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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Maybe I am wrong about Trump

Maybe I am wrong about Donald Trump. Maybe the neoconservatives in Washington are correct in working stalwart against his nomination, even to the point of encouraging the theft of delegates. Maybe Trump really is a clown who has no chance in November.




(Trump burns the mortgage after saving the Hill family farm, Christmas 1986.)

The possibility that I am wrong is always out there, lurking in space like a troll waiting to pounce on a misspelling, or worse, a factual error. So how does one know if the meteor of being wrong on an epic scale is about to crash in on one's house?

The place to begin is with what I like about him.

1. Trump is a successful businessman worth $10 billion. He took his family's business from the Queens to Manhattan and the world. The Trump Organization is a worldwide real estate and resort business with 22,450 employees. Not bad for a man who began with a $40 million stake in 1974.

But what about the rumor that he could have done better if he invested in an S and P stock index fund in 1974? This disturbed me so I checked it out. I found this a hoax created by Mother Jones and repeated by Never Trump writers who apparently never question anything written about Trump that confirms their opinion that he is a buffoon. To make to work you have to understate his net worth by 71 percent and have him live on pork and beans for 40 years rather than a lavish penthouse apartment with a jet, a helicopter, and two ex-wives to support.

"Of all the criticisms you could lob at Trump, this is a weirdly weak one. Basically, the man took a $40 million kernel and, while spending lavishly enough to surround himself with all the gold-plated bathroom fixtures his heart desired, managed to do a 26 percent better job growing his fortune than if he had quietly left it to grow in stocks without selling a single share or spending a single dividend check for 41 years. I'd say that's pretty good. How many actual money managers could brag they'd done the same with their clients' cash?" Jordan Weissmann, Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent, wrote.

Oh, and the first stock index fund began in 1975, a year after Trump was supposed to make this imaginary investment in 1974. This would have made the $40 million worth $2.9 billion. His net worth is $10 billion.

But what about the bankruptcies? Four times he went to bankruptcy court for protection from creditors to avoid bankruptcy.

Avoid. He avoided bankruptcy. So that's another myth.

2. Trump has actually accomplished something in life. Everyone else had given up on Manhattan. He came in from Queens, bought seedy properties cheap, and began making New York, well, New York again. His first project was the Commodore Hotel whose once tony shops by 1980 included X-rated stores. Yes, he made a lot of money, but he had a lot of fun and he did a public good. America needs a vibrant Manhattan, if only to ease the pressure of those of us in Poca, West Virginia, to be more cosmopolitan.

3. Trump is a good family man. While he credits his first wife for raising their three children, all three of them support him and are working toward his election. His fourth child by his second wife is in college and seems squared away. His youngest child by his third wife is by all accounts growing into another handsome Trump man.

Three wives? It bothered me with Newt but for some strange reason, it does not bother me with Trump.



OK, the reason is not strange at all.

Ivana vouches for him and his latest wife. His past affairs? As long as he does not commit perjury, or thump the Bible while he humps the staff, I really do not care. It is between him and God.

4. Trump is fearless. He says what he thinks and often that is what I think. They call him racist, misogynist, et cetera. Too damned bad.

He is not a real conservative? Well neither was Romney or McCain and frankly neither is the House or the Senate. Conservatives -- particularly Christians -- get played often and a lot. You cannot say abortion is murder and then tell me it is wrong to punish the woman.

He will cost "us" the Senate and the House? Meh. They are run by greedy little weasels these days. I like how Republicans dumped Newt and Livingston as speakers over affairs in favor of Hassert, who turned out to be not only ineffectual but a pederast as well. House Speaker Jerry Sandusky, come on down.

5. Trump is more likely to change his mind than any other candidate when shown the facts. You don't think we should build a wall? Fine. Make your case with provable facts and not empty name-calling. He is a businessman who embraces facts and change. He takes calculated risks. He is willing to challenge the conventional wisdom. That is how we make progress. Someone has to take some tiny ships and see if China is just over the horizon. It isn't, but that was how we discovered America.

6. Finally, Trump likes the hoi polloi. No other Republican candidate among the 17 starters dared to question free trade or legal immigration. Most people in America are hurting. Never Trumpers like Kevin Williamson say too damned bad. I solemnly disagree.

Am I wrong about Trump?

45 comments:

  1. "He will cost "us" the Senate and the House?"

    Perhaps "they" might want to run as independent thinkers instead of party sycophants. Last I read the Constitution we aren't some half-assed parliamentary system no matter how the parties try to pretend it is.

    I'd bet it you went to Trump and told him we can skip the wall if we push to overturn all the small business, job killing regulations imposed by the Ivy League technocracy not to stop bad things from happening, but to assert their interventionist control, he'd do that and when the economy is growing, the immigration problem disappears.

    But I can almost guarantee none of the other potential occupants of the White House would or could seek to help state-strangled enterprises.

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  2. I'm not sure that liking the hoi polloi is a reason to like the candidate. I agree with Alexander Hamilton's estimation of the hoi polloi.

    But -- in the real world where universal suffrage holds sway -- Trump's affinity for the hoi polloi is a necessity for getting him elected in a world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on who's in the hoi polloi. Are they workers, or are they permanently on the dole?

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    2. I don't remember Hamilton bad mouthing poor folks. He was very popular amongst them in New York, much like Trump. He died broke (a fact that was concealed until 1935), yet took orphans into his home, reading to one the night before he went to be murdered by Burr.

      Delete
    3. But as political animals, Hamilton had no use for the people.

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    4. But as political animals, Hamilton had no use for the people.

      Delete
  3. I don't know how electable Trump is though I think he's the only Republican -- or the only one presumably running on the Republican ticket -- who would have a chance in November.

    He has shown the ability to reach voters who have never before considered voting Republican, but I can't help but wonder at the extent this would be offset by the GOP establishment working to bring him down and by rank-and-file GOP voters who are serious when they insist that they will never vote for him.

    And if he were to win, what then? Would he need to Obama-like assume extralegal powers to get the job done? How would that work out?

    Can a billionaire deal-maker really be trusted to work in the interest of the country as a whole rather than in his own? Is there not a significant possibility that he would cut deals with the same forces that he claimed to be running against?

    I'm for Trump, but it requires several leaps of faith on my part. The trouble is, that to suppose that anyone else would govern better would be an impossible leap of faith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last para: Yea, VERILY. He's Iffy.
      Ben and Hill are dead certs to be bad.

      Delete
  4. Big D...you're not wrong. And the money line in this post was about Trump's comment on abortion. Yes, it is murder. Yes, it is. So I didn't bat an eye when DJT said what he said. Exceptions? I am fine with them on a case by case basis. But let's be real here. Millenial women are fucking confused. Promiscuous one day and lawyering up the next. At the very least, a good solid whipping a la Adrian Peterson should be in store for these Lena Dunhams.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Thought you were gonna go with Ray Rice.

      Delete
  5. Finally, it's hard for me to believe that any president could fix what's really wrong with this country -- which is a sick culture.

    Ronald Reagan restored America from its economic malaise of the 1970's and helped win the Cold War, and none of that has lasted today, because the culture was sick even in his time and he could not or would not capture it and heal it.

    Today things are even worse. We cannot even admit basic truths about race, "gender", and real life to ourselves, let alone in public.

    In a world where "marriage" or even "male" and "female" are given elastic meanings to suit contemporary mores...

    ...In a world where we actually tolerate a racist pan-African administration making war against ordinary Americans and importing new ones in order to dissolve the people and create a new one...

    ...In a world where James Webb can be unceremoniously booted out of a party that represents roughly 50% of Americans for suggesting that his worst enemies were the foreign soldiers firing upon him (rather than conservative political opponents)...

    ...In a world with an administration that goes DEFCON 1 on his own conservative opposition (such as it is) while submitting to the dictates of hostile enemies abroad (with the approval of that same 50% of the electorate)...

    ...In a world where the fear of the consequences of being labeled as a "racist" (or any one of a number of different "ists") or as "insensitive" merely for speaking the truth or merely for observing the real world as it is actually does carry physical or material risks -- or, at the very least, psychic risks...

    ...In such a world, how can a single politician, no matter how authoritarian his personality or how benevolent his intentions, fix things?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want it fixed, you have to start.

      The country wasn't loused up overnight, it won't be fixed overnight.

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    2. With one who calls a spade a spade (even if he gets called a RAAAAACIST for saying spade) and doesn't care what others call him.

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    3. Well sure, but is there enough time? Do we have much longer than overnight?

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  6. How about this: he's got more to LOSE than anyone else running.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks 'Tea Party' you've made my day. I have been saying this for about 6 months now. The rest of the field will go back to being the blood sucking hucksters they were before they tried to be president. The Donald is putting up a high cash flow empire that he is risking if he loses.

      Delete
  7. Too many Non Trump types want a Politician, and Trump is absolutely not a Politician. That does bring a lot to the table right now.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Let's straighten out the facts. DJT is not worth $10 billion, Forbes says $4.5 billion today - the highest number he has ever had. Employee count is 22,450 - 34,000 is the number of jobs he says he created.

    As for turning $40 million into billions in the stock market, no one knows for sure and someone from Slate wouldn't know how to buy stock except through his 401-K.

    Bankruptcies were filed on 4 different Trump companies because of his poor management decisions, like financing using junk bonds. The big losers besides The Donald were employees, vendors, investors, lenders and taxpayers. These folks took substantial haircuts (bankruptcy is stealing after all) but while spouting BS, Trump's lawyer claimed that Donald Trump himself should not be held accountable for any of his company’s bankruptcies — his creditors, he said, "knew what they were getting themselves into when they lent Trump money over and over again.“

    As for Trump's success in New York City, he schmoozed the mayor into giving special deals and tax breaks; he hired illegals to work tearing down a building in order to avoid asbestos laws and didn't pay payroll taxes or provide protective gear; he shut down services in rent-controlled apartments and had the tenants harassed until they moved out. And he was deeply involved with the mob.

    As a NeverTrump guy, I think the man is dangerous because his self love is evident and his motives have always been to better his own wealth. He lies, he changes his position and he has no core beliefs. I shudder to think that his finger will be on the button when he overreacts such as was the case when a tiny female reporter took offense when attacked by his campaign manager. Trump raged on Twitter for a whole day - repeating, repeating, repeating. Come to think about it, he does that a lot. Trump's constant Twitter and Instagram postings are not normal for a 70 year-old unless of course, the early stages of dementia are setting in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I shall fix the employment number.
      As for $4.5 billion, that is still higher than $2.9 billion, which is the stock index number given.
      Filing for protection from creditors in bankruptcy court is not stealing. And the haircuts happen. Banks understand the risks of lending money.

      Delete
    2. Don, a lot of small vendors and businessmen lost a lot of money in Trump's bankruptcies, as did other investors, not just "banks".

      Delete
  9. It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong. It's HER turn.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Misunderstanding the rules and throwing a tantrum when your misunderstanding costs you in the political game you committed to playing and winning is one of the big reasons that I don't support Trump in the primaries.

    We have an entrenched bureaucracy that will try its best to eviscerate any outsider's program to meaningfully reform government. This nonsense over stealing delegates is a sign that Trump won't win against the DC bureaucracy which is counting on being there when the next president arrives and still being there at departure too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Let's straighten out the facts. DJT is not worth $10 billion, Forbes says $4.5 billion today - the highest number he has ever had. Employee count is 22,450 - 34,000 is the number of jobs he says he created.

    As for turning $40 million into billions in the stock market, no one knows for sure and someone from Slate wouldn't know how to buy stock except through his 401-K.

    Bankruptcies were filed on 4 different Trump companies because of his poor management decisions, like financing using junk bonds. The big losers besides The Donald were employees, vendors, investors, lenders and taxpayers. These folks took substantial haircuts (bankruptcy is stealing after all) but while spouting BS, Trump's lawyer claimed that Donald Trump himself should not be held accountable for any of his company’s bankruptcies — his creditors, he said, "knew what they were getting themselves into when they lent Trump money over and over again.“

    As for Trump's success in New York City, he schmoozed the mayor into giving special deals and tax breaks; he hired illegals to work tearing down a building in order to avoid asbestos laws and didn't pay payroll taxes or provide protective gear; he shut down services in rent-controlled apartments and had the tenants harassed until they moved out. And he was deeply involved with the mob.

    As a NeverTrump guy, I think the man is dangerous because his self love is evident and his motives have always been to better his own wealth. He lies, he changes his position and he has no core beliefs. I shudder to think that his finger will be on the button when he overreacts such as was the case when a tiny female reporter took offense when attacked by his campaign manager. Trump raged on Twitter for a whole day - repeating, repeating, repeating. Come to think about it, he does that a lot. Trump's constant Twitter and Instagram postings are not normal for a 70 year-old unless of course, the early stages of dementia are setting in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your facts are too far from the truth to be considered seriously. More propaganda, from the left?
      For instance "a tiny female reporter attacked by his campaign manager" No one was attacked.

      Delete
    2. gadfly:Your High Priest Glenn Beck called. You're late for your prayers before the altar of your Cruzmessiah-"the anointed King of the world".

      Delete
    3. LOL... i had exactly the same thought. Thank you

      Delete
  12. Suggestion for the #NeverTrump crowd...please practice honesty in labeling and call yourselves #AlwaysHillary.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, it's #AlwaysIntegrity.

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    2. You mean #alwaysLACKINGintegrity. #nevertrump was started by Eric Ericson after he was paid, yes PAID $10,000 by one of the PACs. Did you get a cut, or are you a stooge?

      Delete
  13. How far could Trump go, if the idiots trying to take him down, united behind him instead?

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    Replies
    1. Because we refuse to support a pathological liar, charlatan, and thin-skinned narcissist who would be a disaster for our country.

      Delete
    2. Because we refuse to support a pathological liar, charlatan, and thin-skinned narcissist who would be a disaster for our country.
      I'm sorry, I guess I should have read further down. I thought you were a Crud supporter when in fact you are a shill for that old commie Sanders who would be a disaster for America. My bad.

      Delete
  14. Trump's worth seems to change, even by his statements, if the reporting is accurate. But I don't care so much about that, just that it may be another misrepresentation. I like this analysis:

    Traditional conservative populism is: the elites think you’re rotten, but the joke’s on them because you’re actually better than them. You’re honest, hard-working, salt-of-earth people with heartland values, unlike those corrupt, effete, cynical jerks. This was often exaggerated and could amount to reverse snobbery, but there sure was something to it.

    Trump’s version of populism is different. His message is: the elites think you’re rotten, so you might as well give up trying to be good. You’re never going to be politically correct enough, so throw out all standards of decency. They’re going to hate you anyway, so you might as well be what they hate you for. It’s an appeal to popular vice instead of popular virtue.

    That’s the root of what’s awful about Donald Trump’s campaign: instead of offering voters a better version of themselves, he wants them to be the worst version of themselves. He wants to rise to highest office by dragging everybody else down.

    Federalist Blog, Robert Tracinsk

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    Replies
    1. You have obviously never listened to an entire speech of his. The media picks out the lone minute of an incredibly positive and encouraging speech to frame him as negative. He is extraordinarily positive and optimistic if you just stop and listen.

      Delete
  15. Trump's worth seems to change, even by his statements, if the reporting is accurate. But I don't care so much about that, just that it may be another misrepresentation. I like this analysis:

    Traditional conservative populism is: the elites think you’re rotten, but the joke’s on them because you’re actually better than them. You’re honest, hard-working, salt-of-earth people with heartland values, unlike those corrupt, effete, cynical jerks. This was often exaggerated and could amount to reverse snobbery, but there sure was something to it.

    Trump’s version of populism is different. His message is: the elites think you’re rotten, so you might as well give up trying to be good. You’re never going to be politically correct enough, so throw out all standards of decency. They’re going to hate you anyway, so you might as well be what they hate you for. It’s an appeal to popular vice instead of popular virtue.

    That’s the root of what’s awful about Donald Trump’s campaign: instead of offering voters a better version of themselves, he wants them to be the worst version of themselves. He wants to rise to highest office by dragging everybody else down.

    Federalist Blog, Robert Tracinsk

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    Replies
    1. Hillary Clinton makes Richard Nixon look like a paragon of virtue.

      Ted Cruz makes Hillary Clinton look like a paragon of virtue.

      Ted Cruz=Jim Jones

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    2. That's a little low don't you think? I'd place Jones well above Cankles. On par or slightly above tricky Dick even.

      Delete
  16. This is so wrong in so many ways I don't know where to start. First, it was NOT Mother Jones who started a "rumor" about Trump's net worth. It was Forbes magazine, and the assertion was supported by facts. And Trump is NOT worth $10 billion anywhere except in his own imagination. Timothy O'Brien reported in "Trump Nation" that Trump is worth around $700 million, and he has Trump on tape saying his net worth varies depending on how he feels that day. Trump sued O'Brien, but he lost when the judge ruled that Trump could not prove anything O'Brien reported was factually incorrect. And you need to brush up on what it means to file for bankruptcy. He didn't "avoid" bankruptcy; the court filings were an act of DECLARING himself bankrupt. And he stiffed a lot of small businesses and investors in the process, but Donald always managed to get paid regardless. You really need to take off your Trump blinders, do some actual research, and see that you've fallen for the ultimate con man.

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    Replies
    1. You need to do the same on the bankruptcy issue. Look at his financials on opensecrets.com. He has over 480 businesses and assetts, which fluctuate in value. Politifact has an entire article on his bankruptcies that show they were "reorganizational" ones and that the businesses still ran and they did not end up with everyone losing their jobs. These were not personal bankruptcies.

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  17. Trump is Obama with a comb-over. Obama's an ego-tripping self-worshipping crybully whose self-esteem is only exceeded by how spectacularly wrong he is about his own capabilities. Trump is the same thing, and Trump fans are doing what the Obama fans did eight years ago, projecting your desires onto a blank slate. I agree that we have a corrupt political class who's misled and often betrayed us. However, the solution to that is not to elect a crony capitalist who's made his entire (alleged) fortune by playing the inside game. He's using you, Trump supporters, just like Obama used his supporters, to feed is ego addiction.

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  18. You are totally correct about Trump....Go, Trump, win!!!!

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  19. You are not wrong, even though I don't really support Trump myself, he is the only person in the Republican primary who actually has a chance of enlarging the coalition that the Republican Party needs to actually win the White House. This is probably the last chance the Republican Party will get- if Clinton wins in November, by 2020 there will be 10 million newly approved citizens to vote for her reelection.

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  20. Don, I'm a reluctant Trump supporter. Why? Sanders is a communist, Clinton acriminal. Cruz is owned by the Banks and is about as much an outsider as Lyin Ryan.
    Kasich is supported by George Soros who incidentally is funding in part both Cankles and Burn out.
    Trumps conservative bonafides are questionable. His three divorces are the biggest issue for me. Look what happened the last time we elected a guy who couldn't make a marriage work.
    reagan was no conservative. Just look at what he did. he ended the cold war. That cold war was a cash cow for conservative pro America business men who made fortunes supplying the weapons of war needed to maintain our side of the fight that never happened. In so doing he ended prosperity for many forcing them to turn off shore in search of new ways to make dirty money.

    ReplyDelete