Or is he an extraordinarily talented conman?
I can’t say where I got the link, perhaps it was even on this site, but I have to recommend a free download from “TheAuthoritarians.org” for seeing The Donald’s “base” for what it is. Donald is off of the chart and out of the dictionary–beyond words, that is–repeatable words, especially.
Trump did not con his voters. What happened was his candidacy brought together millions of right wing extremists who often had disagreements among themselves to focus on one thing, electing Trump. So he basically became the leader of a populist movement on the right. Given his background as a real estate tycoon from NYC it took a lot for Trump to convince the populists that he could be trusted to defend the interests of white people and take on the Republican establishment. He first really earned his stripes by questioning whether Barack Obama was born in the US. Then he drew a lot of support for the Wall and the Muslim ban. And retweeting tweets from white supremacists convinced many right wingers that he could be trusted. And in his first year of the presidency he has come through for his populist base. He quickly enacted a Muslim ban, has tried to get the Wall built, and increased deportation of undocumented immigrants and even dreamers. He appointed Jeff Sessions to role back civil rights. He appointed Betsy DeVoss to undermine public education. He has been quiet about acts of violence carried out by whites but not acts of violence by Muslims. And he has set up the executive branch to be as authoritarian as possible including hiring White House spokespersons who constantly lie about facts. Whether he is smart of dumb is probably less important then whether he working to preserve or destroy democracy.
Certainly not smart according to the ordinary understanding of the word, but possessed of a very useful feral cunning. Most successful politicians are also ‘conmen’ in that sense. But the con is usually camouflaged in a much less unhinged public presentation. If he was smart too we’d be in even more trouble.
Trump is evil. He’s most comfortable in the company of evil people - racists, misogynists, misanthropes, xenophobes, greedy businessmen, control freaks of both sexes, deceitful politicians with the same personality defects, well-dressed liars and crooks of the republican persuasion who can condemn the common family man and the poor to lives of toil and misery with no compunction whatsoever to observe the ideals of the declaration of independence and the constitution. Trump is leading us all to World War III. He and his republican comrade filth want to kill us by getting us to kill each other, and in the process, profit through armament sales and acquisition of natural resources.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Until the full analogy is absorbed - internal gears, housing, existing face of the dial and all the rest of common elements of a clock - folks will mistake it and take the time to try and figure it out.
Another analogy is a spinning top, in the case of Drumf, pretending to be a dreidle for the international zionists. The game being played is how to shift the surface on which it is spun by the .01% and their wannabeez seated in formal offices of governments.
Imagine the dynamics of the game ‘crack the whip’.
True. Trump is unequivocal truth of the statement that anyone in the US can become POTUS!
“They are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs. They think they are right because everyone they know and listen to, tells them they are right and they screen out sources that suggest they are wrong.”
Well, the main problem lies like with many other things with the people. A critically thinking educated and informed public would easily see through his many lies and have no support to offer him.
I went through school during the 50’s & 60’s, your statement is a gross understatement. I did some course work in my mid-40’s and kids back in the mid 90’s hadn’t a clue how to write a first semester paper. I fear what we are cranking out now. They will some day try to run the planet.
I wonder if Reich still wants a return to the other life destroying, capitalist nightmare party? How stupid would that be?
While overall Trump did not con his base but basically earned their trust as a true racist he did say a few important things that he didn’t mean. Probably the most important was his promise to jail Hillary Clinton if he won. His base went wild when he threatened that during one of the debates and he led the “Lock her up” chant at his rallies. If his supporters wanted something immediate to happen after Trump was elected it was to put Hillary Clinton behind bars. Jailing your opponent is almost expected when authoritarians run for office but Trump let that one go. However, I don’t hear about David Duke, Richard Spencer, Alex Jones, and the rest of them complaining about Trump so I would have to assume they don’t think they were conned and are hoping Trump is re-elected.
The thing is that it wasn’t only Trump supporters on the alt-right that elected him, but Republicans who had no one else to vote for. Just as millions of Democrats and liberals “held their nose(s)” and voted for Clinton, so millions who preferred another Republican candidate did the same and voted for Trump.
This article by Robert Reich sounds so simplistic. DJT did not ascend to the presidency of the USA by himself. However the piece is redeemed by the very last paragraph.
quote “Political conning is Trump’s genius. It’s this genius – when combined with his utter stupidity in every other dimension of his being – that poses the greatest danger to America and the world.”
> He conned 62,979,879 Americans to vote for him in November 2016 by getting them to believe his lies about Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all the “wonderful,” “beautiful” things he’d do for the people who’d support him.
That’s a half truth.
He conned enough Republican voters to get the Republican nomination. After he was the official Republican candidate, millions who would have (and did during the primaries) voted for other candidates had nowhere to turn. Republicans who always vote Republican, Republicans who never vote for a Democrat, and independents who never vote for a Clinton either had to stay home or vote for Trump.
So, not so much a con job by Trump as an ongoing failure of people to vote for their own self interests and the best interests of their fellow Americans.
You’re mixing apples and oranges. Trump has 2 groups of voters that supported him. The first group, the right wing extremists, you’re analogy is on target. But this was the much smaller of the 2 groups. The other group. I’ll call the working class repugs ,(yes, I’m aware of the oxymoron), and disenfranchised dems., who’s economic prospects were in the crapper, were looking for anyone in politics to help their situation, (see rust belt voters).
This group was lied to on a daily bases, they couldn’t see it because they were/are so desperate. None of Trumps promises to this group have or will come to be.
Reich needs a proofreader. " He conned contractors to work for them and then stiffed them.
Granted, during he hasn’t always been a great conman."
For several examples of narcissists who clawed their way to the top, read Barbara Oakley’s book “Evil Genes.” In short, narcissists desire money and power, stopping at nothing to get them, no matter how much harm it does to others. Their grandiosity eventually leads them one step too far, but when they finally fall they take as many others with them as they can. We can expect Trump’s reign to end like Mao’s, Ceaucescu’s, or Hitler’s. When he realizes his game is over, he could easily press his “big red button” in a fit of pique. . . Forewarned is forearmed.
George W Bush “was smart enough to hire smart people … to run his White House”? Really, Professor Reich? Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al were vicious and predatory, but that’s not the same thing as smart.
Professor Reich is one of the highest IQ commentators we have in 2018. I really like to read his commentary. And he is right, Trump is totally correct that Trump is unqualified to be president. He is sexist and racist, and by the numbers that means he cannot adequately work with a majority of Americans. I think he is so bad that there is going to be an anti Trump backlash in the 2018 congressional elections and a huge backlash in 2020 when Trump will most like seek re election. If Republicans wants to survive Trump they had better start distancing themselves from this idiot. Otherwise a Trump backlash in the voting will become and anti Republican backlash.