Culture

Donald Trump Requires Volunteers To Sign A Lifetime Agreement To Never Criticize Him

GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Holds Primary Night Press Conference In Florida
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Between supporters who sport permanent tattoos of his likeness and others who offer to punch (or kill) protesters for interrupting his speeches, Donald Trump‘s a made man when it comes to politics. Dozens of state primaries and caucuses have fallen to his “New York values” charm, resulting in 621 delegates and the ousting of rival Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio. So, why does his campaign feel the need to put a stranglehold on its volunteers tighter than anything the 2016 election (or any other, for that matter) has ever seen?

According to The Daily Dot, the Trump campaign’s volunteer contract consists of a six-page document that includes non-disclosure, non-disparagement and non-compete agreements. Along with NBC News, they speculate that the contract’s rigorous nature could be a hangover from business legalese, as these sorts of clauses are often applied to employees. How well it translates to election volunteers and whether or not any of it could actually withstand a court appearance, however, remains questionable.

The non-disclosure agreement is simple. It forbids volunteers from sharing any sensitive campaign information with rival campaigns, the media or pretty much anyone who isn’t affiliated with Trump. The non-disparagement and non-compete clauses, however… They’re something, alright.

Per The Daily Dot’s interpretation, the non-disparagement clause’s language leaves open the possibility that volunteers will never be able to criticize Trump so long as they’re alive:

During the term of your service and at all times thereafter you hereby promise and agree not to demean or disparage publicly the Company, Mr. Trump, any Trump Company, any Family Member, or any Family Member Company or any asset any of the foregoing own, or product or service any of the foregoing offer, in each case by or in any of the Restricted Means and Contexts and to prevent your employees from doing so.

The specific language that has piqued everyone’s interest comes at the very beginning, “during the term of your service and at all times thereafter.” The latter clause, “at all times after,” seems to indicate the entirety of the signer’s existence after they’ve served time as a Trump volunteer. The “term of your service” bit doesn’t seem as straightforward, as one would assume that a volunteer could by their very nature opt out of volunteering at their own discretion.

Yes and no, according to the non-compete clause that follows:

Until the Non-Compete Cutoff Date you promise and agree not to assist or counsel, directly or indirectly, for compensation or as a volunteer, any person that is a candidate or exploring candidacy for President of the United States other than Mr. Trump and to prevent your employees from doing so.

The Daily Dot indicates that the “non-compete cutoff date” is whenever Trump decides to cease his election campaign. So, if the New York real estate mogul drops out of or loses his current presidential bid, then decides to run again in 2020, volunteers who signed this contract would still be attached to his campaign. They wouldn’t have to volunteer for Trump again, per se, but the non-compete clause would forbid them from volunteering for a rival candidate.

This feeds back into the non-disparagement clause’s “term of your service” line, which was used to identify for how long signed volunteers wouldn’t be allowed to criticize Trump. In other words, should Trump postpone 2016 and run again in 2020, lose again and run in 2024, then his volunteers would never be able to disparage him again per this contract.

(Via The Daily Dot)

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