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Beware the Billionaire Gunslinger


Beware the Billionaire Gunslinger

Victoria Bassetti

With his blowsy hair, pinstripe suits, and brash New York attitude, Donald Trump resembles nothing so much as a gunslinging cowboy. Rick Perry may have presented himself as the real Westerner in the Republican presidential primary, but it’s the Donald’s campaign mythos that most closely resembles a classic Western.

He is the bronco-buster striding into town, looking for justice, willing to stand up to the corrupt sheriff and the local railroad bossman.



Although the relationship between "personal financing" and "the democracy building direct contributions" may suggest better results (in terms of winning elections) for the latter; I find it repugnant that an author (Ms. Bassetti) would equate The Supreme Court "Citizens United" decision with spreading Democracy. Anyone with half a brain cell knows that financial support buys policy. That means those positioned (i.e. with lots of $) can buy more Democracy. Therefore, an effort to suggest that campaign contributions work to enhance community outreach and contact may be true at a congressional level (and I would question that), but hardly as one moves higher up the political food chain.

Strange argument! And Ms. Bassetti appears to be a writer who sees the political reality primarily through the prism of two parties. Strengthening the idea that the "two" allow voters a choice, she can play down the far greater effect of Big Money on national and international policy-making.


publicly funded Presidential runs seem to be the place to go. Pay it out in tranches, so much for anyone getting 1% of the voters, so much for 5% of the registered voters..ect.


Is this why Ralph says "Only the Super-rich Can Save Us"?


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Please, Trump is his own special interest. The Wizard of Oz coming out from behind the curtain, a puppet master foregoing the puppet. Am I really expected to believe that with Trump as pres everyone can be a billionaire? I doubt the banks will be willing to create that much money.


Speaking for myself only, the rump is all ego asking to be fed, which is very scary in and of itself, others buy into his gingoisms by thinking, boy I wish I said that. The piece mentions Russ, I miss him.


Well ... aside from the runs of Bernie and Corbyn ... I shall have to take your word for it. Because I have seen such claims before, and I see zero evidence in daily life.


Is it just me, or did this essay seem to amount to a whitewash of oligarchy?

From my take on this essay, Trump is left standing as a tough guy who supposedly actually has a principled stand against the corrupting influence of money in politics, and the two political parties are supposedly not corrupted by moneyed power relationships but by some independent agency called "party affiliation".



To be honest, I must confess that I missed the point of this article. According to the author, it all comes down to the question of whether money in politics is corrupting or "democracy enhancing." The Supreme Court argument is ridiculous, but it has the virtue of turning over the political system to the plutocrats, so it's treated as a debateable claim. Money enhances democracy only among the millionaire class. I mean any millionaire or billionaire can make his/her money speak in campaigns. The rest us--poor slobs and ordinary rubes--will just have to do with our plain old voices, as we try to make ourselves heard over the din of Fox news and the corporate media. Trump's argument that he is ubribeable because he is filthy rich has a certain logic. But in essence it's not much different from choosing the benign dictator over the malign one. You still get dictatorship. I object to the author calling Trump by his preferred nickname "The Donald," as though Trump is some kind of good guy, who warrants respect and affection. In reality, Trump is a full buffoon, a racist egomaniac, deserving of contempt. Trump is also a total sexist. He said harsh things about the look of Carly Fiorina. But look at Trump himself: has all the charm and beauty of a dried dog turd, with his pouty lips and bizrre orange hair. Trump is a disgrace to the human race. Enough said!


I agree with you en toto. Let me add one point? Unbribeable does not mean incorruptible, honorable, dependable, humanitarian, or any other positive characteristic Trump would have us believe to be his attribute(s). MSM players have made him their darling one way or another and to paraphrase a Spanish aphorism, have put wings on a scorpion. His best role in society is as an emetic.


If the White House were up for sale, Trump would buy it.


By self funding, the Donald is buying himself as a special interest for himself. He'll be totally self-owned and able to govern in his own self interest...



"According to the Donald’s understanding of corruption, anyone who accepts money during their campaign is inevitably corrupt. (It’s the opposite of the Supreme Court’s vision that campaign contributions actually tie candidates closer to the people)."
"The Supreme Court’s vision: campaign contributions are democracy enhancing,"

In writing the above, Ms. Bassetti was merely reporting the Supreme Court's rationale for Citizens United v FEC. My guess is that she thinks that rationale is just as preposterous as you and I do.