sobermoney title funding

Donald Trump is the Quintessential American Con Man

The big lie should be so evident by now; but to millions of Americans, Trump still seems to resonate as their savior. This nationalist insanity is making America a growingly dangerous place.

In fact, Donald Trump is part of the peculiar breed Herman Melville described in his novel “The Confidence-Man,” in which the main character uses protean personas, flattery and lies to gain the confidence of his fellow passengers - to fleece them on a Mississippi River steamboat.

“Confidence men,” as Melville understood, are an inevitable product of the amorality of an increasingly corrupted capitalism and the insatiable lust for wealth, power and grandiosity that now seems to infect a seemingly desperate American society.

Trump’s pathological narcissism, his celebration of ignorance - which he, like all confidence men, confuses with cult-like gullibility - his megalomania and his lack of empathy - and of course, his white nationalism - are cultural pathologies nurtured by the greed and fear now infecting the modern American landscape.

American sociopaths like Trump embody the American belief, one that F. Scott Fitzgerald excoriated in “The Great Gatsby” - and one William Faulkner portrayed in the depraved Snopes clan, that it does not matter in the crass commercialism of American society how you obtain wealth and power. They are their own inherent justifications.

Although most Americans will deny it, we founded the nation on the Manifest Destiny genocide of the American Indian and the evils of slavery capitalism, now the endless wars and the theft of invaded resources, enriched an oligarchic elite at the expense of the citizenry, enabled local police to trample on the Constitutional rights of unarmed citizens without legal consequences, and have in the U.S. locked up the equivalent of a quarter of the world’s prison population.

And today we are again dealing with the resurgence of a new version of the moral corruption and violence of American white supremacy.

The more debased the nation becomes at the helm of a corrupt elite political economy, the more it seeks the reassurance of oily con artists to mask truth with lies. Add in celebrity obsession as the mainstay of American media culture, and we have the menace of Donald Trump. 

Trump is, in reality, highly skilled at manufacturing self-serving news and a fictional persona that feeds the magical cult aura of his disingenuous business celebrity. Barnum was the high priest of the polytheistic, secular religion of Americans and the creator of kitsch as an aesthetic, the same characteristics that defines Donald Trump.

In reality, Trump built his own temples to celebrity himself, among them the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City and Trump Towers in various cities. Trump, like Barnum, understood that celebrities and their relics function in American culture as totems and symbols of immortality. He, as did Barnum, caters to the vulgarity of the mob, elevating the salacious and the sleazy, while claiming it to be success and culture.

Confidence men like Trump are adept at peddling fictions designed solely to attract publicity and belittle opponents.

Trump’s demand for Barack Obama’s birth certificate or Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test was not designed to uncover fact, but to belittle and entertain. And the release of Obama’s birth certificate and Warren’s DNA finding did not puncture the lies. Old lies were simply replaced by new ones that again catered to the emotional yearnings of his dysfunctional mob.

Donald Trump clearly understands how to evoke images and emotional responses to overwhelm reality and replace truth. Such lies and fake events, because they are so entertaining, are largely immune to reality.

Madison Avenue advertisers and publicists use the same tactics to saturate the landscape with skillfully manufactured illusions and false promises. The unmasking of the deceptions only adds to their allure and power.

In an autobiography written by PT Barnum, “Struggles and Triumphs,” which was published in 1869, he wrote that “the public appears disposed to be amused even while they are conscious of being deceived.” This understanding underlies the popularity of Donald Trump, as well as entertainments such as professional wrestling and reality television shows, along with Fox News, all of which are premised on cons.

Con artists like Trump ( and PT Barnum, Trump’s “soul” mentor) exploit everyone and everything around them.

In our now Barnumesque American political culture, those who create the most convincing fantasies in the cycles of nonstop entertainment are idolized. Those who puncture these fantasies with the prosaic truth are condemned for spoiling the fun. These pseudo-events and fabrications lift people up out of their peasant-like daily lives into an Oz-like world of fantasy. They destroy a civil discourse rooted in verifiable fact, obliterating any hope of holding back the magical thinking that lies at the core of all totalitarian societies.

The Trump University Con

Trump, in a 2005 promotional video for a scam that made him about $40 million, employs the familiar hyperbole of the con artist in declaring: “At Trump University, we teach success. That’s what it’s all about—success. It’s going to happen to you. We’re going to have professors and adjunct professors that are absolutely terrific—terrific people, terrific brains, successful. We are going to have the best of the best. These are people that are handpicked by me.”

Only there was no university.

Trump’s fake university did not have professors, not even part-time adjunct professors, and the ‘faculty’ (as they were called) were certainly not ‘the best of the best. In fact, they were commissioned sales people, many with no experience in real estate. One managed a fast food joint … two other instructors were in personal bankruptcy while collecting fees from would-be Trump university graduates eager to learn how to get rich.”

Among an investigator’s findings was that students who attended a “next level” seminar we’re taught to prey upon homeowners in financial turmoil and to target foreclosure properties. They were also instructed, on the first morning of the three-day course, to call their credit card companies, banks, and mortgage companies and ask for an increase or extension of credit so that they may finance the “Gold Elite” package purchase.

Defendant Trump U would even ask attendees to call their bank during these one-on-one sessions while the [Trump] representative waits. The primary goal of the 3-day seminar was even more high-pressure sales tactics in an attempt to induce them into purchasing Defendant Trump U’s “Gold Elite” package for $35,000.

Trump’s get-rich-quick schemes and seminars, including his books, were all a con. His casinos were a con. His paid speeches on behalf of self-help gurus such as Tony Robbins were a con. His building projects were a con. Trump even had “imaginary employees.” Trump and his criminal grifters are today triumphant, and neither democratic norms or simply human decency seems to inhibit their pathological lust for more.

And not surprisingly, tales of Trump’s sexual prowess, spread by himself masquerading over the phone as a Trump spokesperson, were clearly a con.

Perhaps it was inevitable that the poison of a Donald Trump would come to dominate our culture and our politics. It is the triumph of both celebrity idolatry and fear. We live in an age when the fake, the fraudulent, the fabricated and the theatrical supplant sanity and reality.

When Trump’s manufactured persona was ultimately advertised on a reality television show, he sold this manufactured persona, his ratings declined, he was in danger of being taken off the air, so he decided to run for president of the United States.

Behind Trump’s Presidential campaign we’re legions of agents, publicists, consultants, scriptwriters, celebrities, television and movie producers, wardrobe consultants, pollsters and television personalities dedicated to creating the myriad illusions that saturated the airwaves with PT Barnum-like lies.

Leading up to the 2016 elections, Americans could no longer tell the difference between illusion and reality; apparently when a version of reality is not verified on our electronic screens - and by our reality manipulators - it does not exist.

The skillful creation of illusion and the manipulation of our desperate emotions, actions that profit the elites to the detriment of our middle class financial and political health, have seeped into our religion, education, journalism, politics and culture.

Trump’s crass vulgarity, greed, unchecked hedonism and amorality, his blatant racism, along with his worship of himself, are intrinsic to America, but his ascendancy, and the ascendancy of the character traits he personifies, is taking us closer and closer to our national spiritual death.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig (www.truthdig.com) December, 2018

Donald Trump's White Supremacy Corporate Fascist State

So far in 2019, the US stock market economy did very well given the on-going chaos created by Trump's megalomaniacal and anarchist global trade wars.

Yet it times like now when we must be prudent and err on the conservative side when the political economy is in consistent upheaval, especially with the increasingly insane ugliness and divisiveness we see with the vile Donald Trump.

Even though Wall Street doesn't seem to care that the country is being run by a aging neofascist madman as long as they keep making money, we all must understand that ultimately our Fidelity investment assets are vulnerable to the heightened volatility and risk created by the increasingly sick Trump leadership.

Sadly, what is become even more dangerous than the racist actions of Donald Trump himself is the hateful racist people that show up at his Nuremburg-like proto-fascist political rallies, where this cult of right wing "deporables" gather to chant "send her back" to four Freshman member of Congresswomen who have the intelligence and courage to call Trump out for what he is: an ignorant racist wannabee tyrant.    

Market Manipulation

Racist sociopathy aside, we are also seeing a distorting stock market manipulation strategy from Fuhrer Trump and his economic thugs. All one has to do it watch the news cycle and observe how Trump and his fellow kleptomaniacs are constantly trying to shame and intimidate the US central bank into lowering interest rates solely to make themselves richer and to minimize the damage being done by his tariff policies. 

Q: Why do we need lower interest rates when the stock markets are hitting all time highs?  

A: Maybe because there are darker economic problems on the horizon!

Of course instead of letting the stock markets forge their own direction based on what's left of normal supply and demand stock market pricing, Trump, who would be just another inheritance-rich predator if he hadn’t learned how to model after his KKK member father and corrupt NYC real estate hood, is clearly trying to fix the stock market by corrupting the US central bank into cutting interest rates. 

And let's not forget: Trump needs the stock market to look good for his 2020 re-election - and economic intimidation is what he does best.

Economically, for years we’ve been seeing an on-going decline in the inflation-adjusted purchasing power of the average American worker. Only the upper middle class and the rich are immune to Wall Street's cutthroat private sector wage policies, implemented mostly to make sure the stock market continues higher and their corporate executives get richer by the day.

We are also witnessing the accelerating employment decline in the US brick and mortal retail economy, showcased by increasingly low product inventory levels and fast changing consumer patterns are fostering the seismic shift to online purchases. This slow death of traditional retail employment has yet to "officially" show up in our government-reported national unemployment numbers.

And add to our daily investment risk the fact that we now have a group of global economic “anarchists” working in the White House who are even willing to go to war to deflect the truth about what is really happening to the average American worker.

As a result of tariffs, we are already seeing negative economic data coming out of Europe and Asia, and it’s just a matter of time that we see similar negative economic effects here in the US, even though the White House is “massaging” the domestic economic numbers the average American is broadcast by a lazy corporate financial media.

Another sign of pending market volatility is the US Central Bank (Federal Reserve Board) abruptly reversed its interest rate stance to a “lowering interest rate” posture from a “rising interest rate” posture right after the May decline - for the purpose of offsetting the contentious tit for tat trade threats.

Readers may not be up on the history of the stock markets and how the US central bank influences or manipulates the stock market with interest rates. But know that when Wall Street demands lower interest rates to “bailout” their fear and confusion, the US stock market economy is running out of momentum.

So how long can we keep up this stock market - interest rate yoyo co-dependence? When and what type of "intervention" will be required?

It seems obvious now that Wall Street investment sentiment can only be positive if they can be assured of lower interest rates to keep the markets headed up.

In other words, the stock prices of US corporations are clearly dependent on lower interest rates to continue their upward trajectory. Sound corporate management and free market forces seem to matter less and less.  

The stock market’s addiction to the US central bank willingness to always come to their rescue with lower interest rates is simply a warning sign the US “stock market” economy is not as healthy as the corporate media and the politicians in power want us to believe.

Here we go with the idiocratic anti-socialism” scare mongering

Another sign of endemic political economic deceit that exist in the sick politics of Trump: During the next 18 months leading up to the 2020 elections, watch Trump and many of the Vichy Republicans in Congress bring out the ludicrous "socialism" scare tactic.

To anyone with a working brain, this fear mongering tactic is nothing more than another cynical and bogus attempt to dupe gullible, ill-informed voters into thinking their Democratic or independent opponents are tainted. Of course the opposite is true.

"Socialism" as an electioneering scare tactic will be the 2019-20 electoral version of the Joe McCarthy communism intimidation that scandalized our nation during the Eisenhower administration.

Using socialism as a political scare tactic is, in fact, a clear sign that the right wing political elites are terrified the American public will see the truth about their failing economic policies.

Hopefully this ridiculous “socialism” scare tactic will be viewed by most normal sane voters as just another cynical and desperate measure designed to provide a little more time to a Vichy Republican platform that is in its death bed, in spite of their delusional arrogance and grandiosity.

In my view, political economy critics who are intelligent, thoughtful and honest offering positive problem-solving analyses of the failures of our elite-controlled US economy under Trump are the only Americans that truly deserve my respect - or my vote. They are the real patriots - wanting to make America better for the Americans that deserve it.

At least these Americans are trying to offer some light within the increasing darkness of our current political economy - unlike what the bullies who are part of the Trump hate cult, which is to create chaos and divisiveness among Americans.  

Americans are going to have to make a choice. Either they continue to gullibly vote for white supremacy and Trump crony kleptomania - or choose a new sane national leadership that is not based on hate, mysogyny, racism and tax theft.

One last thing: Trump and his racist mob followers need to go back to the country and era they came from: 1930s Germany.

SoberMoney 

Corporate Backers of Hate

Major publicly-traded corporations stand to profit enormously from Trump’s hateful agenda. That's why they are "Backers of Hate."

Boycott the products and services of these companies and divest their company stock from your individual stock portfolios; and dump any mutual funds that hold these companies in the the top ten positions by fund asset percentage!


The JP Morgan Chase's CEO is on the kleptocratic Trump’s Business Council; it's a financier of immigrant detention and private prison companies; and a major creditor to oil and gas industry (symbol JPM)


Goldman Sach's most sleazy executives are part of a revolving door to the Trump administration; investors in private prison and immigrant detention companies (symbol GS)

 
Hate Profiteering is the new norm on Wall Street now that Trump has given CEOs license to abuse customers and citizens.
 
Use your boycott and stock divestment power to stop it!

peta logo

IPS-50-logo

as-you-sow

logolg 58328

climate counts logo

yes news logo 160 151

Unknown-2

logo-2

aclu

naca

informed comment

ddd

peaceful

flyerstiff

dn-logo-url

salon

etan-aluta4a

bds

Corp

Realitycheck

healthcare

inside climate

newglw logo

the intercept

SAlogo WebsiteHeader JoinFerguson