A look at Fred C. Trump's view of the world
The pioneers important ship with Rolex when Donald Trump was announcing his candidacy for presidency. He said the American dream is dead and talked about how he was going to put America first now. Both of those phrases would certainly have been familiar to Fred. See Trump indeed so Frederick Chris trump to give him his full name. That was a family name. But it's hard not to enjoy the laugh. He who was of course. Trump's MM father now people have slightly misread. The sometimes in assumed that because Fred trump was an adult in the twenty s that he must have been trump's grandfather and in fact reviews of my book talked about Fred Trump as his grandfather. No no no the point is he's his father. We forget and I think to our peril first of all how old Donald Trump is as. He was born in Nineteen forty-six and secondly that he was the son of a much older father. So Fred See. Trump actually was a young man in this era that I'm talking about in the twenty s and so the world that he inhabited was this America. First `isolation xenophobic eugenicist world. Like Tom Buchanan Bannon. That took that stuff for granted it was a highly racist society and even the more progressive people were of course very very racist and many of their attitudes kids and Fred trump raised donald trump. You know in the forties in my view to with this worldview and basically what I'm saying the book is the apple doesn't fall Oliver far from the tree and trump has said over and over again how much he admires his father how much he adheres to his father's worldview most importantly in my live you the thing he said over and over and over again is that he is a believer in eugenics. Now trump himself never remembers the word eugenics. But that's neither here nor there. The attitudes that he's espousing he says over and over again. He's given dozens of interviews. You easy to find just Google Donald Trump and eugenics and you see him on video for twenty years thirty thirty years saying that. He's a believer in what he calls the gene theory. or He's a believer in jeans. He believes in what he thinks of as the racehorse theory of genes. which is that when you get a superior type person and you marry that superior type person to another superior type person you get superior type people that is eugenicist and that is very clearly what he believes? Leaves end in Fred. Trump's world that idea was America first and you can place for trump historically right at the heart of does indeed so in one thousand nine twenty seven it was actually just at the peak of America first political traction it was just starting to lose credibility Partly because of the way that it had been monetize so it was getting associated with corruption. Both by the clan in with a very corrupt Chicago mayor from my hometown the most corrupt city in America. A A guy called big Bill Thompson. Who was using America first to try to? It was a money making scheme. Also some things never change anyway so it was about to kind of really lose credence but at the peak of it in nineteen twenty seven in Queens which of course is where Donald trump would eventually grow up. It's where Fred trump was already living at that point and there was a memorial Oriole Day parade in May nineteen twenty seven at which the clan controversial had been permitted to March. They were given a permit now. This incident has since trump's election and been aronie ASLI described as Klan Rally and. I think it's important that we note the distinction. It was a Memorial Day parade at which the veterans were marching and the Red Cross was marching and children were marching and there were twenty thousand spectators. Not because they wanted to support the clan but because they were there for national parade but the Klan had as I say controversially been given permission mission to March in this parade as long as they weren't roped was what the police told them and it was a first amendment issue again about the right to assemble in the right to free speech. And so you can see why they said that they could. But they couldn't be hooded and gowned and some of them decided to be hooded and gown and scuffles broke out among the twenty thousand spectators. Because some actually objected to it as hate speech just as we would today some defended on the basis of freedom of speech just as people would today so these kind of scuffles broke out and it turned into a full blown riot. Twenty thousand people fighting over the clan in Queens and out of that twenty thousand six men were arrested five of whom self identified the police reports as clansmen and the sixth was Fred see trump. Now that is not proof that Fred trump was clansman and again some people have said arrests shows that he was. I don't think that does I don't think we can make quite that step. But it is remarkable to me that out of twenty thousand people the only six were arrested five of clansmen and one of them was trump. And what I do say in the book is that and I firmly believe this. Is that whatever we think Fred. Trump's reasons for being there might have been. He was not there to protest the clan and we know that because of his later record on race relations he was so racist when he started his property property development in the nineteen fifties which by the way he got from government loans. So all of these guys who you know they hate government handouts. But that's how Fred trump got his start was from a government handout and there was some kind of it is indeed it was he was hauled up before Congressional Committee to admit that he wildly overstated the cost of his loans which is in the book some might call fraud so he defrauded the government went to get handouts and then these and then his son is telling us that handouts are terrible and nobody should have handouts and out of this. He built these tenements. He built these housing projects in the New York area in Brooklyn Brooklyn and Queens and his policies for renting to tenants in these housing projects. Were so racist that Woodie Guthrie in the nineteen fifties wrote a song about how racist it was because he lived in one of them. It's called Almond trump. And it's about how racist Fred trump was and you have to be racist in the fifties to get people's attention for our racist assist. You are by one thousand nine hundred ninety three which was the year that Donald Trump took over the trump property empire from his father. They were sued by the Nixon Administration. Restauration for racial discrimination. And again you know the Nixon administration was not going out of its way to sue over racial discrimination it had to be so gratuitous for the Nixon administration to go after them and then of course in the case of Donald there are things like the central park five the five black men wrongly accused of raping a woman in Central Park. He called for the death penalty. Not with them. They were totally exonerated by DNA. He has never apologized. He has never said that he still calls it. A miscarriage of justice and it was a miscarriage of justice but not in the way that he thinks. So what I say is that although we cannot say that Fred trump was a card carrying member of the KKK. He was arrested with five of them and nothing that he ever did in the rest of his misbegotten life makes me think that he was there to argue against the clamp. Do you think a trump. Donald trump has a full understanding branding given how ignorant and he missed. His supporters appears to be an understanding of the origin of these phrases. And can they be reinterpreted in a positive way so first of all. I think that be the best way to understand. This is that it's like it's a world view that he grew up with. He's profoundly racist. We have so much evidence to see. How racist he is does? Does he know the detailed history of this. Of course not in fact historians don't know that detailed history of this Ri- wouldn't have written the book so nobody knows it but the fact that America first has these meanings meanings is definitely not lost to history and the KKK kept it alive underground. And all of these Neo Nazi groups and right wing groups kept this phrase alive and there's lots of evidence at that they would have rallies in the sixties and say it's an America first rally you can find the flyers and handbills and stuff. So there's lots of ephemeral evidence over the years that they kept this phrase alive and now they're using it on Neo Nazi message boards. It's on the daily stormer on storm. Front it's on their websites. So these guys have always used that phrase and when and David Duke who of course is the the most senior member of the KKK in America when he endorsed Donald Trump. He did so using that phrase he said he stands for what I've always stood for. He stands for America. Erica I it is a racist dog whistle and certainly trump's advisors know that Steve Bannon does read history. And Steve. Bannon doesn't know this Steve. Bannon also resuscitated facilitated a phrase called economic nationalism which he talks about all the time and most people don't realize that economic nationalism was part of the America first platform in Nineteen Nineteen and nineteen twenty and it was to keep America out of the League of nations to keep it from signing the treaty of Versailles because Europe was a cabal of overlords who wanted to create a global economy and they were going to make America a vassal state. which should sound pretty familiar? And it's not only about the ways that has shaped American political debates but of course it sounds an awful lot like the way that people talk about Brexit and as we know Bannon has been closely involved Cambridge analytica which he was on the board of has been closely involved with both of these campaigns and and his idea of economic nationalism is a hundred year old America first agenda. He did not pluck that phrase out of the air. Stephen Miller who remains trump's senior senior advisor he's the author of the policy that separating immigrant families at the southern border. He was also clearly. The author of the speech that trump gave in the oval office when he argued for his wall so he Stephen Miller also knows this stuff and the other phrase that was really associated with America. I which which I spent a lot of time explaining in the book was one hundred percent American which was another code and Stephen Miller on his high school yearbook page that he was one hundred percent American. So these guys do know these codes and I don't know that Donald Trump understands all of this history and understands how all of it intersects but he knows that it all supports his basic world view which is a eugenicist assist world view and that is the one that he learned from his father who also knew that this stuff was America first and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he had grown up in the fifties hearing his father. Talk about America. I that wouldn't surprise me one little bit. So is the American dream dead and do we revive it by putting America first in my view is that we shouldn't try it's like saying. Can we resuscitate tate. Heil Hitler will you could. But why would you want to. I want to do the opposite which is to discredited with.