Racist Billionaire Decides to Back Donald Trump. Sorry, Different Racist Billionaire
You might have thought that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would have already had the relatively small “racist billionaire” demographic locked down, but until recently, at least one of them was still on the Mexican-proof fence. This week, formerly anti-Trump TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts decided to support the real estate mogul, despite open hostility during the Republican primaries. From WSJ:
(I)n a stunning turnaround, Mr. Ricketts has now decided to endorse Mr. Trump, and plans to donate at least $1 million to help him win the presidency in November.
The founder of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. had donated millions of dollars to help Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s failed bid to defeat Mr. Trump at the start of the Republican primary. When Mr. Trump prevailed, Mr. Ricketts and his wife poured nearly $6 million into an anti-Trump super PAC that accused Mr. Trump in television advertisements of being a misogynist.
…The anti-Trump super PAC that Mr. Ricketts and his wife funded was behind a highly publicized set of campaign advertisements that featured women repeating the slurs with which Mr. Trump had referred to women, including “dog” and “fat pig.”
The advertisements were paid for by Our Principles PAC, which received an early $3 million donation from Marlene Ricketts, Mr. Ricketts’s wife. Joe and Marlene Ricketts later donated another $2 million to the anti-Trump group.
Ricketts’ conversion is mostly seen as noteworthy because he and Trump had some bad blood during the primaries, but political observers with even a fairly short memory will remember that Ricketts put together a racist plan of attack against President Obama in 2012 entitled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama” that included finding an “extremely literate conservative African-American” to attack Obama:
What, exactly, is “extreme literacy” supposed to be, a guy who snowboards while reading Dostoyevsky?
You might have thought that with Trump’s hammerlock on the racist, xenophobic base that he’d already have Ricketts in his corner, but one of the many overlooked aspects of this election has been just how Trump-y the Republican Party already was, and had been for forty years.
You might also think the media would expose Ricketts’ past, especially in light of Trump’s recent attempt to rewrite his own racist Birther history. Time will tell, but so far, it hasn’t merited a mention.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.