Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series
17. The con
It is 17 days until the next U.S. congressional midterm election.
During the 1988 Democratic National Convention, Ann Richards, future governor of Texas, rather famously said of George H.W. Bush, then the vice president and GOP presidential candidate: “Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”
We lost Ann Richards in 2006. How I wish she was still around to offer her wisdom on Donald Trump, speaking of being born with a silver foot in one’s mouth.
Take, for instance, his wacky comments this week about … oh, I don’t know; let’s pick … global climate change.
A little background: In 2012, Trump said, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
In January 2014, because it was snowing in Texas, he tweeted, “Global warming is an expensive hoax!”
These are not rarities. Vox, more than a year ago, compiled 115 examples of him tweeting his skepticism of climate change.
Just last Sunday, in an interview on “60 Minutes,” he seemed to accept climate change as fact but insisted it could change back. What a convenient untruth.
Tuesday, in an interview with The Associated Press, when pressed with the consensus of the scientific community, the president responded by saying, “I have a natural instinct for science.”
And therein lies my theory on why Trump is such a horrible president. It begins with the silver foot … uh, I mean … silver spoon.
The New York Times earlier this month published a deeply researched story that revealed Donald Trump was “earning” $200,000 a year from his father at the age of 3. The president has insisted he is a self-made billionaire who received minimal assistance from his father. However, the Times found that, in his 40s and 50s, he was receiving more than $5 million a year. There were also allegations of fraud.
Note that the paper converted money to today’s dollars.
So, what kind of life does the pampered son of a millionaire have? Like the 800-pound gorilla, whatever kind he would like.
Donald Trump’s desire has always been to control reality. With enough people around him paid to administer to his every whim, that wasn’t much of a problem. If he said it wouldn’t snow in Manhattan in January, they would tell him and everyone else there was a heavy pollen problem that winter.
It instantly became more difficult when he moved into the White House. When he lied to say his inauguration crowd was much larger than it was, there were stacks of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
And so it goes.
He wants to be buddies with heavy-handed, murderous dictators and, of course, he’s called out for it. So, he says, “My autocratic friend tells me he’s innocent and I believe him, end of story.” (OK, that’s a paraphrase on my part.)
The tax scam endorsed by Trump and pushed through by Republicans last year has already shown to be just what we said it would, a tax break for billionaires who would not pass on the savings to the workforce and whose lowered tax rate would drive our country deeper into debt, so much so that those same Republicans are already laying the groundwork to steal our Social Security and Medicare monies to cover their sins. But the president still says it’s great. To be fair, it is great for him.
To summarize: Whatever you want to hear, he will tell you it’s the truth and attack anyone who says differently. Then, he does whatever he wants and leaves you holding the bag and paying the bills.
Basically, that’s the definition of a con artist.
What do we do with a con artist? Don’t believe him or her. Do not give up any money or personal information. Call the police.
If the con artist is the president of the United States, we must trust the checks and balances of our government to protect us. Presumably, the legislative branch wouldn’t let a con artist get away with it; alas, the Republican-controlled Congress has been on the take – figuratively if not literally – from the con and has abandoned its responsibilities. The courts are charged with keeping things in line with the Constitution; alas, Trump and the GOP Senate have been effectively packing the courts with judges who might very well be beholden to them, the effect of which we might be forced to deal with for many years.
Even though it’s still unknown whether Trump was involved with the Russian hacking of the presidential election (He said he wasn’t, but see above.), we’re sort of stuck relying on getting a fair vote. The best thing we can do is overwhelm the polls with votes for those who will protect us from a con artist, who will evaluate things such as global climate change with an eye on facts, not a con artist’s “natural instincts.”
Early voting has opened in many states and soon will in others. Vote early, vote Blue, and take along a friend.