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My Take: Trump a litmus test for GOP
April 25th, 2011
09:10 AM ET

My Take: Trump a litmus test for GOP

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I don’t really care whether Donald Trump is running for president. But I am dying to see how Republicans respond to him.

Today’s Republican Party draws on a wide variety of strands, and those strands pull it in different directions. The party’s libertarian roots are visible in Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and other Ayn Rand aficionados who have classically favored maximizing individual freedom by cutting taxes and minimizing government.

Its roots in social conservatism and the Religious Right are visible in Sarah Palin and George W. Bush and their opposition to abortion rights.

These two strands conflict, of course, on questions of gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization - whenever the individual liberty so prized by libertarians bumps up against the efforts favored by social conservatives to Christianize the nation.

Although libertarians seem to be resurgent inside the party (though perhaps only on economic questions), social conservatives have been ascendant for the last generation. Do Republicans want government to stay out of wallets? Yes. Do they want government to stay out of our bedrooms? Not so much.

Another Republican strand, of course, is populism. As its name implies, this "-ism" always involves an appeal to the innate wisdom of the “people” over the book learning of “elites.” But it has often carried class antagonisms as well, championing the interests of working-class Americans over those of the “well bred, well fed, well read and well wed.”

The notion that “The Donald” can appeal to Joe Sixpack seems absurd on its face. But then again so does the notion that Republicans can appeal to ordinary Americans by drawing a line in the sand against allowing today’s marginal tax rate for couples earning over $250,000 a year to return to 36% (from the current 33%).

But Trump's current appeal - a recent CNN poll showed him tied with Mike Huckabee at the top of the GOP heap - does seem rooted more in populism than in social conservatism or libertarianism. Why else would he keep returning to the "birther" question, and to quick-and-easy solutions to our economic problems, such as slapping a 25% tariff on Chinese goods or seizing Iraqi oil?

One of the great ironies of contemporary American politics is that Republicans are now the populist party. Not since the 1930s and Herbert Hoover has any major party been so committed to confusing the business of America with the business of business, but that party (the GOP) is successfully tagging President Obama and the Democrats with engaging in "class warfare." We seem to have forgotten that the class rage underlying populism is supposed to be of the poor against the rich.

A Trump run to the top of the GOP ticket would underscore this irony. It would be the icing on the cake, the fois gras on the steak, the penthouse in Trump Tower. By any metaphor, however, this is a defining moment for the GOP.

The party line on the Tea Party (and not just in Republican circles) has until recently been that its complaints are economic, not social. But these Tea Party partisans look a lot like like the old Religious Right.

Will they be able to embrace a man who has only recently found the true religion they favor?  Will they be able to overlook his prior support for abortion rights and civil unions for gay couples?

In a recent interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump said, “I believe in God. I am Christian. I think the Bible is certainly, it is THE book. It is the thing." In response to suspicions that he is an Easter and Christmas Christian at best, he also called himself a "Sunday church person."

Will that be convincing to social conservatives and Tea Party activists?  Or will it fall as flat as John Kerry's descriptions of his acolyte service as a teenager?

There are a heavenly host of questions about Donald Trump that we will get to ask and answer if he decides to run for president. But these are the questions his current flirtation raises for me: Is today's Republican Party about jobs or bedroom issues? Is it focused like a laser beam on reducing taxing and spending? Or is it preoccupied with reducing abortions and same-sex marriages?

Thanks to Donald Trump, it looks like we are going to find out.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Abortion • Christianity • Opinion • Politics • Tea Party • United States

soundoff (362 Responses)
  1. GOP hypocrisy

    What we are in fact witnessing is near-collapse of the Republican Party. They had their dead cat bounce moment in 2011 when ape-shyte Goebbels propaganda and economically distressed populace made their day. This time around, after assembling a lineup of what appears to be a group of clowns rejected from Barnum and Bailey, GOP and Tea-party will be stepping on each others toes, foaming at the mouth about a birth certificate. Because there is nothing else that matters, and the country does not require any intelligent solutions whatsoever. Right?

    April 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  2. clarke

    Gop only issue is get the current President out of their White House.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  3. Big~Smelly~Tuna

    Fear and hatred ~ for sale by the GOP. This is what they sell and the usofhayers continually buy it. Sadly, Obama will lose and some one of these clowns will be president. Another 8 years of a republican should put the finishing touches on the country.
    Then the USA will out of even the top 20 nations.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  4. Johan

    The fact that a man such as Trump is even in the running makes a mockery of the US political system. How is it that the most successful country in the world appears incapable of producing good political leaders, why is it that populism and media time have a greater influence on the US political landscape than policies and integrity and why is it that any political organisation in a democracy can get away with burden the many with the increasing wealth of the poor. Why, in a country of such intellect and entrepreneurial spirit, are there no competent secular men and women running for office who care more about the future of this great country than competing claims of invisible support?

    April 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      I don't think he is technically running. Yet. or whatever.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  5. Fredrick2

    My wife and I have done everything our parents have taught us was right. We went to college, got even higher education, jobs, saved, and NEVER lived above our means. We never once have defaulted on a loan, taken out multiple high interest loans, or filed for bankruptcy. We have lived our lives honestly and above and beyond reproach in every way. Right now, we don't see ourselves getting ahead. We are putting our extra $ into college funds for our kids, our house needs upgrades, we are driving older cars, but they are bought and paid for. When we see someone like Donald Trump living high off the hog and boasting about the size of his wallet, after so many financial/personal failures it's disheartening. I refuse to reward him in anyway. I honestly find him disgusting and like some other people consider the "birther" issue to be closet racism.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Agree. This is because American Capitalism "birthed" moneyed theocracy. That is exactly what's killing America – Wall Street fraudsters, sold out politicos, ignorant populace.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  6. Sam

    Trump keeps coming back to the birther issue because he doesn't have much of anything else to offer. Every one of his interviews ends up with the generic statement – you will find out when I announce etc...Since I am not voting for him anyways, it really doesn't matter what it is he is going to reveal.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  7. Dan

    The non stop Trump-mania of CNN almost has me wishing for a good old fashioned Palin story...

    April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Peter Delisser

    Its almost funny, the only thing Trump can pull on Obama, is to question his birthright. As little children, the first thing we learn as we grow, is who we are, and it begins with birth. Its absurd that trump is riding on this. His wife speak with a foreign accent & was born in Eastern Europe, imagine if she became first lady??..Wouldnt the birther issue also be a problem? Or, is it ok since shes caucasion? Trumps issues seem to be bordering on racism. No one questioned Bush or Past Presidents birthright. But Obama is black, and its an issue. I dont blame Jerry Seinfield for blocking the recent Trump charity in protest, who want to be alligned with all this rubbish in 21st Century?? Trump is way too arrogant & angry & war like to be even nominated as GOP candidate. Americans arent dumb.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  9. Celeste

    Its a shame Trump has gone into this 'birther' tirade nonsense. He has some very good economic ideas, especially those concerned with getting away from foreign oil and bringing jobs back to the US. From what he said a few months back regarding China, free-trade, and our wards, I would have seriously considered voting for him.

    However, lately his top priority is forcing Obama to produce a birth certificate. This is tired and old. I'm a Republican, I oppose Obama, however, I don't doubt that he is a US citizen. It is ridiculous to think he was born in Kenya.

    Also, as a republican I can say I am damn tired of these one trick pony candidates. (IE the Palins, Bachmans, and now Trump).

    Obama has been a terrible leader, why can't we have a GOP candidate that focuses on that and focuses on the issues at hand? There are plenty of legitimate issues that need attention. It is an insult to the GOP voters that Trump and friends keep pushing this birther issue when there are many more urgent issues at hand.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Celeste, and this pattern does not tell you anything? Maybe Republican ideology is bankrupt many times over, like Donald Trump?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • BostonBill

      While I don't agree with you regarding President Obama being a terrible. As I have mentioned the economy is slowly (painfully) turning around. I'm really upset about this countries involvement in Libya. However It's refreshing to see a posting that cuts through all the garbage and sees more importance in addressing real issues. I'm clearly a Liberal. That dose not in any way mean I'm less of an American. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss real issues . Most of us Liberals are not interested in changing your mind. We're just interested in trying to understand another point of view.I suspect the answers are somewhere in the middle

      April 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Musomesa

      Would it not be swell if Trump's running mate was called Bertha!

      April 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  10. DDSilks

    How is it that Mr. Trump lashes out at people like Rosie O'Donnell, Jerry Seinfeld, and Robert DeNiro? And he really stoops to NEW LOWS with his crass and rude remarks. Is it that he is trying to keep his name in front of everybody> Like if some people don;t read the political nws iems, they will read the entertainment section, so he will be everywhere?
    Donald Trump has a lot of money, but no class whatsoever. And what this country DOESN'T need right now (or at any time) is a loudmouth SOB who will tick everyone off. The remarks he makes about other countries will surely land us in WW3!!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Donal Trump is a troll. Don't feed the troll and he will go away.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  11. Mark

    Someone reads the Cliff Notes version of the Bible and suddenly they're embraced by the Religious Right...LOL

    April 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Because all that matters to these ignoramuses is appearance. As long as you are white and say the same shyte they like to hear, you are in the club. It really simple.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  12. BlackPanther's2020

    GOP=GREED OVER PEOPLE........AND THAT SAYS IT ALL ,

    April 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  13. Fredrick2

    The Republicans would have to be really stupid to link arms with the likes of Donald They need to distance themselves as far as they can, and fast. Everything he is really about, most Americans are not interested in. The extreme materialism of the Reagan Era is out and acceptance of all people is in, regardless of whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      They did not get yet that Trump must be a Democratic agent. These people are sloooooow on up and up.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  14. PSAztec

    Why is it that if a person disagrees with President Obama is it racism? I disagreed with President Clinton frequently and President GWB on occassion. Isn't that a racist issue? I mean, they are from the south and I am not. A person can disagree with the President and it has nothing to do with racism.

    In fact, the most racist people are the ones on the left. All they see people is through the lens of their color. The left also believes that any intereaction or criticismm of a person of a color is racist. It is just that, criticism. This whole Cam Newton issue being raised by Warren Moon. Did WM not see the criticism of Tim Tebow the year before? Nope, just because Cam is black, it must be racist. That is just plain stupid.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      I disagree w Obama all the time and I do not think I am racist. Why do you?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Um

      Perhaps because he read the article.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • kittyo5455

      some ridiculous percentage, in the 40's range, of republicans from the south still believe interracial marriage should be illegal. hmmmm, yeah.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • BostonBill

      I voted for President Obama and I will vote for him again unless somebody surfaces that impresses me. So far that's not the case. I often disagree with his policies. I just don't agree that he is less than honest. Mistaken at times but not dishonest. I don't believe he's part of a big conspiracy. I do believe that many of peoples accusations are based in innate racism. I honestly don't think he's the answer to everything. I do believe he's a vast improvement over the last administration. I do believe that things are slowly turning around. I would ask you to look around and understand that race has played a major roll in people's reaction to him.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Same here, Boston Bill

      April 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Musomesa

      You are always branded by the company you keep. When the powers that be in the GOP and the Tea Party decided that the racists were welcome (and I will rush to say not all since some like McCain clearly found the signs and crazy talk discomforting) it tarred the movement. Some courageous Tea Partiers did try to chase those who had a racist agenda off but the leaders (DeMint, Palin, Bachman - you name your favorite one) have never been on record to discourage it. The fools on the board who post racist comments only reinforce the association of Tea/GOP with racism.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  15. jrj2084

    The Tea Party and Trump are precisely what we need right now. The spinless, compromising, career politician RINO's need to go. Trump is telling it like it is and he's not afraid to offend anybody. We need that. We don't need the Karl Roves and the other spineless idiots anymore. Get rid of them. They are the problem, Trump and the Tea party are the solution.

    April 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      yes, the over the hill ignoramuses and 5 time bankrupt panderer is exactly what "you" people need right now!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Brian

      How is Trump a Republican? He doesn't have the family values. He doesn't have any government experience. He was born in to money and lost it all, twice. He isn't seriously even running, he is just generating publicity for himself. Yet people like you are dumb enough to want him as POTUS? Wow.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Welcome to Reality

      jrj is spot on. This is why the independents and conservatives are taking a serious look at Trump. He could care less if he offends you, and neither party is off the table. He goes off on Obama and in the next sentence he'll go off on Rove. This is great! We need him to go against Obama because he will rip Obama to shreds in any debate. Instead of staying politically correct, worrying that he may offend someone someplace (like the career politicians) he'll give you the answer everyone is thinking. I love it!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Hey, alternate reality, you need to watch Jersey shore, they will all seem like fine candidates to someone as witless as yourself.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Mark

      Unfortunately Trump and the Tea Party exist in a vaccuum, outside of the real world. Their ideologies are outside of the mainstream and would do little to help foreign relations.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

      They ARE the solution...

      To a guaranteed second term for this President.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • squealy

      O, Puhleeze! Do you guys REALLY think Donald Trump, DONALD TRUMP! is the best person to be our next President of the US? Yes, right now we are in a fiscal crisis. But, just because he has made (and don't forget – lost) a lot of money over the years doesn't make him prez material. There is a lot more to being POTUS than handling finances. What does Trump know of foreign affairs? The military? Environmental issues? Healthcare? Nothing. If Trump becomes POTUS, it will become 100% clear to me what the whole "the world will end in 2012" bruhaha has been about.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • BostonBill

      He has the moral fiber of a rutting pig. He's a liar and a self confessed swindler. He is about making money at any cost without regard for the human cost. He states he wants to be President because he" likes to win." I don't think he means that to benefit the middle class. He has shown nothing regarding the question of President Obama's birth place but he implies he's got something. Well where is it. I'm betting he's got nothing. The man has no scruples and I believe he could detroy this country faster then any economic crisis.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  16. DanR

    Well, I think my grandson, 11 years old can be a better President, anyone, anyone , Democrat or Republican can beat up this "waste of time" and unqualified man or this position .
    He promise us a CHANGe, and He war right, , worst President ever, worst than Carter.
    He doesn't have a common sense and to be decent and accept that he is a faillure

    April 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Brian

      Based on what? He is in no way worse than Bush. Probably better than the majority of Presidents we have had so far. Just because the biased crap you listen to says he is the worst, doesn't mean it is reality. Just means you are gullible and believe people who obviously lie to you.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Welcome to Reality

      Brian, I really don't have time to go into it all, but he is among the bottom 10 Presidents. Not the worst – but down their with them. You really don't get it if you cannot see his lack of results. Everything he passes takes effect AFTER he leaves office (hopefully soon). You really think it won't change in our political climate? Again, open your eyes and really dig into the details of what has happened the past 2 years. I actually didn't think he wanted to run again he was so terrible. It seems like he can't do anything but campaign for office, there's no leadership there at all. Just 'reactionary' politics...

      April 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      What happened in the last two years was Republicans going ape-shyte Tealiban, blocking Congress and flooding TV with lies, smear and propaganda. But you do seem to like the taste of that koolaid. Did you bring the cups, or will you lap it up from the bowl?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • J Rod

      Dan, Im not going to assume that your mother and father were brothers and sisters, nor will I assume that you are on heavy meds but please oh please tell me why do people like you come to these false conclusions when, if you'd just use your mind and eyes, America is showing the most progress/promise she's shown in YEARS?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • kittyo5455

      @welcome to reality. exactly what criteria do you use to rank presidents?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

      maybe you don't find the WSJ, Times, and Sienna poll of value. You're right, I bet you are far more educated. If we were to rank human intelligence, you'd be right up there with the levels that they ranked your buddy Bush!! IN THE RED.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • George Guadiane Austerlitz, NY

      While you're grandson might be smart in your eyes, being smart enough to impress you can't be that difficult.
      I'll bet that your sense of intellect is directly connected to your sense of color.
      If ignorance is Bliss, you must be in a constant (and unexplainable) state of euphoria.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Musomesa

      Its Ok, @DanR. Ask any teacher - every parent thinks their kid is gifted. Your 11 year old will be less genius when the hormones kick in.

      April 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  17. Jeff

    GrogInOhio
    "Why else would he keep returning to the "birther" question..."

    Here is the author's misconception. The "birthers" are merely this year's version of the Birchers and KKK. It's rooted in the assumption that a black man with a funny name can't possibly be president because he can't possibly be American. It's thinly veiled racism.

    Ask yourself why he hasnt released anything and maybe, just maybe you will get a clue. Please answer why he wont release any of these..

    has refused to release his Punahou school records, Occidental College records,
    Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records,
    Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago,
    passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator,
    Illinois State Bar Association records, baptism records and his adoption
    records.

    There you go bottom feeding Dem.. This is why.. plus he wasted 2 years F'ing around with healthcare instead of addressing the housing issue and economy.. Obama is a racist and anyone supporting him is a racist or white trash.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Who even cares about all of that junk except a handfull of loonies like yourself? Jump off a roof of a tall building, do us all a favor. Thanks!

      April 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Welcome to Reality

      wow, at least someone gets it. Maybe next time CNN should have Jeff write their articles for them...

      April 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Chas in Iowa

      Maybe because he is not required to release all those personal records.
      We played the birth certificate game and it didn'y work out for the GOP so now you need his lifelong records for what?
      I'd tell you to take a flying leap as well. You GOP bunch are good for saying you want privacy and small governement until it comes to peeking into someones records or where they sleep at night.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Housing is dead, and the economy is on life support, thanks to Bush and Co. How did that deregulation work for ya?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • J Rod

      Jeff, are you high? 99.9% percent of what he NEEDED to validate to become the President HAS BEEN VALIDATED by powers HIGHER THAN your low life self. The other .1% is as relevant to him being President as is knowing the length of YOUR third toe. Grow up, get a clue and focus. Are country is in real trouble and people like you ARE NOT HELPING AT ALL!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • BlackPanther's2020

      @Jeff from what I understand , this article is about Trump not Obama , are you mad at Obama because his IQ level is far beyond yours in comparison , yet if he were a white potus in office i'm sure you wouldn't have a problem with it , even if he started a war with China ..............

      April 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Jeff is not high. Quite the opposite, Jeff is very low on brain cell count.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Joe Gerken

      wow!! hate much???

      April 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • squealy

      You want him to strip and pose for a naked pic for you, too? Sheesh!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • GM in Alabama

      Are you serious? Many of the items you state are of public record...articles, law board records, IL state records. And the others really will not prove anything about where he was born. Furthermore, to get to this point in his life, his birth certificate has been seen by many people in authority to even be able to apply for many of the items on your list, including a passport. Do you really believe that this man's election to this office was so pre-conceived or ordained as to have been initiated even before his birth. Don't you think those in control would have picked someone different in order to "control" this country? Anyone else would have had a much easier time than this man. Just think about it. Does it really make any sense at all? I fear you are unable to make any logical or rational conclusions on this matter. I also fear that you are one of those who are absolutely opposed to the education that our "elitist" president has obtained. Let us as a country remain so opposed to education and see how much of our country we will own in the future. We will all be subjects of the great "PRC".

      April 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  18. 2011judgment

    Donald Trump would make a far better president than Barack H. Obama. To continue to support someone who has caused all Americans to pay far more for their substance to exist, proves that you are either a weathy elitist Liberal, or someone so decieved, so incompetent, so perverted that you don't care about what is coming down the road,

    April 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      so let me guess, in your case, it's the incompetent ignoramus?

      April 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Brian

      You seriously think a guy who can bankrupt a casino should be in charge of the U.S.? No wonder you guys elected Bush. You have extremely poor decision making skills.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Mike

      How has he caused us to pay more when he has lowered taxes and continued the Bush Tax cuts? I guess I am just a Liberal elitist or whatever other name or label you want to pin on someone who doesn't agree with your thinking.

      April 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Why would you even discuss anything with someone whose nickname is "2011 judgment"?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Welcome to Reality

      Exactly. Although, the typical uneducated CNN viewer will most likely flame you, then return to watching their favorite reality TV show lineup (all the while complaining about how hard they have it in life, then ask for more food stamps because they are clearly not obese enough already!)

      April 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • GMB

      2011judgement: you are confused, taxes have gone down under Obama. You have the right to your own opinion, you do not have the right to your own facts.... GMB

      April 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • twalk

      Trump would make a better President than GWB as well.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Joe Gerken

      Congratulations – this entry wins the award for dumbest posting of 2011. Whatever else you might think about President O'Bama, inflation has been running at under 2%. Duh.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • kittyo5455

      @welcome to reality. how ignorant of you. let me guess, your reality has never been in a poor neighborhood, in a school system that keeps shutting down schools and laying off teachers. you know, if people like you would take a step back and realize until everyone has the same oppurtunities as you, you cant expect them to have the same success as you. and to tell yourself this is america, land full of oppurtunities, is a joke, and just another lie conservative republicans want stupid americans to believe. sure, abusing the system is wrong, but until you can find away to prevent people from abusing the system, you cant deny people who actually need the help, the help.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Please people, 2011 judgment is waiting for the judgement day. The alternate reality one is a troll. Don't feed them.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • VeryLiberal

      Where were you during the 8 years under G.W.Bush and the lowest time of the history the U.S.America ? Were you not born yet?

      April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      He was waiting for the judgement day, can't you tell? I am not sure if it was the Second Coming or the Skynet becoming self-aware...

      April 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  19. GrogInOhio

    "Why else would he keep returning to the "birther" question..."

    Here is the author's misconception. The "birthers" are merely this year's version of the Birchers and KKK. It's rooted in the assumption that a black man with a funny name can't possibly be president because he can't possibly be American. It's thinly veiled racism. Period. Trump's flirtation with the bigots tells us far more about him than we wanted to know.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • GOP hypocrisy

      Exactly

      April 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Welcome to Reality

      Ah yes, the race card! The only reliable talking point from a die hard democrat. I would remind you that this is 2011, not 1960 – but then, you would probably call me a racist using your favorite talking point. Ah heck, I'm sure you'll be doing that anyway. Silly democrat!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Chas in Iowa

      Very well stated.
      It's time to label a bigot a bigot.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • kittyo5455

      are you trying to say that since its not the 1960s racism doesnt exist? silly republican!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • momo

      @Welcome to Reality

      aaahhh......so t s 1960 and racsm is over?? LMAO, typical.

      you should read all the racst comments posted on the forums anytme there is a crime commited by blacks, hispanics or any muslims. yet when the criminal is white nothing.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Ranterdon

      Utter nonsense...In the US ANYONE can become president...Obama is proof of that...Why don't you liberals tell us what Obama has done right instead of what Trump or anyone else will supposedly do wrong...

      Oh yeah and the Dem talking point of there is no credible Republican candidate is absurd...they ALL are better than Obama..2012 won't come soon enough.

      April 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  20. Tony

    I'm thinking that the Democrats are not engaging in this contest. They could put Charlie Sheen against Trump, Lindsay Lohan against Michelle Bachman and Paris Hilton against Sarah Palin. Clear the decks for the upcoming.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.