Donald Trump never wanted to be president. That’s a real job, something he’s never had, and it requires real work, something he’s never done. While it’s true he kinds sorta ran for president in 2000 as a reform candidate he only garnered 15,000 votes in California. For those playing along at home, that’s not a serious number in a state of millions. That’s barely a serious number in a suburb. Trump’s failings as a human and business person are myriad and well documented. At this point you either believe in reality or you’re voting for him. Nothing I write here today will change that. Fortune Magazine, not exactly a bastion of liberal thought, spent a lot of ink chronicling his public displays of racism dating from 1973. Snopes, bless their little hearts, tried to sort myth from fact when it comes to his business dealings and came away confused. Trump claims to own 515 businesses. That’s a lie. Most businesses bearing his name do so by licensing the name, not letting him anywhere near their operations. All I can say is that six of his biggest businesses went bankrupt and twelve more closed without ever turning a profit. Of those there are a brand of vodka, a chain of golf courses, and a line of steaks. It’s hard to believe that you couldn’t sell booze, golf, and red meat in America, but there you go.
Nor could his vaunted business acumen be taught to others, no matter how much he charged them for it. That is the basis of an ongoing lawsuit which claims that Trump University was not an actual school, by any logical definition, nor was it designed to benefit students, if I may use that term, in any way. Like many “get rich quick” scams, it’s hard not to blame the victims too. They went for the “easy money” and got what everyone who pursues that path gets, bupkis.
So why would Trump run? Sure, he has a massive ego and narcissistic tendencies. Yes, in 2011, President Obama skewered him mercilessly in front of a crowd of people he wanted to impress. Yes, NBC didn’t give him what he wanted when he was the star of The Apprentice. And, in fact, is now barred from doing business with them at all.
All that being said, it still doesn’t answer the main question; “What the fuck is this guy doing?”
And I think the answer lies in the things unsaid.
Let’s start with the Donald’s tax returns. Being audited doesn’t prevent you from releasing them. They’re your returns, you can do whatever the hell you want with them. But, if you’re positioning yourself as a brilliant businessman, which is debatable since he could have twice his claimed value if he’d just tossed his daddy’s money into a 401 K and sat on a beach, then proving how much money you’ve earned is your only validation. And, without tax returns, or detailed financial statements, that claim is meaningless.
What is known is that Trump is heavily leveraged to foreign banks. Kind of a bad position to be in if you’re president. Even more troubling is the fact he’s soliciting campaign cash from foreign countries, in violation of U.S. law. And, yes, the government has warned him about this. So why would he keep doing it?
Try this on for size.
Maybe not broke like you and I, sifting through couch pillows grasping at change, but broke in any tangible sense when it comes to having billions in assets he can’t pay for. Broke enough to need the kind of money only a serious presidential campaign can bring.
And where could he get that money?
Well, foreign businesses and investors are a given, the law be damned, but that still wouldn’t be enough.
Now Trump may not be the genius he envisions, but that doesn’t make him a moron. He knows, as anyone who’s paid any attention at all to the right wing knows, followers of the prosperity gospel, a gospel completely at odds with the actual gospels, are the must gullible people on the planet. Promise them riches and they’ll sell anything they own to get that lottery ticket.
So Trump appealed to them. And they, ignoring all evidence to the contrary, embraced his beliefs and began emptying their bank accounts for him.
But he needed even more than that. So who’s the next most gullible group? Racists.
Has he got their votes? Oh yeah. Check out these actual quotes from a Trump convoy currently traveling U.S. highways.
On CB radios, thinking that no one was listening in, one of the truckers exclaims:
“Lynch the niggers by their dicks!”
Another driver proudly declares:
“Burn every single nigger!”
Then a third driver joins the hate speech and tells the others:
“All I know is we got plenty of trees to hang niggers from.”
Are all Trump supporters racists? No. Are all racists Trump supporters? Also no. The vast majority, yes, but not all. Some think Trump’s too liberal for them. I say that having met a fun loving group of them the other day.
Now go back and review the Trump campaign. He’s positioned himself to be the voice of the lunatic fringe for the rest of his life. He has media savvy associates who have never met a truth they couldn’t ignore. The fact that those associates are using him just as much as he’s using them is lost to him. He has holdings in countries that have no extradition treaties with the U.S., an important fact as his legal woes continue to mount, and he has no moral compunctions against harming anyone in his path.
Trump, like it or not, will be the well financed voice of the disaffected for quite some time. And if that means fomenting an armed, yet fundamentally doomed, rebellion, so be it. If you think he doesn’t give a shit now, just wait until this election is over.