Donald J. Trump is a Confirmed Charlatan and a Fraud
by Frank Vyan Walton –
The bogus nature of Donald Trump’s claims of wealth and competence may not be news to many of us who opposed his presidency, or happened to have read anything about the trail of waste and destruction his businesses practices have left in his wake.
To anyone who has watched Trump over the past four decades, none of this is a surprise. His presidential campaign is built on the claim that he’s a brilliant businessman worth $10 billion who turns every challenge into success, but Trump is none of those things. Instead, he was born into an exceedingly wealthy family and tried to build upon his father’s success with ever-riskier ventures, and by any rational measure, he failed again and again.
He’d have done better if he’d never gone into business. In 1982, Trump reported to New Jersey regulators a personal net worth of $321 million, built largely on his father’s connections, as well as loans and guarantees for bank credit. Two years later, a Trump lieutenant testified that his worth had not changed much. In 2004, in reviewing his application for a loan, Deutsche Bank concluded he was worth $788 million. Trump now makes the highly dubious claim that he is worth $10 billion; Forbes estimates that the real number is $3.7 billion. That’s a lot of money, to be sure, but suppose Trump had never done any deals and instead sold all of his assets back in 1982 and invested them in a fund based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. With dividends reinvested, he would have increased his wealth to $535 million by 1985. By 2004, his personal wealth would have increased to $5.9 billion. And three years ago, he would have exceeded what he claims to be worth now by more than $1 billion; today, he would be worth more than $13 billion, just under three times the Forbes estimate.
In other words, if the Republican nominee had done nothing but mow his lawn for the past 35 years, he would be a dramatically wealthier man than he is today.
So much for his brilliant business acumen and leadership.
And the truth of has been laid even more bare by two recent interviews that show that Trump is nothing more than a vicious opportunist who managed to pander and manipulate his way into a Presidency he is completely unprepared for and totally unwilling to command.
First there is his recently sit down with the New York Times which shows that weeks before even taking the oath of office he is prepared to betray and reverse nearly all of the significant promises he made during the campaign.
In just the two weeks since Trump’s election, he’s managed to backtrack on a number of his signature issues.
Those calls to “lock her up” his supporters chanted will go unanswered. Trump isn’t prosecuting Clinton. He won’t be repealing and replacing Obamacare. Instead, he intends to work to fix it. That big beautiful wall isn’t going to be a big beautiful wall after all. It turns out that Trump is fine with having it be a fence. There’s already a fence on a majority of the border and we’ve been building more for years.
Another point is that Trump won’t be ending the “war on coal.” While the coal miners were promised their jobs would be coming back, Trump lied to them. Coal is just too expensive for an energy source. It’s the free market that killed coal, so unless Trump intends to prop up the industry, it’s never going to happen. Trump has also said he only intends to deport the “criminal illegals.” The rest of the undocumented Americans will probably be safe if his latest statements are any indication. Trump isn’t pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Treaty as he promised. Advisors close to Trump say he might “renegotiate” some things, but the U.S. isn’t the only country in the deal. If he wanted to renegotiate, he’d have to bring all of the stakeholders to the table again. It took many many years to make it happen, to begin with.
Trump’s also pulled back on waterboarding, admitting it might not be a good idea and he might listen to his generals on it instead. He might not be pulling out of the Paris Climate Treaty after all. Trump told the New York Times that he’s keeping an open mind about the treaty and he’s not sure if he’ll keep it or not.
To review: No “Lock Her Up”. No Obamacare repeal. No Big Beautiful Wall. No Deportation Force. No Waterboarding. No rejection of the Paris Climate Change deal. No resurgence for Coal. No pulling out of the Iran Deal.
Though it may be tempting to find some solace in these revelations, it also indicates that Trump has no true core, no true values, no true compass or moral vision. He’ll do whatever seems expedient for the moment. Anything.
He’s not even sworn in yet and we can already put the question to those who Voted for Trump “Is there anything that he promised you left that he’s actually going to do? Or even try to do?”
How’s he going to “Make America Great” during a trade war with China and Mexico while implemented massive tax cuts for the dividend class. That’s not going bring back jobs, it’s far more likely to bring on a massive recession.
But it’s really the second interview that reveals exactly why Trump made so many of these promises if he really never had any intention of following through with any of them. That interview, by Forbes, was with his step-son Jared Kushner who revealed that he helped shape the messages of his father-in-laws campaign using the methods of corporate marketing and social media to have Trump tell Anti-Obama anti-Immigrant Americans exactly what they wanted to hear.
No resources at the beginning, perhaps. Underfunded throughout, for sure. But by running the Trump campaign–notably, its secret data operation–like a Silicon Valley startup, Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost. President Obama had unprecedented success in targeting, organizing and motivating voters. But a lot has changed in eight years. Specifically social media. Clinton did borrow from Obama’s playbook but also leaned on traditional media. The Trump campaign, meanwhile, delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning.The traditional campaign is dead, another victim of the unfiltered democracy of the Web–and Kushner, more than anyone not named Donald Trump, killed it.
Kushner stepped up to turn it into an actual campaign operation. Soon he was assembling a speech and policy team, handling Trump’s schedule and managing the finances. “Donald kept saying, ‘I don’t want people getting rich off the campaign, and I want to make sure we are watching every dollar just like we would do in business.’”
Like selling steak, or Pepsi, or vacation time-shares Kushner marketed Trump exactly like selling a product. The sloganeering and messaging itself became most import, not what was actually contained in the message. It was about targeting and energizing the Anti-Obama voter, it didn’t matter at all how he did it, what he had to say or what he had to promise only that they heard the message.
At first Kushner dabbled, engaging in what amounted to a beta test using Trump merchandise. “I called somebody who works for one of the technology companies that I work with, and I had them give me a tutorial on how to use Facebook micro-targeting,” Kushner says. Synched with Trump’s blunt, simple messaging, it worked. The Trump campaign went from selling $8,000 worth of hats and other items a day to $80,000, generating revenue, expanding the number of human billboards–and proving a concept. In another test, Kushner spent $160,000 to promote a series of low-tech policy videos of Trump talking straight into the camera that collectively generated more than 74 million views.
This wasn’t a completely raw startup. Kushner’s crew was able to tap into the Republican National Committee’s data machine, and it hired targeting partners like Cambridge Analytica to map voter universes and identify which parts of the Trump platform mattered most: trade, immigration or change. Tools like Deep Root drove the scaled-back TV ad spending by identifying shows popular with specific voter blocks in specific regions–say, NCIS for anti-ObamaCare voters or The Walking Dead for people worried about immigration. Kushner built a custom geo-location tool that plotted the location density of about 20 voter types over a live Google Maps interface.
Soon the data operation dictated every campaign decision: travel, fundraising, advertising, rally locations–even the topics of the speeches. “He put all the different pieces together,” Parscale says. “And what’s funny is the outside world was so obsessed about this little piece or that, they didn’t pick up that it was all being orchestrated so well.
So in reality all the hateful, nativist, xenophobic, misogynist, abusive, war criminal, near-genocidal messages that Trump barked every day, including retweets from white nationalist on black crime statistics or anti-semitic images of Hillary Clinton and money linking her to “Foreign Bankers” and the Star of David were being carefully planned and orchestrated by the grandson of holocaust survivors as a cynical aggressively micro-targeted marketing strategy.
Business marketing tactics weaponized for political gain.
It didn’t come from Trump, his convictions or his heart, it came from Kushner’s data crunching. He didn’t really mean it, it was just a method of cynical manipulation, he was just pushing people’s buttons. Playing a game where he would say something that may have seemed racist or xenophobic specifically so some would make that accusation in order to inflame the support of working class white voters who would sympathize with being constantly called “racist” when they themselves felt they were nothing of the kind and were being ignored and marginalized by the imagined reverse-racism of others.
That is also what Steve Bannon has done, invited in “alt-Right” neo-Nazis in the heart of Briertbart.com specifically to undermine the ability of anyone to use “racism” as a way to dismiss and discredit certain conservative policy positions.
That’s why it’s so easy for Trump to brush it all aside, pretending not only that he never meant any of that — that he never even really said any of it either. It’s why his denials are so half-heared and appear like an annoyed after thought. It was all JUST WORDS to him. Part of a script that was laid out for him by Kushner’s marketing team. In short he’s a fraud. He’s a phony. He never meant any of this shit. He just said what he needed to say to get from first base, to second, then third and finally under America’s skirts and now he doesn’t know what the fuck to do with her.
Even Kushner argues that the vicious hateful Trump so many us saw on he campaign trail isn’t who he really is.
The allegations of anti-Semitism hit closer to home. In July, Trump tweeted a graphic of Hillary Clinton against a background of dollar bills and a six-pointed star that contained the words “most corrupt candidate ever,” an image that had allegedly originated on a white supremacist message board. Dana Schwartz, a reporter for Kushner’s Observer, wrote a widely read piece for the paper’s site urging her boss, given the prominence he places on his faith and family, to denounce the tweet. Kushner responded with an opinion piece that defended Trump using the same old line: that he knows Trump. “If even the slightest infraction against what the speech police have deemed correct speech is instantly shouted down with taunts of ‘racist,’ then what is left to condemn the actual racists?”
Kushner insists today that there will be no hate element in the Trump Administration, starting at the top. “You can’t not be a racist for 69 years, then all of a sudden become a racist, right?” he says. “You can’t not be an anti-Semite for 69 years and all of a sudden become an anti-Semite because you’re running.”
Just as Trump casually and dismissively disavows any actual racist intent while repeatedly putting for racially biased and bigoted rationales for his policy positions, he has absolutely no qualms or hesitation with disavowing those policies themselves.
This was not a political campaign based on any type of policy based vision for America, it was a hostile business takeover of our electoral process driven to win at any and all moral cost for smallest financial buck.
It was a carefully orchestrated digitally marketed scam.
And now we see that for all his bluster about “Keeping America Safe” Trump is far too busy taking selfies with business partners and publicly holding his Presidial Apprentice Pageant for Cabinet positions than attend the Presidial Daily Security briefings.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that President-Elect Donald Trump has been denying the analysts tasked with giving him the top secret intelligence briefing every day. The briefings are to give the president and president-elect an update on global security threats and developments. The document is designed to give a summary of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies to update the president on covert programs being run overseas by the CIA.
Trump hasn’t been updated more than twice since he won the election over two weeks ago. Pence has received a briefing almost every day.
Officials in the Trump transition maintain that he’s been too busy working on forming his administration to concern himself with global security threats.
He’s too busy play-acting President to bother actually being President. Like a business man he’s going to outsource it all to his staff. To Pence, who will be for all intents the Acting President, to Priebus, Bannon, Flynn and his cabinet of semi-Deplorables, Paul Ryan and the GOP Congress. He won’t accomplish anything great, but they just might do quite a few horrible and despicable things like dismantle the safety net and privatize both Social Security and Medicare.
Most of us who voted against him already knew he was a liar and a fraud, eventually both his bigoted supporters and those who wrongfully voted for him thinking that he actually would, or could, accomplish any of the things he promised will figure it out too.
I for one am not sure he’s going to be able sell them New Coke for 2020 once people realize how rancid he original formula was from he start.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos