I’ll admit it: I used to watch the reality show The Apprentice, for the first two seasons. As a business librarian, I thought it was an interesting concept to see which contestant could meet various challenges to get a job in the organization of one Donald J. Trump. The hotelier was pompous and arrogant, but interesting enough. But I never saw Celebrity Apprentice, because that seemed to violate the original premise.
Virtually everyone was wrong about Donald Trump running a sustained, let alone successful campaign for the Republican nomination for President, including me. Except for Ann Coulter, and THAT fact is its own punishment.
Jeff Sharlet wrote in Esquire:
“After hearing Seth Myers shell Donald Trump from the podium, at the 2011 Correspondents’ Dinner, I didn’t think Trump would or could ever want to retry professional politics.
Recently, comedian Jon Stewart referred to Trump as a “man-baby”, but when he left his show in August 2015, he too just saw the comedic aspects of Candidate Orange. I wonder when he would have decided that Trump just isn’t funny anymore, as his protege Larry Wilmore on The Nightly Show did in December 2015?
Then there’s the fact that Trump Used His Aliases For Much More — And Worse — Than Gossip. “In his fictional identities, Trump could also be quite threatening… Trump: What’s The Deal recounts a wide variety of Trump lies, exaggerations, and manipulations, but the misconduct of greatest interest to voters may be his threatening litigation in a scheme to deny payment to about 200 illegal Polish immigrants tearing down the old Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue (an act of architectural vandalism). Many of the men lacked hardhats or face masks, used sledgehammers rather than power tools, had to pull out live electric wires with their bare hands, in a building laced with asbestos — all in blatant violation of worker safety laws.”
Trump Didn’t Pay Hundreds Of Employees, which should surprise no one. Plus Trump University was a bigger fiasco that we thought. A recent New York Times investigation notes Even as Donald Trump’s Atlantic City casinos failed, he made millions — and others paid the price. There’s a Biblical parable about doing well with the small things, then you’ll be given responsibility for the larger things. Given his track record, I’m not optimistic about his fiscal policy.
One could easily find ten things about Donald Trump that his supporters should have to defend. But as this cartoon notes, Donald is just recycling.
As a Boston Globe headline read, the Trump rally oozes fear, anxiety, and paranoia. His supporters share a common trait: perceived victimhood.
Yet, my distrust of Trump comes not from his positions, or his statements, but rather his apparent utter lack of conviction. Last month in the Boston Globe:
“Donald Trump says so many things that are offensive, incorrect, and dishonest that it is often impossible to keep up. In just the past few days, he’s flip-flopped on his tax position, his support for raising the minimum wage, and his so-called Muslim ban. He even denied he imitated a public relations executive in the 1980s named John Miller or John Barron, even though he’s publicly joked about it for years and there’s an audiotape to prove it.”
Former Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan Tells Trump to Stay Offensive. He writes, “Why, then, should he apologize for speaking the truth, as he sees it?: But the sentence before: “Assume, as we must, that Trump believes what he said.” And, largely, I don’t.
Can he hold the same policy position for longer than 24 hours? His tax plan is a fraud, but it surely will NOT lose him the election.
And he occasionally softens his rhetoric: “Look, everything, honestly, is going to be up… we’re going to negotiate. I can’t make these decisions myself. We have Congress…we have to deal with a lot of people. I mean, you know, I can’t just take executive orders like Obama and .. it’s me, and lots of congressmen and lots of senators and lots of everything. So I would say that certain things will be changed, certain things will be, stay exactly the same.” So the red meat ranting that won him the nomination now pivots to a seemingly rational being. Except when it doesn’t.
No wonder they are mocking Trump, even in New Zealand.
Trump aide Paul Manafort called the presidency the “ultimate reality show.” And Trump is way better at playing it than the others. He may have already destroyed the GOP by pointing out its irrelevance to his nomination.
This Quora response is at least partially correct: “As a Wall Street Journal article recently put, Trump did to the Republican party what AirBnb did to the hotel industry. Airbnb ignored the middlemen and directly went to the hosts & guests – with the simplest model. In the same way, Trump made the party irrelevant and directly went to the voters.
“It is easy to be ‘holier than thou’ and say the voters are stupid etc. That is totally missing the point. Trump’s rise has revealed a fundamental flaw in the US political system – its effective two-party system doesn’t give a voice to diverse interests.”
‘President Trump?’ Here’s How He Says It Would Look. And I think it could very well happen. No, that is NOT my desire, but rather my fear. And it’ll be his disgusting victory lap, rather than Obama’s measured response, that we’ll hear after a national tragedy, in this case, after 49 people died in the Orlando attack.
Listen to Ken Burns at Stanford University’s June 12 commencement ceremony: “For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and characters of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified.
“So before you do anything with your well-earned degree, you must do everything you can to defeat the retrograde forces that have invaded our democratic process, divided our house, to fight against, no matter your political persuasion, the dictatorial tendencies of the candidate with zero experience in the much-maligned but subtle art of governance; who is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment…”
From The New Yorker:
If Trump came to power, there is a decent chance that the American experiment would be over. This is not a hyperbolic prediction; it is not a hysterical prediction; it is simply a candid reading of what history tells us happens in countries with leaders like Trump.
Countries don’t really recover from being taken over by unstable authoritarian nationalists of any political bent, left or right—not by Peróns or Castros or Putins or Francos or Lenins or fill in the blanks. The nation may survive, but the wound to hope and order will never fully heal. Ask Argentinians or Chileans or Venezuelans or Russians or Italians—or Germans. The national psyche never gets over learning that its institutions are that fragile and their ability to resist a dictator that weak.
Finally: “Last of all comes…the tyrant…In the early days of his power, he is full of smiles, and he salutes everyone whom he meets…making promises in public and also in private, liberating debtors, and distributing land to the people and his followers, and wanting to be so kind and good to everyone…This…is the root from which a tyrant springs” -Plato