Eric Trump: Hypocrisy creates unlevel playing field in politics
I am keenly aware of how fortunate I was to be born the son of one of the wealthiest and most well known businessmen in America. I am also the first to admit that things are different when you grow up as a Trump.
Anyone who has paid attention to the news, especially since my father announced his run for the White House, knows the media has attacked every member of my family viciously and given us anything but kind treatment. The adult “children” in our family are certainly not off limits. We did after all fight alongside our father in his quest to win the presidency. We stood on that stage and campaigned across the nation, and are certainly willing to take the punches where they are warranted and deserved. The double standard, however, is nothing short of glaring.
It would be a waste of print to recount every smear, hit piece, and invasion of privacy my family has faced. But allow me to sum it up by highlighting an article published by Forbes and reposted in virtually every major news outlet, attacking a charity that I started when I was 20 years old. In less than 10 years, I raised more than $20 million for terminally ill children at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I maintained just over a 9 percent cumulative expense ratio, one of the lowest expense ratios of any charity in the nation, and funded the construction of one of the most cutting edge intensive care units and surgery centers dedicated to children.
The Eric Trump Foundation intensive care unit treats some of the sickest children in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it gives their parents and families hope. Yet I was viciously chastised by the Democrats and the media who relentlessly tried to manufacture stories about me, my mission, and my intentions with the charity. At the same time, the Clinton Foundation controversy was in full swing, and the media knew that it could use me as their punching bag to distract from one of their own.
One might say it comes with the territory, and that is absolutely true. As a Trump, I am held to an incredibly high public standard and I have lived an exceptionally clean and honest life with that in mind. But can you imagine, if they were willing to try and destroy a “kid” who dedicated his life to pediatric cancer and philanthropy, what the media would say if I had secured a $50,000 a month job on the board of a Ukrainian company, with no discernable duties, in an industry I knew nothing about, in a country where I did not even speak the language? What if my father on live camera threatened to cut off military aid to that country unless the prosecutor investigating that company for corruption was fired?
To make the hypothetical picture sufficiently vivid, also imagine that I had previously been kicked out of the United States Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine or was given a contract potentially worth $1.5 billion by China weeks after traveling to Beijing with my father aboard Air Force Two. I worked hard to raise millions of dollars for dying children, yet crickets from the media and weekly parodies on Saturday Night Live.
For the record, I do not know exactly what Hunter Biden did or did not do in Ukraine, in China, in his personal life, or elsewhere. There are plenty of other controversies that measure below the dignity and character of this article to regurgitate. I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt, since that courtesy is so seldom bestowed upon me and my family.
One thing, however, is absolutely certain. If the situation were reversed, I would have been front page news in every newspaper, online publication, and cable news outlet for the rest of my life. Reporters would be camping outside of my door, my family would have been picked apart, my name would have been smeared in the news every single week, and my father arguably would not even be president of the United States today.
I do not always agree with Bill Maher, but the late night host was honest enough to admit that if my brother or I had done what Hunter Biden did, “it would be all Rachel Maddow was talking about.” I do not know what he learned while growing up as a Biden, but if what we know about his life indicates anything, it is that there are different rules if you are the son of a powerful Democratic politician. Money grows on trees, there are no rules, and the press will always cover for you if it benefits the political left.
To quote the great Marcus Aurelius from The Gladiator, “Your faults as a son are my failures as a father.” I owe all of my work ethic, character, integrity, and moral fiber to my father. Hunter Biden can say the same.
Eric Trump is an executive vice president at the Trump Organization.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.