One of the purposes of this blog is to clarify things that some people seem confused about. With this column, I’d like to start by declaring that, unlike many, I do not think Donald Trump, the complete idiot occupying the White House right now, has some sort of grand plan to become a dictator and lead us into a fascist phase.
I know, I know…
After I post this, my Twitter and Facebook feeds will blow up with declarations that I am wrong and examples supposedly “proving” that’s exactly what he’s doing. But I can prove they are wrong, just by noting that he’s profoundly stupid, joyously ignorant and barely literate. Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini were evil and fascistic, but they also were intelligent, something Donny has yet to demonstrate to any degree.
What we are seeing from the “president” thus far, in just over 500 days since he took and immediately violated his “oath of office” is someone who operates anything in his life, in both the public and private spheres, by the seat of his pants. This is someone who doesn’t think about anything before he does it, in part because he doesn’t think he’ll fuck up anything so bad that he can’t throw money at it and make it go away. Trump is running the United States as if he was running the Trump Organization, which means he never thinks about anything in advance. That’s how he ran that company. If you think that’s an exaggeration, consider; the man bankrupted casinos. Casinos are rooms full of machines and tables where people willingly go to give up their money, knowing there’s a 80-90 percent chance they’ll never see it again. Yet, Donald Trump lost so much money, he couldn’t bail himself out.
His entire business career consists of him borrowing other people’s money, losing it and heading to bankruptcy court so he could avoid paying the bills. Even when he didn’t declare bankruptcy, most times, he’d hire a contractor to do a job, he’d spend too much on the building of his development and then he’d proceed to “forget” to pay his bill, and then goad the contractor into suing him, where he would engineer a settlement for 10-20 cents on the dollar. This is a businessman who has been sued more than 5,000 times. Given that one of the key precepts of business is to prepare for the worst, and most businessmen buy lots of insurance to protect them from lawsuits, this indicates that Donald Trump isn’t exactly a “planner.” He would prefer to run everything by the seat of his pants and then address everything as each fire comes up. I mean, why prevent fires, if you feel as if you have billions at your disposal, and thus plenty to throw out every fire. Of course, he also had a stable of attorneys and others to help him out and threaten those who sued him, thus encouraging settlement, so he was never worried about having to pay an entire bill.
The Trump Organization has a dismal record of success, and an even more dismal record of making money, in part because he never really planned to make money in the first place. There are some real estate businessmen who think, if they just build shit, the market will guarantee that they make money, and Trump is one of those goobers. And the thing is, he’s never really made a lot of money from real estate. According to some estimates, he’s worth perhaps $200-300 million, which sounds pretty amazing until you figure out that his father left him with an estate worth more than $100 million when he died almost 20 years ago. In the Manhattan real estate market, that $100 million alone should be worth more than a half billion dollars, and if you listen to Donny, he was worth more than his father at the time of Nazi Fred’s death. Therefore, he should be worth many billions by now.
Except he’s not.
Oh, I know, none of us knows what he’s actually worth because he has thus far refused to allow the American people to vet him. He won’t release his tax returns and he won’t let us see his financial records.
However, if he is worth the $10-12 billion he claims, then why did he borrow $600 million from Deutschland Bank during the campaign (according to many, courtesy of Russian oligarchs who wanted to help him – ahem) and why did he borrow $500 million from the Chinese to do a deal in Indonesia just a few weeks ago? Why has he not divested himself company, as required by law? What is he hiding?
For that matter, why would a billionaire do an asinine TV “reality” competition that started out relatively strong in the ratings, but which fell sharply after a couple seasons? Why would he start up so many failed products, and why did they fail? Why is he all but out of the Manhattan real estate market altogether and why is he only licensing the Trump name these days?
That licensing scheme is another example of how little he plans anything. Check the record; there are numerous examples of speculators paying to license a Trump Tower or some other real estate venture somewhere and then not building it. The times that Trump has been sued for that, he’s simply noted that he doesn’t own the building and told the claimants to get off his lawn. Does this sound like someone who cares anything about more than just how many dollars he can fleece from individuals and businesses?
Even now, he has been openly flouting his oath of office and the Constitution by not only violating the Emoluments Clause on a daily basis, but also in the way he takes a vacation pretty much every week and pays himself to do so. Right now, he has a Republican Party who are openly afraid of him, to the point of not challenging him on anything, but someone with a brain knows that situation could change. It would only take about a dozen or so Republicans to change their minds about him to change the equation, but again, he’s used to throwing money at a problem to make it go away, so he doesn’t ever think about consequences.
We are seeing gobs of evidence of that with this whole immigration nonsense. He. ordered a “zero tolerance” approach to people coming over the border, without any sort of plan with regard to what to do once these people were taken into custody. There was. Never a plan, just an order to intimidate any others who might be thinking of coming here later. We know this because, when Donny signed the “executive order” this past week, to stop taking children and locking them away, and was told he had to reunite parents and children, he had to assemble a “task force” to figure out how to do that. No one who has a plan for something has to assemble a task force to figure out what to do next.
I know what you’re thinking…
Even if Trump isn’t smart enough to know how to become a fascist/dictator, someone may manipulate him into that, right?
Look, Trump will do anything for money; there is little doubt of that. However, there are still plenty of checks and balances in place. The way the system was designed, it is not possible to put more than a certain amount of power into one office or one individual. And don’t underestimate the power of the people; things changed the day after the last election; likely the biggest collective, “Oh, shit!” in the history of this country. We can start changing everything this year, and two years from now, we can change even more, then more two years after that. And if we do our job, we can create much clearer rules and regulations regarding corruption, discrimination and civil rights, and we can proscribe much clearer consequences for breaking those rules.
No one could have ever conceived of a politician as openly corrupt as Donald Trump, or a political party that openly embraced such a high degree of corruption without even warning him. Who could have imagined that a major party would allow a malignant narcissist to win their nomination? Who could have imagined that they would choose self-destruction over the main principles of the United States of America, to the point that they would allow their “president” to throw kids in makeshift jail cells for a misdemeanor?
There are so many reasons this government has to rid itself of the Trump regime, but none is greater than his pure incompetence. He can’t do the job because he doesn’t know what the job entails and he doesn’t understand what it means to run the executive branch. He’s an embarrassment to this country, he’s destroying relations with our closest allies and he’s openly embracing murderous dictators and praising their “strength.”
His ignorance of the job would be more tolerable if he was an intelligent curious type, but he’s not. He seems to like the fact that he’s ignorant because he shows no intellectual curiosity; no tendency to learn what he doesn’t already know. Look at his ignorance on economics and trade. One would think someone with 50 years of business experience would have picked up something along the way, but he doesn’t seem to have the slightest bit of common sense. He sees money matters in the simplest terms, much like his biggest fans, who are the stone idiots who call in to right wing radio talk shows. He doesn’t understand that massive tax cuts lead to huge deficits. He thinks he can restore jobs to the economy that were lost 30-40 years ago. And when it comes to trade, he has no comprehension of the trade deficit. He sees it in black and white terms, as if the economy lost that money. As a result, he is making promises he can’t possible fulfill, but it is also leading him to destroy parts of the government the American people have come to rely on.
Put simply, this guy has to go. Not just because he’s easily the most corrupt politician in history, but also because he is just not interested in the American people and he is far too dull and stupid to change. Obviously, we can’t depend on the GOP to do this for us, so we all have to get on the same page and oust all Republicans from office at all levels.
Also published on Medium.