One summer’s day when I was in my early teens, I was walking home from swimming practice and decided I might stop by the house of the most beautiful girl my age that I had ever seen, which was about halfway between the pool and where I grew up. Told she was at the house next door; I went to find her and was confronted with something I had never experienced. She was being playfully teased by two older men and, when I suggested to her that we might share a Coca-Cola, one of them homed in on me. “Well, what are all the losers up to today … are you still longing for the days of the Civil War? Do you miss your slaves? Are you so against everything you’ll never hear a different view?”
These guys were half-snookered, heavy into the white “whine.” I’ve since learned to walk away from such trash, but I didn’t. And they didn’t stop. My family then owned the conservative News-Free Press, and, at the time, we were a distant second to the liberal Chattanooga Times. Well, they took turns slapping our newspaper, a chain of grocery stories we also owned at the time, and trying to one-up the other in insulting me, a 14-year-old kid. I was shocked to find some of the worst bottom-dwellers in life will curse and malign another simply because of their last name.
I was drawn by a letter the other day supposedly written by a guy with a similar “last name” problem – Eric Trump. Eric is the third child and second son of President Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana. What the national media has done to Eric is inexcusable. He raised $16 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through a charity that bears his name. The media got roiled up in the ‘what-and-wherefores’ but I don’t care what course he sailed to bring the ship into port. If it was done legally, and some sick kid is alive today because of the Eric Trump Foundation Surgery & ICU Center in St. Jude’s $198 million tower that opened in 2015, then I have a real problem with some writer from the liberal elite corps who faults a man’s name connection as opposed to his impact on kids with catastrophic diseases.
Are you kidding me? When childrens’ lives and their futures and their dreams are sullied by the political subterfuge over a man’s last name, don’t feel sorry for the sick kids, cast your prayers and compassion upon a sick horde of “journalists” whose guise upon the gullible is frightening.
Of the two who used my family to ridicule me as an early teenager, history shows both accomplished amazing little in their self-centered lives. They were bums and will always be bums, dependent on which philanthropy victim is telling which story, and it is evident some in the arts are also in the con, expert in the waste of other people’s money during their poorly served time on earth, started on members of my family: my grandfather, my uncles, and my dad.
They delighted in knocking Erlanger Hospital – where my grandfather never took a dime for his service as the Chairman of the Board for 38 years. Then they said what a goof Roy McDonald had been for traveling to Cuba in the mid-1930s and paying his own money to buy the charter for Blue Cross-Blue Shield. He was the chairman of the Board at BC-BS for 42 years and was never paid as much as a flat penny for his endless contributions to people whose faces he would never see. His Erlanger experience had assured him that long after he was dead and gone, there would come a day when a working man wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of his own baby being born, much less the maladies of health care for their families, their neighbors, their hospitals, and their communities.
Oh, yes, he was right. He used to agonize over those most unfortunate, regardless of the circumstances or the choices of their inability to pay. He always felt the biggest society, or the smallest community should be judged and weighed by its commitment “to the least of them.”
Those guys really got me to me that day, as I learned not a one of us can pick our families or our relatives. In the end I’ve gotten even, I suppose; one was the director of the Hunter Museum of Art and the other the head of the Chattanooga Symphony. I’ve never found a good reason to ever darken the door of either during my life, nor found plausible cause for ‘The Hunter’ or the symphony to even exist. I believe the worst curse any endeavor, a cause, or a self-aggrandized gadfly can suffer is to be totally ignored. Believe me, I’m doing my part.
All my life I’ve been told that without my families’ stature I wouldn’t be able to do many of the things that I have, that I’ve been reminded if I didn’t have the vehicle to write I would be homeless. I usually agree with my detractors but love it when I can remind them “The reason my family hasn’t fired me because they would still have to feed me … and then sit beside me in a church!”
So, you see? I have a curious yet understandable bond with a son of the President of the United States. Here is his letter that I really appreciate.
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A LETTER FROM ERIC TRUMP, THE SON OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
I am keenly aware of how fortunate I was to be born the son of one of the wealthiest and most well-known businessmen in America. I am also the first to admit that things are different when you grow up as a Trump.
Anyone who has paid attention to the news, especially since my father announced his run for the White House, knows the media has attacked every member of my family viciously and given us anything but kind treatment. The adult “children” in our family are certainly not off limits. We did after all fight alongside our father in his quest to win the presidency. We stood on that stage and campaigned across the nation and are certainly willing to take the punches where they are warranted and deserved. The double standard, however, is nothing short of glaring.
It would be a waste of print to recount every smear, hit piece, and invasion of privacy my family has faced. But allow me to sum it up by highlighting an article published by Forbes and reposted in virtually every major news outlet, attacking a charity that I started when I was 20 years old. In less than 10 years, I raised more than $20 million for terminally ill children at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I maintained just over a 9 percent cumulative expense ratio, one of the lowest expense ratios of any charity in the nation and funded the construction of one of the most cutting-edge intensive care units and surgery centers dedicated to children.
The Eric Trump Foundation intensive care unit treats some of the sickest children in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it gives their parents and families hope. Yet I was viciously chastised by the Democrats and the media who relentlessly tried to manufacture stories about me, my mission, and my intentions with the charity. At the same time, the Clinton Foundation controversy was in full swing, and the media knew that it could use me as their punching bag to distract from one of their own.
One might say it comes with the territory, and that is absolutely true. As a Trump, I am held to an incredibly high public standard and I have lived an exceptionally clean and honest life with that in mind. But can you imagine, if they were willing to try and destroy a “kid” who dedicated his life to pediatric cancer and philanthropy, what the media would say if I had secured a $50,000 a month job on the board of a Ukrainian company, with no discernable duties, in an industry I knew nothing about, in a country where I did not even speak the language? What if my father on live camera threatened to cut off military aid to that country unless the prosecutor investigating that company for corruption was fired?
To make the hypothetical picture sufficiently vivid, also imagine that I had previously been kicked out of the United States Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine or was given a contract potentially worth $1.5 billion by China weeks after traveling to Beijing with my father aboard Air Force Two. I worked hard to raise millions of dollars for dying children, yet crickets from the media and weekly parodies on Saturday Night Live.
For the record, I do not know exactly what Hunter Biden did or did not do in Ukraine, in China, in his personal life, or elsewhere. There are plenty of other controversies that measure below the dignity and character of this article to regurgitate. I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt, since that courtesy is so seldom bestowed upon me and my family.
One thing, however, is absolutely certain. If the situation were reversed, I would have been front page news in every newspaper, online publication, and cable news outlet for the rest of my life. Reporters would be camping outside of my door, my family would have been picked apart, my name would have been smeared in the news every single week, and my father arguably would not even be president of the United States today.
I do not always agree with Bill Maher, but the late-night host was honest enough to admit that if my brother or I had done what Hunter Biden did, “it would be all Rachel Maddow was talking about.” I do not know what he learned while growing up as a Biden, but if what we know about his life indicates anything, it is that there are different rules if you are the son of a powerful Democratic politician. Money grows on trees, there are no rules, and the press will always cover for you if it benefits the political left.
To quote the great Marcus Aurelius from The Gladiator, “Your faults as a son are my failures as a father.” I owe all of my work ethic, character, integrity, and moral fiber to my father. Hunter Biden can say the same.
/S/ Eric Trump
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You want to know what is really special; The two jerks that beat me up before I ever had a driver’s license would be bringing great personal angst upon themselves, subconsciously causing emotional damage from within and slobbering like Pavloff’s dogs over every new sliver of slander the riffraff leftists can dream up or make up about the president. Some wonder where the poor guy ever sleeps, his time torn between his seemingly scientific arrangement of global warming, manipulating the Euro bit, increasing the number of unexplainable UFO’s over the Arizona desert, signing away billions in benefits for illegals – this while true Americans are without health insurance we provide to non-citizens, and, yes, buffing each of Melania’s biggest toenails to a wicked semi-gloss. That, dear reader, is so special it squeals.