outcome, then it raises legitimate questions about his actual skills.

Creating jobs is a tough process, how will Trump counter the long held principals of the Republican Party to get this job done?  Stop companies from going overseas, create incentives, exactly what’s the plan?

The business of governing is serious and complex.  Let Mr. Trump be honest with his supporters and not sucker punch them.

Mr. Owens is a former member of Congress representing the New York 21st and a partner in the firm of Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher & Trombley, PLLC, in Plattsburgh, New York.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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