Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Perfect Suckers


On 6/28/16, Jeet Heer, who is a senior editor at the New Republic wrote an article entitled: “Conservatives Have Groomed the Perfect Suckers for Trump’s Epic Scam.”  The following is an excerpt from that article. 

“In 2000, Donald Trump boldly told Fortune magazine, ‘It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.’  Sixteen years later, he’s structured an entire presidential campaign around making good on that boast.  While Trump is turning out to be a disaster for the Republican Party, the real estate magnate is pretty much guaranteed to come out richer.  That was the plan all along.  And conservative voters, conditioned by decades of right-wing politicians and media exploiting and enhancing their gullibility, make the perfect victims for his ruse. 

“Not so long ago, in the days before Marco Rubio endorsed Trump, the Florida senator called him a ‘con artist.’  It’s hard to imagine how anyone could dispute Rubio’s evaluation.  The operations of Trump University alone paint the convincing portrait of a swindler.  Yet the deeper question is how such an obvious mountebank could win the majority of a major party’s delegates.  Is there something in the nature of the Republican Party and its conservative base that made them particularly vulnerable to Trump’s deceptions?

“Trump continues to baffle pundits and politicians alike, because most can’t yet bring themselves to believe that the presumptive presidential nominee of a major party is running a Potemkin campaign—an elaborate ruse that looks like one thing but is actually another.  But there is no other way to make sense of Trump’s bizarre campaign—his amateur-hour fundraising, his spending nearly 20 percent of his meager campaign funds on businesses owned either by himself or his family, his refusal to run ads in swing states.

“Is there something in the nature of the Republican Party and its conservative base that made them particularly vulnerable to Trump’s “scampaign”?

“Republican strategist and Never Trump stalwart Rick Wilson hit upon the perfect coinage when he described Trump as running a “scampaign.”  It’s not that Trump doesn’t want to be president. 

“It’s that the real objective, win or lose, is relaunching his lucrative brand.  In recent years, Trump was getting diminishing returns with his main reality-show career, with The Apprentice facing dwindling ratings despite Trump’s false claim that it was the number-one show on TV.  So his move to politics was a way of revitalizing his celebrity and opening up a new revenue stream.”

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