When I woke up the day after Donald Trump (R-Trump Towers) became the presumptive GOP presidential nominee and titular head of the party (consider that a moment: as the GOP nominee, Donald Trump will be the leader of the Republican Party!!), one of my first thoughts was about that very Party and “How dare you?!” for petulantly taking out their personal angst at not getting their way in Congress and therefore foisting a Donald Trump on all the rest of the country, risking that he could become the President of the United States.
And so, I decided to do something about it, and went on a journey into the mind of a Trump supporter. In fairness, this wasn't as easy as it sounds, and required a microscope, and highly-contoured topographic map. But I made it. Also, lest anyone was worried for my well-being, I was extremely prepared and wore plenty of protective gear, along with a pith helmet.
When I finally was able to discover the existence and then location of what appeared to be a frontal lobe, I made contact. To my surprise, the fellow was very glad I'd arrived safely. "Lucky you!!" he said. At least that's what I think it was. It's possible that the first word he spoke began with an "F" instead. There was a lot of static there, so things were quite fuzzy. "Lucky you!" he shouted. "Lucky you! Lucky you!"
My difficult arrival accomplished, I found a comfortable spot and settled in. Here then are some of the random pieces of our exchange, in which I wanted to know from him why on earth he thought Donald Trump had even the slightest qualifications to be President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief of the military, and leader of the free world. All I got back were sort of platitudes which by themselves were a bit meaningless, but strung together they could make up what might be seen as a conversation.
"He tells it like it is!"
(Actually, no, Donald Trump gave up telling it like it is decades ago when he realized it got in the way of him conning people into buying Trump Steaks, drinking Trump Wine, getting an education at Trump University, flying on Trump Air, and qualifying for a loan at Trump Mortgage, to pay for your gambling at the Trump Taj Mahal. They all failed, and many people were hurt by them -- to the degree that the New York Attorney General has even taken Trump University to court for fraud -- though at least he himself did just fine financially from them. And we're still waiting, of course, after five years for him to present the non-existent "proof" he has that Barack Obama was supposedly born in Kenya. And for him to find that fictitious video of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. And to explain how on earth he couldn't actually know who the former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke was, who endorsed Trump, despite insisting he has the world's greatest memory. And besides, that's not even his real family name, it's Drumpf. Or skin color. Or hairweave. All of which is fine, unless you're trying to convince people you "tell it like it is.")
"He stands for what I believe in!"
(Actually, no, Donald Trump stands for Donald Trump. That's why, as you may have noticed, he puts "Trump" on everything he owns, sort of like when your mom sewed name tags in your clothes before going to summer camp, except that he's not eight years old, and it's hard to lose a building or an airplane or a casino. Though clearly, it is easy to lose a LOT of steaks and wine. Donald Trump pretty much only cares about himself and what his deal can get for him. Now, mind you, it's possible you believe in some of the same things, like racially smearing Mexicans and wanting to ban Muslims and being misogynistic to women and ridiculing the disabled and supporting torture and keeping nuclear attacks an option and promoting violence and demeaning war heroes and calling people names -- something most people gave up around that same eight-year-old mark. But even if so, that's only a tiny part of what Donald Trump believes in. Because Donald Trump trumps all. And he only believes in those things because they help the Donald Trump Brand. Donald Trump is a megalomaniacal narcissist; a thoughtless bully; a self-centered, wheeler-dealer con man and so profoundly insecure all the attention has to be on him him him marked by his name Trump Trump Trump. And he doesn't care one whit what you believe in. Which is why he can never stand for what you believe in. Or really stand you. Because unless you're rich and have accomplished big things, to Donald Trump you, sir, are a "Loser!!")
"He's a great businessman."
(Actually, no, Donald Trump is like the line by the late, former Texas governor Ann Richards -- "He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." There are detailed reports that Donald Trump inherited up to $200 million. He's like Steve Martin's joke about how to make $2 million. "First, get a million dollars..." Great businessman? If you inherited $200 million and did nothing with it but just simply invested it all in Index Funds, Fortune magazine writes that you would make four times what Donald Trump has!! In other words, he's turned his inherited wealth into one-quarter its value. Besides, Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy four times. If you filed for bankruptcy four times, Donald Trump would call you a "Loser!!" Actually, you probably wouldn't get the chance to file for bankruptcy four times.)
"He can run the government because he knows business."
(Actually, no. Politics is nothing like running a business. Nothing. And being President of the United States is not only less-so, but has absolutely zero to do with running a business. In business, if you're in charge, you can decide everything that you want done. You can order people around and tell all your employees how to do their job. You can fire people, for any reason. In politics, most especially if you're the president, Congress makes the laws and decides what gets done. You can't fire elected representatives or even civil service employees. You have a complete separate political party that can disagree with you about everything and block everything you want. And worse, they might be in the majority and push their own agenda. You have to compromise. You have to be a diplomat. You have to be, literally, a military general, since you're commander-in-chief of all the armed forces. You have to know about outer space, science, macroeconomics, transportation, education, social welfare and on and on, areas far out of your expertise. And then, just when you've been inundated by all that -- there's every other country in the world. You can't order them to do anything. You can't know most of anything about what they're doing. And those are your friends and allies. It doesn't even take into consideration enemy nations that oppose you. And not just oppose, but may be trying, literally, to destroy you. Business?? You know how to run a business?? Swell, buy a chain of 7-11's. This international global politics, bucko.)
"He's so rich, Wall Street can't buy him."
(Actually, no, Donald Trump is a businessman whose whole business life is centered at the business core on Wall Street. Open a dictionary and look up "Wall Street," and you'll see a picture of Donald Trump. Cross-referenced to "Bankruptcies." But then, if your criteria of a qualified president is simply being rich, you probably think a whole lot of people must be incredibly qualified to be president. How about Warren Buffet or George Soros? Oh, sure, they're liberal, but hey they're both really rich, overwhelmingly more rich than Donald Trump that by comparison they make him look like a "Loser!!", so you'd probably like them even better as president. Or maybe Bill Gates or Carl Icahn or Phil Knight or Paul Allen or Jeff Bezos should be president? They're phenomenally rich, massively more than Donald Trump. The Koch Brothers are incredibly rich, perhaps they could be both president and VP? Hey, they're trying to buy the job anyway. Just like Sheldon Adelson, so what about him? Michael Bloomberg could buy Donald Trump 20 times over, and he was even elected to something. "Something" being mayor of New York City. Besides which, we don't even really know what Donald Trump's wealth actually is. So, it might not be anywhere near what he hints and what you think.)
“He finances his own campaign, so he can’t be bought by any special interests.”
(Actually, no, Donald Trump has a request for donations right on his website. You can’t miss it, it’s highlighted. In fact, he raised $12 million from donations. Besides which, he’s had those four pesky bankruptcies so anyone who thinks he doesn’t owe a lot with a lot of obligations to a lot of people isn’t trying. Besides which, two weeks ago, he hired a national finance chairman with goal to raise a billion dollars. The chairman will be Steven Mnunchin, a former hedge fund manager at Goldman Sachs who was known for controversial, predatory homeowner foreclosures. Besides which, all that money that Donald Trump keeps saying endlessly that he spent to supposedly “self-finance” his campaign was actually just a loan that can all be paid back from those private donations once his finance chairman raises that billion dollars. Besides which Trump actually does have a Super PAC despite his insistence to the contrary – never mind that whole “He tells it like he is” thing – called Great America Super PAC, run by Jesse Benton, who two weeks ago was found guilty and convicted of four felony fraud charges, including bribery. Yet he remains the head of the Super PAC. Can’t be bought by special interests?? Donald Trump, all by himself, is a living, breathing, traveling special interest.)
"He wants to make America great again."
(Actually, no, America is pretty darn good right now. After all, don't you think most of the rest of the world still looks at America as a beacon of hope and liberty and success, the ultimate destination for making it? Besides which, Donald Trump saying he wants to make America great again means the he doesn't believe is America is great. Can you imagine if a Democrat ever said that?? Really, just imagine if a Democrat ran on a platform that America wasn't great. Republicans would have apoplexy and start screaming bloody murder about how unpatriotic that traitor was and ask why he hated America? Which is a fine question for a Republican to ask their nominee -- why does Donald Trump hate America? Why is he so deeply unpatriotic?)
"He wants to make America First"
(Actually, no, that's a really, really bad thing to want. Seriously. The "America First" line that Donald Trump has started using for his campaign is actually the slogan of American fascists in the 1940s who supported the Nazis. I don't mean a sort of pseudo Nazi used in hyperbolic language to insult someone, but the real Nazis. Y'know, the ones in brown shirts with Hitler. They even had their own party -- the America First Party. So, no, wanting "America First," is a truly awful, despicable, hateful thing to want. Now, mind you, it might actually be what Donald Trump wants, but it's a horrific qualification for being president.)
"Hmm. I didn't know all that. If I stepped back and thought about him more, this Donald Trump really sounds pathetic, a real Loser. And he's got such small hands, what's up with that?? And to think I once supported him. But not anymore. Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me..."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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