Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and CNN’s Anderson Cooper fell into a semantics battle over a presser Trump held Tuesday night, following the Michigan and Mississippi primaries, after Cooper held Trump to the fire over Trump steaks. The rest unraveled from there.
The rather disjointed presser Trump held Tuesday night seemed to be nothing more than an opportunity for him to display and hock any item he could to bat back at Mitt Romney’s recent scathing verbal assault against him where he called several of Trump’s business ventures “failed.” From Trump steaks, to Trump magazine, to water, to wine, Trump showcased the goods to suggest all is well in each and every Trump endeavor Romney sought to belittle, but Cooper wasn’t quite so easily convinced.
After Cooper inquired with a pointed question that the Trump steaks Trump displayed weren’t really Trump steaks, Trump said they absolutely were Trump steaks, explaining that he gets them from local suppliers all over the world.
Cooper then stated a local supplier had confirmed that the steaks on display were not Trump steaks but steaks bought from that supplier, but then that’s just what Trump said, too, isn’t it?
In one respect, the steaks are not Trump steaks because they came from that local supplier, but if the business of Trump steaks is to seek “quality” meat from local suppliers around the world for local markets and simply slap the Trump brand on them like a quality seal of approval to resell, then in that respect, Trump is also correct. Cooper implies dishonesty with his question, but if that is the model of business Trump is operating, it’s quite a common practice in the business world across all sorts of products. As far as Trump is concerned, he has a “tremendous steak business.”
After steaks, Cooper moved on to question the vitality of Trump magazine, to which Trump replied, “Just so you understand, I’ve had many magazines.”
The GOP presidential front-runner went on to say that he typically opens a magazine for a few years around a new business venture. Once that business is up and running smoothly on its own, he then shuts down the magazine as its purpose has been served and they don’t typically “make any money” in their own right.
Here, again, both Trump and Cooper may be correct. Cooper may be correct that Trump’s magazine is no more, since he claims to have had several he’s run for a few years here and there, and then shut down. And Trump may be correct if, like most of his ventures, each of those magazines simply bears the name “Trump.”
Cooper suggests with his question, again, that Trump is dancing around the truth to make himself sound as successful as possible while Trump doesn’t exactly lie about his magazine. More so, he promotes the positive aspects of it while ignoring the criticism, which he can in turn rationalize away because Trump magazine does exist, here and there, when it is needed to promote new business ventures, Trump claims.
And the fact that the legal paperwork behind each company may change over the years can also play into both Cooper and Trump’s opposed perspectives. Trump could very well think of those businesses as the same thing—just “offshoots,” as he calls them—even though the legal names, paperwork, etc., change as the companies modify over the years. On the other hand, if the legal paperwork for one company shows a company was dissolved, Cooper’s perspective is correct, even if that dissolved company immediately sprouted up with all the appropriate paperwork the very next day, and by Trump, no less.
With such a conundrum of semantics faced by voters, the tendency is to feel the compulsion to pick a side, pick a perspective, but like so many things in life, this debate between Donald Trump and Anderson Cooper isn’t an “either/or” situation. The truth is, voters need to acknowledge that both may be correct at the same time, even as they seem to contradict each other in perspective. How that is sorted out within the mind of each voter and builds upon that voter’s perspective of each candidate, even beyond Donald Trump, is a key component to getting Americans capable of critical thinking again. Armed with that ability, voters will be much better suited to selecting candidates who serve the people, rather than give them the best lip service.
Featured image by First Update via YouTube video screen capture.