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Stephen Colbert and Donald Trump's Soul

Submitted by Robin Messing on Mon, 11/02/2015 - 6:47am

Steven Colbert did a great thing.  That's not news.  Steven Colbert does a lot of great things.  But this may be one of the best things he has done.  He has challenged Donald Trump to give $1 million to the Harlem's Children Zone.  He has done it in a way that will make it hard for Trump to refuse.  After all, $1 million is chump change, or should I call it Trump change, for Donald Trump.




This is great, and I think Trump will accept Colbert's challenge and give a million dollars to needy children.   He'd have to be a pretty miserly scrooge not to.  And giving a million dollars will be cheap and good PR for his presidential campaign.

The only thing I can fault Colbert on is that he didn't ask enough.  Trump, with his vast wealth, could do more--so much more--for those in need. After all, he's worth $10 billion.  Colbert can get TheDonald to help those who are in even greater need than poor children in Harlem.  He can get Trump to save the lives of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing from the war that is tearing their country apart--and he can help Trump save his soul in the process.  All he needs to do is show Trump the Bible.

And how could Trump object?  He can't.  Not after revealing that the Bible is his favorite book.  It's even better, he said, than his own book, "The Art of the Deal".  So when Trump goes to sign the million dollar check to the Harlem Children's Zone, Colbert should look him in the eye and say


Mr. Trump, You said your favorite book is the Bible.  So what do you think of Mark 10:25Luke 18:25 and Matthew 19:24?  They are the verses that say it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.


After Trump gives his response, Colbert should follow up by asking


Mr. Trump. You claim that you are worth $10 billion.  In 2011, the Smoking Gun reviewed your donations over the previous 20 years and published an article calling you "the least charitable billionaire."  And in August 2015 the AP published an article entitled "There's something fishy about Donald Trump's charitable donations."   The AP story states that you claim to have given $102 million over the last five years, but the rest of the story calls this claim into question.  How much have you PERSONALLY given to charities that help those who are desperate and poor?  Can you give us a breakdown of what organizations received your charitable donations and how much you gave them?  


As you know, there is a desperate refugee crisis arising from those fleeing the fighting in Syria.  Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy an island from Italy or Greece which he plans to use to house hundreds of thousands of refugees.  He is worth only $2.9 billion. You are worth three times as much as him. Will you match his generosity?

If you don't want to spend a lot of money helping refugees, then Bill and Melinda Gates  and Warren Buffett have organized a group of over 100 billionaires who have pledged to give at least half their wealth to charity.  Will you join Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Bloomberg and many others in the Giving Pledge?


These questions will put Trump in an awkward position.  He will have one of two options if he can't PROVE that he has already given generously relative to his net worth to charities that help the poor.  He can either pledge to give vast sums of money to help the poor or he can refuse.  If he refuses then he will look like a cheapskate.  Yes, a man of Trump's wealth will still be perceived as a charity cheapskate, even after giving a million dollars to charity.  And that is not a particularly endearing quality for a presidential candidate.  Or he can accept this Biblical challenge, in which case he will do his soul and the world a lot of good.

Update 11/2/15: I suggested Trump give away 50% of his wealth in the Giving Pledge.  If he gave away 99% of his wealth he would still be worth $100 million.  If you and your family can't live a very good life on $100 million then you just aren't trying.