No more private domain for me. Scripts took over my life for a while, and I couldn’t be happier. So I’m transferring all my old posts back on here, starting with this one. And may I say, how apropos, on Election Day. (Even though it’s woefully dated, since I’m missing month’s worth of Trump’s antics and mention the lost dream of Bernie).
Way more Trump supporters in my extended social circle than I’m comfortable with (about two, but still, too many), so I put this together as a response.
I invite you to fact-check me. Indeed, I hope you do.
On Trump’s most widely-cited praise: His business prowess
Experts agree that he would incur significant conflicts of interest with the 500 businesses he owns—more so than any other elected official before him (including the Bush’s, Romney, and Bloomberg). In order to avoid legal/ethical issues, he’d have to either sell his assets or place them in a double-blind trust—neither of which he had indicated he would do.
On his supposed business expertise, it’s like stock market speculation; the quantifiable value is highly contingent on what people say it is. It’s a ruse. While other much richer billionaires prefer to stay out of the spotlight, fame is Donald’s bread and butter. It is his narcissistic modus operandi. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: wealth feeds my fame and fame feeds my wealth. He is a master of branding, but branding is not the same as leading.
As most people know, he did not “start from the bottom” as he likes to claim. He inherited a cool 200 million (at least) from his daddy’s estate and another million from the first real estate deal his father helped him close. This is not to discredit his later success, but it is to refute many of the self-made claims in his ghost-written “how to get rich quick” books. It’s also important to note that he has filed for business bankruptcy, and taken advantage of loopholes and exceptions throughout his career. As they say, “if you owe the bank $1,000, you have a problem. If you owe the bank 1 million, the bank has a problem.” In other words, Trump’s creditors allowed him to continue doing business while heavily in debt because the alternative was worse. Similarly, he has taken on sizable loans to finance his campaign. And received about 7 million so far in individual contributions from the very people he insults: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Glad to know you think so highly of your supporters, Donald.
What works in the world of corporate greed and even the campaign trail does not necessarily translate well to matters of legislative process, foreign policy, diplomacy, etc. It’s like Frank tells Conway in one episode of House of Cards, “99% of the work a President does is in the dark, making decisions that people will never see or appreciate. What are you going to do when the cameras are off? You’re a pretender, and if you’re elected, you’ll become a fraud.”
On Trump’s Identity Politics
Many are quick to lodge the claim that Obama was elected in large part because he is Black. Sure, many people are swayed by identity politics. Others are won over by a single issue or wedge issues. Though I must say that Obama had a lot more going for him than just being Black. Under his administration, the unemployment rate dropped from 10.8% to 4.9% (January 2016)—below the historical median. And this you’d like—corporate profits are up by 166% and real weekly wages are up by 3.4%. And yet you have people still saying he’s “the worst thing that happened to this country.” SMH. Drinking that haterade.
But while we’re on it, let’s talk about the identity politics of Trump. He is a child that’s about to be given a handgun. He gloats over someone in one of his rallies calling Cruz a “pussy,” even repeating it so the whole crowd hears. He has an egregious talent for inciting the little seed of hatred that many Americans already harbor within, using “us versus them” logic that is eerily reminiscent of Hitler. No, I’m not exaggerating. Thought nugget: What’s worse—that he might really be racist or that he pretends to be in order to garner more of that kind of support?
A Little Trip Down Memory Lane: The Crap that Spews
How about this abbreviated list of bigotry, Trump-style:
Acts like a pubescent boy when speaking of women; including accusing debate moderator Megan Kelly of being on her period when she confronted him on issues during a debate. He then refused to participate in the next debate if she was going to moderate. If anything, I’d say he’s on his period.
Said Mexico is sending rapists and other criminals across the border, when the truth is far from that. He called for rounding up and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants. The majority of immigrants that come to this country do so in good faith and are law-abiding and hard-working (in fact doing jobs that Americans wouldn’t deign to do).
When asked about his little bromance with Vladimir Putin and how this is a man who has killed journalists, protestors, and invades countries, Trump said, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.” And then further clarified that while he doesn’t condone the killing of journalists, he does “hate them.”
Let stand a charge made in his presence that Obama is a Muslim and that Muslims are a “problem” in America (something that happened to McCain and which he quickly and respectfully, like the civilized person he is, denied)
Embraced the notion of forcing Muslims to register in a database
Falsely claimed thousands of Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey
Tweeted false stats declaring that most killings of whites are done by blacks
When asked about two of his supporters attacking a homeless man because “Trump is right, all these illegals need to be deported,” he brushed it off and said his supporters are “passionate.”
Approved the beating of a black demonstrator at one of his events
Publicly ridiculed the movements of NYTimes journalist Serge Kovaleski, who has a chronic disability that limits his motion.
On the Small Issues of Truth and Qualifications
Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize winning, independent fact-checking source, rates 77% of his statements as basically false. Plus, let’s not mince words: he’s fucking stupid. A few choice quotes: “We’re gonna build a wall and we’re gonna make Mexico pay for it.” Oh, really. That’s cute. “I know words. I have the best words.” Good for you, little buddy.
Moreover, the man has zero shame. And this is not an admirable quality. Shame is a learned behavior that keeps us civilized—understanding you’ve said or done something wrong and acknowledging it. It’s called having a conscience. It’s true that he’s anti-establishment, but placing that in context also detracts: he does not have to answer to any party affiliation that checks and controls his actions. Checks and balances are part of what makes this country great; it forecloses the possibility of a dictator, and you have to really prove your case and work hard if you want something to go through congress.
The only thing, and I mean the ONLY thing, he has going for him is that he has not taken corporate donors or has super-PACs. But guess what? Neither has Bernie. Anyway, all the aforementioned flaws clearly trump this one good thing. Pun intended.
And I couldn’t care less if whole legions of voters are supporting him. It doesn’t magically turn him into a viable candidate or even a viable human being in my eyes. He’s filth covered in dollar bills. The American electorate in one phrase: If you put a frog into a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog will boil. I refuse to be that frog.
And I’m spent.