Friday, March 18, 2016

Donald Trump: The Man. The Myth. The Fraud.

Donald Trump is not who he says he is.

Trumps are gonna trump / Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0

C'mon, GOP voters.  

You can’t possibly be serious about nominating Donald Trump for President.  I know plenty of you are (reasonably) fed up with politicians who say one thing then do another.  But this man is a
compulsive liar.  One analysis found that he lies, on average, once every five minutes.  He lies so much, journalists say they can’t even keep up with fact-checking it all.  His positions on major issues shift right along with his ever-changing moods.  Trump is quite possibly the least predictable Presidential candidate we’ve ever seen.  His word is infinitely less reliable than what comes from the many other politicians who’ve disappointed you so much.

“But,” I can hear you saying, “But he’s a successful businessman!  And a tough guy!  And super smart!  He tells it like it is!  He cares about working folks and putting a stop to illegal immigration!  He knows how to hire the best people!  He’ll bring jobs back to America!  And he’s even a Christian!  He’s just what we need in the White House!"


Donald Trump is none of the things he claims to be.


Trump is not an honest businessman.  He is a hustler and a con artist. Between alleged pyramid scheme
Trump Network TM nutritional supplements, real estate education scam Trump University, shilling for nine years for pyramid scheme American Communications Network, and who knows what other as yet undiscovered scam, Trump has swindled (or helped swindle) tens of thousands of honest Americans out of their hard-earned money.  These were folks who were just looking for legitimate ways to make money, and who trusted these fraudulent business opportunities because Trump was involved with them. 


Trump is not free from special interest influence, nor is he “self-funding” his campaign.  In reality, he owes more than $265 million to a bunch of big banks, and it may be much more.  Trump has donated a mere $250,000 to his campaign, and has lent it more than $17 million.  Lending – rather than donating – the cash allows the campaign to raise money to repay him before Election Day.  His manager said he won’t seek repayment of the loan – but if that were true, wouldn’t he just donate the funds?  Trump and his staff have also told major donors they will start aggressively fundraising once he gets the nomination.

Iowa GOP voters were right – Trump deserves no credit for “self-funding” his campaign


Trump is not genuinely committed to American workers, trade reform, or immigration reform.  He’s had most or all of his clothing line and various Trump tchotchkes manufactured in China, Mexico, and other low-wage countries. He’s advocated out-sourcing.  And he’s brought in LOTS of foreign workers to work for his businesses stateside.

Trump has hired
more than 1,100 foreign guest workers since 2000.  He hired hundreds just at Mar-a-Lago, while rejecting around 300 American applicants for those same jobs, abusing (perhaps even defrauding) the H-2B visa program in order to do so.  He had hundreds of illegal Polish immigrants work on a demolition project for cheap and didn't even make sure they had hard hats.  He’s exploited the J-1 cultural exchange visa to import cheap foreign labor for his hotels.  He brought foreign fashion models in on H-1B visas, then paid them a fraction of the wage promised on their visa applications. 

Trump can't even say WHAT he'd do on immigration policy as President – one day he
hates the H-1B visa temporary, skilled, foreign worker program – no, wait, he likes it, we need it – no, wait, he hates it again and will end it. 


Trump doesn't "hire the best people.”  Some are good.  What Apprentice viewer doesn’t love Caroline, George, and Ivanka?  But he’s *extremely* sensitive to dissent, and surrounds himself with yes-men.  He also hires (and otherwise consorts with) an awful lot of criminals.  He's done deals with and employed as close associates and advisers individuals with ties to the traditional mafia (Testa, Genovese, Gambino ...), the Russian mafia (Sater, Sapir), and large scale drug-trafficking operations - folks whose ties he damn well knew about, and who have been prosecuted and found guilty of these criminal activities.  Plus he’s repeatedly foisted the insufferable Omarosa onto an unsuspecting American public.

As for his campaign, he hired a manager whose incompetence and abusive behavior at his last job forced him to leave rather than get fired, and who’s now alleged to have assaulted a reporter after the March 9th victory speech/infomercial.  His lawyers don’t seem to know what the heck they’re doing.  Trump has apparently refused to hire or confer with any foreign policy experts in order to fix his huge gaps in knowledge, relying instead on his own “very good brain.”  As David Brooks points out, this is because Trump is so extraordinarily narcissistic that “He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out.”  So no, his record of “hiring the best people” isn’t all he says it is.

On policy, Trump mostly confers with his own “very good brain”


Trump is not a business genius.  He's failed at numerous business efforts – both yuuuge and small – which either never got off the ground, were of dubious legality to start with, or he ran into the ground through his own schizophrenic, rash, and disastrously terrible judgment.  He’s bankrupted four major real estate development enterprises, forcing steep losses on folks he owed money to, walking away, and then doing the same thing all over again.  And because of his ridiculous hate-mongering, he’s cost himself more than a dozen multi-million dollar deals during this campaign alone.

He lies about
how successful he and his businesses are.  He lies about long-defunct steak companies, water companies, and magazines still existing, and about owning his son’s winery. 


Trump is not an intellectual super genius, either.  He claims he graduated from Wharton with honors, first in his class, but – surprise! – he’s lying there, too.  There were no honors, and he wasn’t even ranked #56 in his class.

Trump thoroughly exhibits his "genius"


Trump is not a "tough guy."  He's a thin-skinned, insecure wussy who lashes out like a 13-year-old mean girl at ANYONE who says anything about him that's not completely complimentary. (With apologies to wussies everywhere for associating them with this guy.)  He’s once again scared to be on a debate stage with Megyn Kelly, just as he was when he skipped a January debate.  Her tough but fair question about how he speaks of and to women back in August spun Trump into an obsessive, now going on seven months vendetta against the woman he now refers to as ‘Crazy Megyn.’  He makes fun of women’s looks if they dare to disagree with him.  

After losing Iowa,
he whined that he wasn’t given “any credit by the voters for [supposedly] self-funding” his campaign, and melodramatically added, “I will keep doing, but not worth it!”  He scowled and pouted at Bill O’Reilly during a post-debate interview for not bowing and scraping sufficiently.  After a reporter debunked Trump’s story that “thousands” of Muslims celebrated 9/11 on New Jersey rooftops, he made fun of the reporter’s disability.  All manner of minor, perceived slights snowball into epic, public streams of insults from The Donald. 

The Trump was not pleased with O'Reilly's lack of deference


Trump is not a self-confident alpha male.  He is one of the most incredibly insecure figures in modern American public life.  He  obsessed over a silly insult (“stubby fingered”)
for twenty-eight years, kept sending photos to its author to prove his fingers weren’t short, and intermittently mean-tweeted the man.  His insane grudge turned it into a whole thing in this campaign, ultimately leading him to brag about the size of his, uh, endowment at the opening of a nationally televised Presidential debate.  (Which, if all of his other boasts are any indication, was probably a gigantic lie, too.)  Trump brags constantly and painfully about his wealth, how awesome he is, and how awesome everybody else thinks he is, and needs people to constantly suck up to him and stroke his ego or he has a complete meltdown.

This is not the behavior of a self-confident man who is comfortable in his own skin.


Trump is (probably) not really a Christian, let alone a “good Christian.”  All indications are he's lying about his faith, his observance, and his supposed Bible fandom.  He claims he's a regular church-goer at the Marble Collegiate Church and says he's "a Presbyterian." The church says they don't remember last time they saw him, and they've never been a Presbyterian church - they're affiliated with the Reform Church in America denomination.  He says he doesn’t think he’s ever asked God for forgiveness, when repenting of your sins and trying to stay on the right path are a big part of what it is to be Christian. 

In Trump’s defense, one might suppose that if he started repenting every time he missed the mark, he’d never get anything else done. 

Trump claims he loves the Bible, then
butchers his supposed favorite scripture, self-servingly spinning it to condemn folks who bend to envy against him.  Fun irony: the real scripture actually cautions the rest of us against folks like Trump. #GodWorksInMysteriousWaysIndeed 

~  ~  ~

Actual Scripture Trump Ironically Named As Fave & Butchered

Proverbs 24:1-2: "Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief."
~  ~  ~

He routinely violates the Ten Commandments, openly bragging about not just coveting his neighbors’ wives (multiple), but doing oh, so much more.   Of even greater concern, the man bears false witness CONSTANTLY, almost reflexively.  He’s falsely smeared all manner of folks simply because they “weren’t nice” to him (not even mean, mind you – just not nice!)  He probably frequently runs afoul of Commandments 1 through 4 and 8. 

If we turn to the Seven Deadly Sins, Trump’s probably spent his entire life – including the duration of this campaign – up to his ears in at least four (Lust, Greed, Wrath, Pride.)  The Seven Virtues?  His record there is pretty lousy, too.  I doubt Donald Trump is among the first couple thousand folks who leap to mind when you think of Chastity, Charity, Temperance, Patience, Diligence, Kindness, or Humility.  Loving his neighbor as himself?  Doing unto others as he would have done unto him?  Not much evidence in his favor on either count.

No one expects a political leader to be a saint.  But Trump takes the absence of sainthood to a whole nother level.


Trump is not a principled leader.  Aside from building “a big, beautiful wall” and “making Mexico pay for it,” EVERYTHING ELSE seems to be completely negotiable for Trump.  His positions change weekly or hourly, seemingly based on nothing other than his mood at the moment.

He supports Israel 1000% - wait, he’s completely neutral on Israel-Palestine (any relation to backlash in neo-Nazi community Stormfront?)  He doesn’t like David Duke – wait, “I don't know anything about David Duke” and can’t denounce him or the KKK – no, wait, he had a bad earpiece and couldn’t hear the interviewer even saying David Duke.   He tells rowdy supporters he’ll pay their legal fees if they “knock the crap” out of a protester – no, wait, he doesn’t condone violence and he’s all about love – no, wait, he doesn’t condone violence, but he’ll consider paying legal fees for his sucker-punching NC supporter, but no word on medical costs for the actual victim.


Trump is not "a good American."  He may or may not have gamed the system in order to avoid the Vietnam draft.  He recently claimed that his taxes have been audited almost every year for the last dozen years.  No one gets that much attention unless they're routinely misreporting income or expenses in an attempt to avoid paying their fair share. 


Trump is not a supporter of free speech.  Now, he’s all for saying whatever he wants to, so-called political correctness be damned.   But he uses every tool at his disposal, not all of them legal, to shut down folks who disagree with him.  He encourages violence against annoying but non-violent protesters.  A Trump associate supposedly threatened a Glenn Beck friend with harm in an effort to extort dirt about the anti-Trump radio host.  His campaign manager roughly yanked aside and bruised conservative journalist Michelle Fields when she asked an apparently unwelcome question about affirmative action, then they painted her as a lying, hysterical attention seeker when she spoke up a few days later. 

Threatening to sue or actually doing so is one of Trump’s favorite image-control strategies, and one wonders if this was a factor in NPR’s very recent public shaming of Cokie Roberts.  The Trump campaign routinely punishes media outlets that ask difficult questions or publish stories critical of their candidate, refusing press credentials to any reporter affiliated with the outlet.  This blacklist includes Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, The Des Moines Register, The National Review, and newest apparent addition, Politico.  This outright banning of reporters and outlets over unflattering coverage is unheard of in modern politics, and one should reasonably expect that a Trump White House would conduct itself exactly the same way.


Trump is not really a conservative.  Neither am I, but if you’re a Republican, conservative principles seem like something you’d really want in your Presidential candidate.

proposed a $6 trillion tax hike in 2000 and apparently still thinks it’s a good idea.  He constantly says he’ll do whatever he wants as President (as if the other two branches of government don’t exist).  He despises the free speech side of the First Amendment when folks use it to criticize him.  He endorsed universal healthcare in 2000 and during this campaign (and he’s claimed about every possible position on single-payer specifically.)  And he defends federal funding for Planned Parenthood (and then he doesn’t.)


Finally, Trump is not just opposed by “the GOP establishment.”  A full 42% of Republican voters have an unfavorable impression of Donald Trump.  [Not that this is good news for Ted Cruz, who’s a close second at 41%.]  Around 64% of these voters don’t want Trump as the nominee.  A near super-majority of GOP voters ain’t exactly a shadowy establishment cabal.

The legion of Republicans opposing Trump includes folks ranging from more “establishment” types to social/religious conservatives to some of the rowdiest Tea Partiers.  These folks disagree with each other about a LOT of things, and they don’t all support the same candidate, but they’re united in opposing Trump. 

A full spectrum of modern American conservatism agrees that Donald Trump’s views don’t mesh with their ideals.  They recognize that this man not only poses a danger to the conservative movement, but endangers the survival of our democratic republican form of government.  That’s why they’ve taken the extremely unusual step of not just supporting a different candidate, but actively campaigning against one of their own.


My grandpa always told me, “Never trust a man who says, ‘Trust me.’”  He’s no longer with us, but I suspect he would’ve said the same thing about Donald Trump constantly saying, “Believe me.”

Never believe a man who constantly says, "Believe me."

Don’t believe his hype, folks.  Donald Trump just isn’t who or what he claims to be. 

Do you truly believe that American Greatness can be achieved by an authoritarian government led by a chronically insecure compulsive liar who changes positions like a tree in the wind, says he’ll make the military violate the law of war if that’s what he wants them to do, and suppresses dissent by any means necessary?  If not, you’d best cast your vote for someone else.


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