Consider this: A con man from Queens has run out his potential in New York City, so he takes his show on the road. Before long, he’s a national name, and he’s known to be such a big business failure that no American bank will touch him. How does he survive?
Cash from the shady side of the street (hey, money launderers make money too), show business (comes naturally to someone who has been pretending for decades), and a big con on the people outside the city who know nothing of his loser reputation, people who think TV Donnie is the real Donnie.
How many movies, stories, jokes are there of city slickers conning some good ol’ country folk? Why does this narrative repeat itself across time periods?
But I have to say, up till now, I didn’t give “Don the Con” Trump much credit. He learned a few simple rules of branding — keep the message simple, say it no matter what, and repeat, repeat, repeat … and repeat, repeat, repeat … and repeat, repeat, repeat. But holy shit — this guy apparently pulled off the biggest con in history. He didn’t just lose more money than any other American in the 1980s — he lost almost double the second biggest loser. And he had the nerve — or perseverance — to publish The Art of the Deal during that time! (Okay, he just talked nonsense while Tony Schwartz ghostwrote it for him, but still.)
Nonetheless, despite being a massive business failure, Don the Con got a TV show on NBC, a TV show portraying Donnie as the opposite of what he was, as a business figure worth learning something from. Donnie also didn’t go bankrupt as an individual, something I’ll get back to after a few tweets and videos.
So the New York Times reports that Trump reported losses on his tax returns of more than $1.1 billion in ten years — more than any American taxpayer. Worst businessman ever? Biggest tax cheat? It's one or the other — and very likely both.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) May 7, 2019
Turns out NBC gave @realDonaldTrump the wrong show.
He should have been on The @BiggestLoserNBC.https://t.co/3Op3z8cWR3
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) May 7, 2019
This is what I've been saying. Trump was broke and ran for President to get another gig, to do another grift. He took out loans for his campaign and charged his campaign a higher interest rate to borrow from him and make money. He used his own facilities for events and got paid.
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) May 7, 2019
Aside from “reality TV” (fake news TV), which helped out Don the Con perhaps more than anything else, starting out a billionaire helped Donald to escape personal bankruptcy despite so much business failure. Getting bailed out by his dad (repeatedly) and siblings also helped with that. But, eventually, dad was gone and no one was going to help save poor Donnie from his lack of business understanding.
Luckily, Russian oligarchs who had been laundering money through Don the Con’s properties for decades saw a slim opportunity. Help a brother out and he might help out a mob dictator some day.
You honestly don’t have to take anyone’s word for it other than Donald Trump Jr.’s and Eric Trump’s. They’ve both said at not-inconsequential times that Russians provided their company with a lot of money.
What did Russia expect in return? Well, I think we’re finding out.
In the end, there are very likely two big bangs Don the Con doesn’t want people to see while digging through his taxes:
- He’s a horrible, horrible businessman.
- Russians (and other oligarchs from sketchy regimes) have funneled him a ton of money to keep him afloat ever since daddy died.
You may be a billionaire by birth, but if the business world finds out you lose more money that anyone else in the country — by a lot — there’s not much to do. You just have to go into show business and con the non-business community.
The problem is, Donald conned himself into the White House and is now screwing up the country. Yes, we’re facing record debt (something Republicans care a ton about until they are in power and balloon the hell out of it again) and Donnie is also destroying Constitutional separation of powers, important government agencies that keep Americans safe and healthy (agencies that have been failing for decades due to Republican neglect, but are now collapsing), and the rule of law. He’s destroying the concept that we have a democracy, or a democratic republic, not a kingdom in which the king is above the law. He’s destroying the idea that we should be governed by public servants, not mobsters. He’s destroying the USA’s position in the world by making us an unpredictable, harmful, insanely ignorant laughing stock.
Yes, country voters have been tricked and hurt by a con man from Queens and his mobster buddies in Russia and the Middle East. No, he’s not going to come around and deliver on numerous promises to help rural or urban working class people — quite the opposite. He’ll keep doing rallies — entertainment — for the fools who continue to buy his con. And maybe he should just steal the phrase from the original circus kings and call this nonsense version of democracy the “greatest show on Earth.”
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