Re­veal­ing Trump’s char­ac­ter

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Wal­ter Ol­son, New Mar­ket

The Sun is right to la­bel Don­ald Trump “The lit­i­ga­tion can­di­date” (Oct. 25) and to sug­gest that his long record of fil­ing and threat­en­ing law­suits against those who crit­i­cize him or cross him in other ways is an im­por­tant as­pect of his pub­lic record. In fact, it pro­vides a vi­tal warn­ing as to how he might be­have if given the enor­mous pow­ers of the Amer­i­can pres­i­dency. The chief ex­ec­u­tive’s dis­cre­tion over the vast law en­force­ment and reg­u­la­tory ma­chin­ery of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment can be a fear­some in­stru­ment of open or covert re­tal­i­a­tion against his or her en­e­mies, real or per­ceived. Pres­i­dents of both par­ties have abused th­ese pow­ers in the past.

But The Sun is wrong to lead off its piece with “Rich peo­ple threaten law­suits. It’s what they do.” In fact, whether they en­ter pol­i­tics or not, most wealthy per­sons do not share Mr. Trump’s habit of us­ing law­suits as a tac­ti­cal weapon (and many who do pur­sue lit­i­ga­tion overzeal­ously are not rich). That is part of the char­ac­ter is­sue in this elec­tion.

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