The year was 1973­: Two roads diverged

In 1973, Donald and Fred Trump were engaged for two years in a battle with the DOJ: “..specifically a case that charges Donald Trump, Fred Trump and their company of race bias in housing rentals. …It was one of the largest cases of the time.”

Michael Kranish

Washington Post


At 26, in 1973, Donald J. Trump commenced his lifelong legal battles — federal and state suits and countersuits numbering 4095 before he assumed the office of President in 2016 and 90 since assuming then losing the office in 2020. Of these 90 post-presidency suits (12 pending) Trump has won but one against his niece, Mary.

Trump legal suits over five decades range from Casino to contracts, employment, personal injury, campaigns, taxes, defamation, obstruction of justice.

Also in 1973, the New York Times (NYT) in a published profile of the younger Trump birthed a myth of Donald Trump as first in his Wharton graduating class (BA in Real Estate, 1968) – a myth fully debunked in a 1988 NYT investigative article that found few members of his relatively small class knew or knew of Trump, the class commencement program did not list him with any distinction, the self-declared “super genius” was found on no Wharton dean’s list. Trump has restricted any educational institute from making public his grades or test scores. Donald J. Trump has never received an honorary degree from any academic institution or acknowledgement of generous gifting (including Wharton).

In contrast, in 1973, Joe Biden, at age 30, was elect to the U.S. Senate sticking his arm out to all he encountered: “Hi, I’m Joe Biden — the new senator from Delaware.”

One month after his election, Biden’s wife and one year old daughter were killed in an automobile crash that spared his two toddler sons. Biden took his Senate oath of office in the Wilmington hospital chapel. He served in the Senate for six terms.

Biden’s first year in the Senate, the 93rd Congress, was replete with major events and governmental action: the passage of Roe vs Wade, Kissinger appointed Secretary of State, LBJ’s death, Nixon to China, Paris Accords/Church Amendment ending the Vietnam War, VP Agnew resigned, replaced with Ford, Endangered Species Act passed as was the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Saturday Night Massacre led to first steps toward a Nixon impeachment (Nixon sidestepped impeachment with his resignation in 1974). Oddly the Roe vs Wade Scotus decision of 1973 was also scandalously leaked however back in 1973, the culprit, a Scotus clerk, was identified.

1973, was a significant turning point in the lives of two prominent Americans for their choices, their character and their occupation of the Oval Office. Trump’s 2024 rhetoric is of a third-world U.S. status, demise and resentment are the tone, projections, and unrealities — his vita is replete with court cases, TV ratings, bankruptcy, screaming false headlines, brand surges and plunges, declarations of personal exceptionalism. Biden, in stark contrast, has 2024 rhetoric, acts and deeds that bespeak pride, promise, progress by the nation, peoples of talent and will. Biden’s vita — outcomes of his life choices — has a plethora of domestic and international honors, steadfastness and accomplishments. He isn’t perfect, not flawless — yet Biden, in raw contrast to Trump, doesn’t promote bullying, urge foul play, threaten intentional harm of others.

Time to turn the lights back on a nation with many shortcomings but scores of decades of betterment — of talent and achievement. In the turmoil of an election year, 2024, can we still hear succinct wisdom: twelve score and six years ago “...our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.

Abraham Lincoln

The Gettysburgh Address

Kathy Herald-Marlowe lives in Sharon.

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