Rotary and a candidate named Trump

by John Borst, Past President Rotary Club of Dryden,

editor’s note: this is a piece of fiction. It is an imaginary story of what might happen if   Donald J Trump were a candidate for a Rotary Club. When Trump became the official Republican candidate this post was made “private”. Now that the election is over and the results in the question raised by this story is still valid, so the post has been made public once again.

The membership committee of the Rotary Club of Usaa, New York has just convened their monthly meeting and is about to consider an application for membership of a rather famous but controversial businessman named Donald J. Trump.

“Rtn. Henry has proposed Donald J. Trump for club membership. I think it is part of his local campaign to have Donald be president in 2016 and I’m afraid he may be doing it to give him more credibility with electors,” membership chair Rtn. Willie says in his opening comment.

“Well, I think Trump’s wanting to be our president should have nothing to do with how we judge him as a candidate to be a Rotarian,” replies Rtn. Marge.

Usaa’s fictional membership committee

That seems like a pretty tough assignment Marge,” Willie responds, “After all his behavior on the campaign trail can’t really be separated from what are some pretty serious flaws in his personality, can they?”

“Like what do you mean by ‘his personality’?” the third member of the committee Rtn. Bill asks.

“Personality, character, whatever term you wish to use, I simply do not think he passes my test for the kind of person I want in our club”, chair Willie intones, then continues, “I want a person who is confident, but polite, who respects others no matter want their color, sex, nationality or whatever. Trump just doesn’t do that. He’s made racist comments, comments that disparage women; he wants to send over 11 million Mexicans back to Mexico….you any idea what that is going to do to the families when the wife and children are born here; that is not the Rotarian way.”

“You’re sounding pretty emotional about him, yourself,” Marge pipes in, “but I know what you mean.” she continues. “I got pretty upset when I heard him say it was okay to kill off mothers and children if it meant getting a terrorist off our wanted list. I just don’t think he passes the kind of moral test I think a Rotarian tries to live or do business by. Do you?”

With that Rtn. Bill chimes in, “Ya, I think I do. I got this …I guess you would call it the ‘b’ list off a FaceBook post the other day…you know words like bully, blowhard, boor, braggart, buffoon, blusterer, brash, belittling, belligerent, brutal, bombastic…if anyone else was described that way we would never admit him would we!” he added.

“So do we have a consensus that Donald J. Trump be rejected as a member?” chair Willie asks.

“Yes, I think so,” they both reply, however, Marge adds “Aren’t you afraid we are going to be accused of being involved of straying into the realm of politics on this one by Henry and maybe others?”

“Ya, I’ve thought about that,” Willie calmly responds. “Personally, I think Henry is counting on us to be afraid to turn him down, but I think it’s our own self-respect and moral integrity, plus that of Rotary’s that is at stake. So do we have the courage and sense of decency to go with rejecting his application?

And by their silence they moved on to consider the next applicant.

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13 Responses to Rotary and a candidate named Trump

  1. Fred Chalfin says:

    I concur. Fifth grade Donny, the playground bully, is not my idea of a model Rotarian. I realize that he will call me a degrading name, that is his style, but I’ve got thicker skin then the gaggle of other candidates he trashed.

    The problem boils down to this; “Is it the truth” doesn’t mean anything to him. He will say one thing on tape, and then deny that he said it and take the opposite stance.

    Also, he is totally unconcerned about “fairness” or “beneficial” to all concerned. It has to be good for him or he is against it. Just that simple.

  2. joanne jones says:

    He certainly hasn’t run his businesses according to our 4 way test. I am pleased that you didn’t admit him.

  3. Bill Koefoed says:

    I think this is a very dangerous topic for discussion at the International level of Rotary. I believe that most people join Rotary for business purposes, volunteering to help with worthy projects or establishing relationships. For us to be discussing EITHER candidate, and their ability to pass the 4-way Test, is in itself our own discarding of the 4-way Test for ourselves. I would think we set a better example of Rotary by doing more good out there.

    • Fred Chalfin says:

      Bill, you are right about the business aspect. But that isn’t how it worked out. The only Rotarians that I have done business with, are those that were clients when I joined. I contacted my district to get a list of Rotarians that were plumbers. They didn’t have a list of the occupations of members. They considered making such a list, but we would have had to pay for the listing. They gave up on the idea. At our meeting tonight, another member had the same complaint. Because only a few members knew what he did, he has gotten ZERO business from Rotarians. In fact, he has provided for free, services for which he would normally charge. And he had to pay higher dues as a corporation/ business. For us, Rotary has failed. We have become to pocketbook club, nation. Sending our money around the world, and though it feels good, it doesn’t pay the bills.

  4. Tom Borrill says:

    Some years ago the Governor of the day Billy Hills D9300 had a Rotary Business directory sponsored by one of our banking institutions. EVERY Rotarian was listed including his classification, business details, contact details etc., It resulted in a number of Rotarians not only deriving business therefrom but also many club to club contacts resulting in combined projects.
    Unfortunately, the project has never been repeated although Billy’s directory served me and other Rotarians very well for many years. Tom Borrill PDG 2002/2003 D9300/9400

    • Fred Chalfin says:

      When I joined Rotary, it was a leads organization. We did Rotary minutes when we talked about our business’. The, some where along the line, we started to get FINED if we mentioned our business. Then we would get FINED if our business’ were mentioned in the newspaper or other media. We met every week, and we were FINED if we missed a meeting. And we wondered why no young business people were joining our club.

      Now our club is an “old mans” club with a few women in it. Africa has clubs that are growing by leaps and bounds. Coincidentally, that is where many of the major projects are taking place as well. What major projects do we have going in the states? None. Do we have any prospect for doing a major project in the states? None that I know about. But it would certainly help if we did have one.

      Our signature project, polio, has been usurped by the Gates Foundation and WHO. In a recent article the Gates Foundation and WHO were praised extensively for all they are doing to end polio. Rotary got mentioned in the very last paragraph. Besides, no one here thinks about polio at all. It isn’t “current”.

  5. Jack Amico says:

    One of the things I’ve loved about Rotary is the fact that real Rotarians leave politics outside of their work of “…doing good in the world..”. A trash discussion like this one is a CLEAR violation of the four way test. Get into doing good or get out.
    Jack Amico, IPDG, District 7090.

  6. noronwe says:

    Jack Amico, with all due respect I must dissent from your conclusion that the above post violates the 4 way test and is trash.

    The claim has been made that this post transgresses into the realm of American politics. Actually it doesn’t. I hope you realize that it is first and foremost a work of fiction. It is a spoof or satire to be precise.

    It makes no judgment on Trump’s worthiness to be a political candidate for the US presidency. It was written to avoid that. It does consider his candidacy only for admittance to a Rotary club. That is a perfectly legitimate topic to consider.

    I considered building the discussion around the four way test but I wanted to keep higher qualities in play like those that the commiittee members had to exercise like moral integrity, self respect, courage and a sense of decency.

    The issue of Truth is the first and most important principle of the 4 way test. It is also the foundation upon which the other three components of the 4 way test is built. Truth is the first thing Trump throws out the window hence everything else crumbles.

    The part left unsaid and without a doubt the reason for the vitriol towards me for writing the piece is that the conclusion some may come to but which I did not write is that if Trump is unworthy to be a Rotarian then he is unworthy to be president.

    That sir is a moral dilemma each American Rotarian may want to consider along with all the other factors that are in play this election year. It is also why the piece ends in silence.

    John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden, ON

  7. Ed Johnston says:

    I am not impressed with your satire.

    I would think you have enough problems in your part of the world without worrying about what’s happening in the States.

    Perhaps you may consider a topic like “Why does RI contribute our funds to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative?”

    Personally, I am appalled that Rotary International has been making contributions to an organization with direct ties to an active US political figure.

    Since 2011 (over a four-year period), Rotary International has paid in total $54,000 in membership fees to CGI.

    This should make a great topic to delve into.

    • Fred says:

      I agree with you. I was unaware of this. Why would Rotary do this?

      • Ernest says:

        This question has been answered by Secretary Hewko. Basically, Rotary paid to belong…to utilize connections across borders that the Clinton Foundation had already established and that Rotary didn’t need to spend more $$$$ to blaze a fresh trail.

  8. greg reader says:

    Good morning –

    We have started a Rotary Means Business Fellowship in our area with the expressed purpose of promoting our businesses. In District 6930 the Palm Beach area also has a RMB Group open to all Rotarians while our group (Treasure Coast) has restricted membership to one from any classification. Greg Reader Vocational Chair Vero Beach Sunrise Club

  9. Er Kuldip Singh says:

    I feel elated at learning about Rtn Ronald Trump, President of Siper power USA, looking forward to be part of Rotary as President of Rotary club locally. Amen.

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