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Donald Trump Nation, Trump GOP, Trump D.C.

February 25, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Politics

( It now looks as if Donald J. Trump is the overwhelming favorite to win the 2016 Republican nomination to be president of the United States.

And while I still think some GOP adults will step in to prevent the clownish racist huckster whose campaign stump speech consists of practically only two words, “so” and “amazing,” it may already be too late. I still don’t think The Donald can win the general election in November, and I believe that having him at the top of the ticket will also doom the Republicans to lose their majority in the Senate. We’ll see.

On Jan. 14, 1981, I took an iconic photograph of the immortal Count Basie performing with his orchestra inside the Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue. The District of Columbia government has foolishly ceded the authority to develop that site to the billionaire, and a huge “Trump” development sign sits in front of the building.

For a while, I thought my retirement future was going to be secure, donaldtrump-2016because I would show and sell that photograph to Mr. Deep Pockets himself. You see, the occasion was a Martin Luther King Jr. weekend concert as momentum was building all over the country for the enactment of legislation proclaiming a federal King Holiday.

The sold-out event was sponsored by WPFW 89.3FM – D.C.’s “Jazz and Justice” radio station – and it was billed as a “Royal Weekend,” in honor of The King and The Count. It was Basie’s last performance in D.C.

My mural-size photo is a classic. It captures a moment in time when Basie, winner of 17 Grammys, and two Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards was seated at the piano, his finger lifted as he conducted the band, audience members at the edge of their seats and the grand Post Office Pavilion lobby lit for the celebration. I just knew it would be perfect somewhere in the newly renovated luxury hotel complex.

But there is no way I would voluntarily even spend five minutes in the same room with that bombastic loudmouth who is quick to rhetorically flip his middle finger to everything I hold sacred, let alone offer to sell him something of mine that is valuable.

Months ago, a world-famous Latino restaurateur who had signed on to move into a prime space in the new location opted out, risking a breach-of-contract lawsuit rather than countenance doing business with The Donald.

My own 4-year-old granddaughter, when asked recently by her mother if she would like to go to New York City to visit family members there, replied: “Isn’t that where Donald Trump lives?” How could I act like I don’t have as much sense as a 4-year-old, even if it would mean the difference in a comfortable retirement? Oh, well, not me.

But the decision by the District government to give that historic property to that disgusting human being for development is par for the course. Just look at the obscene amounts of money the District has wasted on that foolish streetcar line on H Street.

There is another, equally humiliating surrender of the sovereignty of the 600,000 D.C. residents by elected officials to yet another bunch of billionaires that comes to my mind. That is the capitulation to the Walton family, which includes four of its members among the top 10 wealthiest Americans, allowing them tax breaks and prime real estate and the defeat of minimum wage legislation in order for the tycoons to build five Walmart stores in D.C., including two in the city’s poorest wards.

Well, three of the stores got built, but now the retail giant changed its mind, just as it announce closing hundreds of stores all over the country, scrapping plans to build in Wards 7 and 8, leaving D.C. officials once again holding the proverbial bag.

Together, observing Trump and the Waltons, I am left to conclude that billionaires are no more trustworthy or honorable than are ordinary people and certainly not worth compromising one’s principles in order curry their favor.

On the surface it may appear that This World and all that’s in it belong to the proverbial 1 percent of wealthiest persons, but at least I know there are some things their money cannot buy.

Columnist; Askia Muhammad

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