Sunday, December 11, 2016

The prospective presidency of a consummate con artist

Donald Trump
Donald J. Trump is an accomplished and skillful con artist; scammer if you prefer. He has scammed, schemed and lied his way into the presidency. His propensity to be a pathological liar* is easy to document. To cope with Trump we need to understand the pathology. Scammers like Trump do not scam out of greed. Scammers are very sick people. They (and Trump) are sociopaths who get off on getting over on other people. They are utterly devoid of empathy. The Art of the Steal has touched the lives of countless people.

Scammers are wed to the notion that they are the only intelligent life on the planet. They also think that stupid people deserve what they get. So it's not just the absence of empathy, it is the presence of disdain that drives these people. Since the scammer is the only person with a brain, everyone else deserves to get swindled.

Scammers have a psyche in conflict; an inflated ego coupled with deep-seated insecurity. This makes them very vulnerable to, and intolerant of, criticism. The insecurity reacts with hurt while the inflated ego demands atonement for questioning the smartest person on the planet. Anyone who questions the great man is either corrupt or stupid.

Yet swindlers know how to use critics to their advantage. I suspect that Mitt Romney is not about to become the next secretary of state. Trump was able to put him in play, probably by appealing to his ego. If I am correct that Romney is not selected then Trump knew that all along. The reason for putting Romney in play was to blunt Romney's prior criticism. Romney played along and he's no dope. He even had favorable comments about Trump after they met. In fact, consider that Kellyanne Conway still works for the transition in spite of being publicly critical of the boss for entertaining the idea of Mitt. Kellyanne became an accomplice, possibly a knowing accomplice. The criticism of Mitt and Kellyanne have now been used to improve Trump's standing.

Lately Trump has been doing the same thing with praise for Obama. In addition to blunting criticism he probably wants something from the man he called an undocumented immigrant who was ineligible to be president.

With each success the con artist gains confidence which adds to his ability to further succeed. Usually, the only thing that stops con artists (and they are artists) is prison. He bribed Pam Bondi and he got caught yet he is still a free man and the next president.

Scammers become indignant when their veracity is challenged. Even though they realize that they are lying they expect others to believe what they are saying. Therefore (in their twisted minds), calling them out on a lie is the same as mistakenly calling a truthful statement a lie. They react accordingly. It is not that they believe their own bullshit. They just expect everyone else to believe their bullshit.

The reason that Trump is involved in so much litigation is that the standard operating procedure at his company is to scam the majority of suppliers. He attempts to renegotiate virtually every invoice after the fact with the promise of big future returns which never materialize. Sure, he'll pay the mobbed up suppliers and the big companies but the small guys get screwed. It is automatic. When they first get a Trump contract they believe that Trump is going to make them very wealthy. They want to believe through every tactic by Trump to reduce and delay payment. Trump doesn't care if they fold. Again, he is a sociopath devoid of empathy.

The greatest ally of the scammer is the fact that most people think that they are too smart to get conned. Sure, Trump hosed those Trump University students with ease. But he also fleeced the Atlantic City casino bondholders who were represented by extraordinarily smart and experienced attorneys. Trump knew that in the end they would get nothing and he would walk away with many millions of dollars. He gained their confidence in spite of the fact that Trump's casinos significantly under-performed compared to competitors:

So explain to me how those lawyers made deals with Trump. Why did he continue to get paid and how did he convince them to allow him to walk away with huge sums for abject failure?

It seems likely that Trump continues to hold considerable real estate wealth (we don't really know). However, since his collapse in Atlantic City he seems to make a large chunk of his income through licensing his name. To do that, Trump convinced America that he was far more successful than he really is. From airlines to steaks, what business venture of Trump's has been successful? It is quite astonishing that the whole thing hasn't collapsed around him.

Most victims of con artists take a very long time to go to law enforcement. Not only do they want to believe that they are too smart to get scammed but the scammers just keep dragging them along. They expect that they will be a beneficiary if they are just patient a bit longer. They get screwed yet they never get to climax.

You might be thinking that blue-collar America has figured out that they got burned due to Trump's cabinet picks. Not at all. It is going to take time for them to come to their senses. It is really quite remarkable that someone as anti-union as Trump got their vote over the very union-friendly Clinton.

Donald Trump has defrauded America with a little help from James Comey and Vladimir Putin. We will never know whether or not he elicited their assistance. We will probably never know what the payoff is, or was, for Comey and Putin but the leader of the free world is now a sociopath; someone without a conscience. Trump got the high. He got over on all of us and Pence will probably be the operational president.

Nothing good is likely to come of this and only two things will keep Trump somewhat in check. First of all we need the iron will of Senate Democrats in concert with a few Republicans who put country above party. Trump is likely to do things that will appeal to conservative Christians. He needs to forestall their realization that they were swindled by a thrice-married serial adulterer with multiple bankruptcies.

Secondly the press is going to have to risk losing access in order to tell the complete truth every time it is necessary. Trump deserves no free passes. GOP legislators are more likely to buck an unpopular president. “Give him a chance” is both unwarranted and dangerous.

From my perspective Trump told so many lies that they worked in his favor. The press was unable to focus on a few really important things as they obsessed over Hillary Clinton's emails and as GOPers convinced people that Clinton killed people in Benghazi. The obvious Pam Bondi bribe should have created an FBI investigation and put an end to Trump's campaign. As a reminder he illegally washed this through his foundation and falsified the identity of the recipient. The Bondi payoff got lost in a sea of bullshit.

The bottom line is that David Korn and Joan Walsh are not going to keep Trump in check. However, the New York Times and the Washington Post (along with broadcast news) just might. It is going to take a monumental effort to compete for the facts with Fox News but it can be done. And not because Trump is the wrong party or a conservative. Rather it is because we already have the evidence that Trump is unstable, erratic and apathetic to the plight of others. Trump is not going to change. We are going to get fleeced again and again unless we take actions to prevent it. Even then we're in for some very bad times.

———

* There are literally hundreds of lies that Trump has told just in the campaign. Some of them are the result of repeating idiotic things from untrustworthy sources like WND. Surely he knew better. This is a very small sample:
  • The IRS is auditing me because I am a strong Christian (compound lie).
  • I cannot release my tax returns because I am being audited.
  • Climate change is a hoax of Chinese manufacture. Ordinarly that would be ignorance but his company has lobbied for sea walls to protect his golf courses from “global warming and its effects.”
  • I never said that climate change is a hoax. 
  • I never claimed that John McCain was not a hero.
  • Rafael and Ted Cruz never denied that Rafael was an accomplice of Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • I never supported the Iraq invasion.
  • I never claimed that not paying taxes makes me smart.
  • Obama was the founder of ISIS.
  • Obama wears a ring with an ISiS insignia.
  • I never said that I had a relationship with Putin. 
  • I saw thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey.
  • Obama supports terrorists.
  • I never promised that I would pay the legal fees of supporters who attacked my critics.
  • ISIS tried to have me killed.
  • I never suggested that accusers were too ugly for me to have assaulted.
  • We massacred Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood (compound lie).
  • Hillary Clinton started the Birther movement.
  • I raised $6 million for veterans.
  • I never said I raised $6 million for veterans.
  • Christian refugees cannot enter the country under Obama, only Muslims.
  • I never tried to convince Jeb Bush to support casinos in Florida. 
  • I know more about ISIS than the generals.
  • Syrian refugees are not vetted and we are going to admit 250,000 (compound lie).
  • I never said wages are too high.
  • I never said that Megan Kelly should not be a debate moderator.
  • Refugees only go to states with a Republican governor.
  • I never said that Japan should have nuclear weapons.
  • Hillary Clinton wants open borders and millions of refugees.
  • ICE endorsed me.
  • I never said that ICE endorsed me.
  • The government of Mexico sends criminals to the U.S..
  • We have 34 million undocumented immigrants.
  • Whites are mostly murdered by Blacks.
  • Inner city crime is at unprecedented highs (actually it is at historic lows).
  • Voter fraud is rampant.
  • The election is rigged against me.
  • Neither McCain nor Romney received a single vote in Philadelphia.
  • MSNBC edited my abortion answer so I appear to say that women must be punished.
  • Phony polls are published by the phony media.
  • Google suppresses negative stories about Clinton.
  • Hillary Clinton will abolish the Second Amendment.
  • Hillary Clinton mocked and laughed at a rape survivor.
  • Hillary Clinton slept through Benghazi.
  • $6 billion was missing from the State Dept. due to mismanagement by Clinton (compound lie).
  • Clinton will raise taxes on the middle class.
  • Hillary Clinton will make substantial cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
  • Hillary Clinton rigged the debates.
  • The Clinton Foundation is a corrupt pay-for-play scheme.
  • Hillary Clinton approves of ninth month abortions.
  • I provide my employees with free child care.
  • Trump Steaks are still on the market.
  • I never settle litigation.
  • I am much wealthier than the most generous estimates.
  • I am the most charitable person you will ever meet.
  • All I got from my father was a one million dollar loan.
  • Trump University had an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • I wrote the best-selling business book of all time.

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