In Rand Paul’s campaign book, Courage to Stand, published in May, he actually cited Donald Trump as an example of an effective private citizen accomplishing what government bureaucracies can’t:
Capitalists are often the greatest and most innovative advocates for the environment.
Think Bill Gates. It’s estimated that Gates has saved 6 million lives through health-care initiatives in Africa. His “reinvent the toilet” campaign seeks to bring sustainable sanitation to two and a half billion of the world’s poor. Also remember that Gates’ environmentalism, his amazing vaccination crusade in Africa, never happens without capitalism. Think of a world with only the tepid sputtering engine of socialism unable to provide the vast wealth that commonly goes back to protecting the environment. I’m reminded of this quote from Winston Churchill: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessing. The inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”
Think of Donald Trump.
Wollman Rink is an ice-skating rink that is an iconic fixture and has been the backdrop of movies such as Love Story for well over half a century in Central Park. By 1980 it had fallen into the disrepair of urban blight. The City of New York and its then-mayor, Ed Koch, promised to renovate the rink. Six years after the mayor made his promise, in an entanglement of bureaucracy and big government lethargy, the reclamation project was in shambles, with little hope for completion. Enter Donald Trump. Though not quite the household name he is today, Mr. Trump then ran one of New York City’s biggest apartment construction and management companies. He was also just as brash then as he his now. He challenged Mayor Koch to let him take over the project. At first Koch said no, but public pressure forced the mayor to give the private builder a chance. Three months later, New Yorkers and tourists alike were skating in a beautifully renovated Wollman Rink, and nearly thirty years later it’s still one of the most popular and well-run destinations in Central Park.
In know what you’re thinking: “Rand, Wollman Rink isn’t exactly saving the Amazon rain forest!” You’re right. Nevertheless, Trump’s efforts with Wollman Rink improved the surrounding natural area of the park. Some of the profit the rink turned — the first time it had done so – was given to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which helps keep Central Park and other New York City parks beautiful. Trump’s rescue of Wollman Park also exposed the ineptitude of government-run construction projects and the dominion over private enterprise it holds.
Of course, Rand Paul isn’t such a fan of Trump lately…
UPDATE: For everybody who is screaming that this post — consisting almost entirely of quoting the senator’s own book — is a “smear” of Paul, my observation was simply how quickly rivalries can arise, and how the rise of Trump was so unforeseen, Rand Paul felt fine touting Trump’s ability to get real results quickly in his own book.