Is Donald Trump a fraud, or a con man, or just completely full of shit? Up to this point in the election, I’d have gone heavy on the last option, and figured he was just a shitty businessman with an undeserved good reputation for business. But after reading this piece, below, in The New York Times…well…
You know what’s going to be a lot of fun? Watching Republicans — both rank and file and elected officials — do absolute logical back flips trying to justify the obvious scam that Trump University was. They’ll first throw shade at every media outlet that reports this story as being “lamestream” or “liberal” of course. They’ll try to baffle us with bullshit all over the place on this one. They’ll say that Trump never claimed it was a real school, except he used the word university and totally implied it was…But hey, why take my word for it?
Here’s a good passage from the Times piece that lays out some fun details.
One sales manager for Trump University, Ronald Schnackenberg, recounted how he was reprimanded for not pushing a financially struggling couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class, despite his conclusion that it would endanger their economic future. He watched with disgust, he said, as a fellow Trump University salesman persuaded the couple to purchase the class anyway.
I’ll let you read the piece yourself for all the juicy stuff, but suffice to say if you come away from it thinking anything other than Trump University bilked a lot of sad people out of a lot money, then I think you may be just right for this new real estate venture I’m starting. You’ll be happy to know I have a bridge on the property and everything. But for those of us who live in Reality Town, USA, let’s push on, shall we?
If you think about it, though, maybe it’s a perfect fit — a con man and the GOP. Republican politicians have been getting rich by defrauding their voters into thinking that a) they really believe in small government (while they pass laws governing who can get married, where they can shit, and if they can have control over when they procreate and b) convincing them that the culture war is winnable, and that elected Republicans are actually working to win it. Let me ask you this — of all the years between 1980 and now, how many have been filled by Republican presidents and Republicans controlling congress and the Supreme Court? Yet, how many earnest attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade on the federal level have there been?
Sure, they are fighting against reality with great, expensive futility in some red states. But the reality that none of the socially conservative Republicans who have dominated the party for so long want to make their voters come to grip with is this: they already lost that fight, and we’re never, ever going back. The same is true for marriage equality, and the same will be true one day for all forms of LGBTQ discrimination. That’s why conservative voters are so angry, and it’s also why conservative politicians are trying to harness that poutrage into political clout.
The entire conservative philosophy is one big con. I should know; I was indoctrinated into it. The key to being conservative, as is the key with many cults, is to hook ’em young and then convince them that every single person who tries to change their mind is lying to them. Once you do that, you can be convinced that giving tax breaks to people with more money than God is smart economically and that gay people should just be thankful we don’t call them mentally ill anymore…well, those of us who have read any scientific literature on the subject that was written in the last 40 years or so do.
They have lost every single battle in the culture war, but they won’t give up the ghost because they have been conned into believing they can win after all. Conservatives have been conned by the Republicans for years, and they’ve been conned into believing that the electoral math favors them if they just find the right candidate. Then again, this year the Democrats are doing everything in their power to ignore the winds of change and try to cram the status quo down our throats a few more years, so maybe the con will finally pay off this year. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it, but barring a unity ticket, it could get really messy for the Dems this November.
Whether or not Trump is the con man that leads the Republican Party to its final demise in its current iteration, or somehow acts like a dubious phoenix, raising a flailing and feinting political organization from its ashes, one thing is for sure — they’ve picked the right man for the job.