In January IJ Review ran a portion of Donald Trump’s 1990 (posted below) interview with Playboy Magazine which is posted at Corporate Culture. The interview give an insight into Trump’s vision of power and strength. The interviewer had asked Trump about his trip to the USSR to negotiate a real estate deal. After discussing the deal, Mr. Trumped was asked about his overall feelings about the USSR. He expressed his feelings that Gorbachev didn’t have a “firm enough hand,” as opposed to China who was “vicious” and ‘horrible” at Tiananmen Square “but they put it down with strength.” That shows you the power of strength.”
Is that what Trump calls strong leadership?
The “weakness” Trump was talking about was called “perestroika” and “glastnost” in the USSR. Gorbachev was trying to overhaul the communist party in the USSR, and increase freedom by easing the strict social controls imposed by the government/party. Gorbachev gave greater freedom to the media and religious groups and allowed citizens to express divergent views. Two years before Trump gave his interview, Gorbachev had expanded his reforms to include democratization, moving the USSR toward an elected form of government.
So is Trump calling the USSR greater freedom a weakness? Perhaps, because he said Friday that if elected president he will change the nation’s libel laws in order to make it easier to sue news organizations. Presently there are no federal libel laws only state laws. And in a 1964 Supreme Court decision (New York Times v. Sullivan) the court ruled that public individuals who wish to sue media companies for libel, must first prove that the news organization knowingly published false information with malicious intent.
Does Trump want to emulate China and put the media “down with strength.” A very frightening concept.
Read the interview excerpts below
What were your other impressions of the Soviet Union?
I was very unimpressed. Their system is a disaster. What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.
You mean firm hand as in China?
When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world–
Why is Gorbachev not firm enough?
I predict he will be overthrown, because he has shown extraordinary weakness. Suddenly, for the first time ever, there are coal-miner strikes and brush fires everywhere- which will all ultimately lead to a violent revolution. Yet Gorbachev is getting credit for being a wonderful leader and we should continue giving him credit, because he’s destroying the Soviet Union. But his giving an inch is going to end up costing him and all his friends what they most cherish-their jobs.