There are many who think Donald Trump is repulsive.  Others see him as charming.  An ancient proverb says: “Charm is deceitful.”

It was just recently announced that the court proceedings against Donald Trump and his now defunct Trump University will begin the opening day of the National Republican Convention slated to occur in Cleveland in July.

Students who enrolled in that Trump University scheme weren’t awarded diplomas at all.  Instead, they were bilked for thousands of dollars.  It was a scam that Donald Trump steadfastly defends as nothing more than a business endeavor.

The Indiana Primary will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd and there’s a lot being said about it.  Many of the pundits are saying the eyes of the nation are on the Hoosier state.  Conventional wisdom has it that if Donald Trump wins the Indiana Primary it’s probably a foregone conclusion that he will be the Republican nominee.  On the other hand, if Ted Cruz wins that May 3rd contest it’s assured Trump can’t clinch the nomination outright and voting at the convention will go to a second round or beyond.

Trump has made a lot of promises, but will he really keep them?

In 1993 he told local and state officials in Indiana he would bring a world-class casino and hotel to Gary, like he had to Atlantic City.  He also claimed he would renovate a 14-story Sheraton Hotel that closed in 1984, one that was deteriorating in the heart of downtown if he was given a casino license.  A former city attorney claimed Trump made that promise so many times “It was almost signed in blood.” Ironically, Trump never kept the promise.

Trump got the license and partnered with another businessman to develop an industrial site at Lake Michigan called Buffington Harbor where his riverboat casinos were docked.

Within months, the gaming commission threatened to pull the license and in a 1995 transcript Trump said: “I have been extremely and unfairly treated.”

Mr. Trump is still using those talking points on the campaign trail today.

The riverboat casino opened in June 1996.  But by 2004, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts Incorporated filed for chapter 11 Bankruptcy to restructure a $1.8 billion debt.

A Gary Mayor would eventually let Donald Trump off the hook by allowing him to rescind his offer and the site of that deteriorating hotel is nothing more than a vacant lot across from City Hall now.

It’s been interesting to watch the Trump and Cruz campaigns operate in Indiana before the primary.  Mr. Trump has flown in on his private jet twice to conduct events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  Those who want to see the candidate must go see him.  Once the event is over Trump boards the plane and flies back home.  In stark contrast, Ted Cruz has been canvassing Indiana to shake hands with voters in places like the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds, The Sisters Cafe in Indy, and the historical gym where the movie Hoosiers was filmed.

Mr. Trump is claiming the system is rigged and Ted Cruz is cheating, but one must understand the rules and how the system works.  However, Mr. Trump doesn’t seem all that interested in putting forth the strenuous work that it takes.

Until recently, Donald Trump didn’t have a presence in Indiana at all.  The same held true for many other states that he’s campaigned in. On the other hand, Ted Cruz has a far more superior ground game in place and has for almost a year in all states.

Donald Trump says he’s a conservative Republican, yet he acts more like a liberal Democrat. The most recent slam of an opponent came when he posted a picture of John Kasich eating.  Trump said his eating habits are disgusting and do you want a President who eats like this?

What’s the alternative?  To have someone in the Oval Office who shows a lack of respect repeatedly by not calling a competitor Senator, but “Lyin’ Ted” instead.  To have a President who thinks it’s okay for creepy grown men to go to the bathroom with little girls, or to have a leader who is pro-choice and wouldn’t ban any abortion procedure, or someone who claims illegals who have been here for 20 years or so need to stay.

Is Donald Trump running a scam?  The question remains.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at

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