Trump: A Fraudster, An Authoritarian, a Liar, and a Despot in Waiting
A few links about the looming disaster for our Republic that is Donald Trump:
Here’s a part of the political calendar that nobody in the Republican Party seems to have noticed: This spring, just as the GOP nomination battle enters its final phase, frontrunner Donald Trump could be forced to take time out for some unwanted personal business: He’s due to take the witness stand in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.
In court filings last Friday, lawyers for both sides in a long-running civil lawsuit over the now defunct Trump University named Trump on their witness lists. That makes it all but certain that the reality-show star and international businessman will be forced to be grilled under oath over allegations in the lawsuit that he engaged in deceptive trade practices and scammed thousands of students who enrolled in his “university” courses in response to promises he would make them rich in the real estate market.
Read it all. Or, if you’re a Donald Trump fan, ignore it all.
Candidate Trump represents something that goes far beyond pedestrian fears of damage to the Republican brand or the loss of Senate and House seats. He is the embodiment of the authoritarian temptation that has imperiled liberty since the days of the Roman Republic.
At every stage of the campaign, he has thumbed his nose at democratic norms. Start with his admiration for Vladimir Putin. Instead of position papers, Trump offers the voters fact-free assertions about the Mexicans paying for a wall and the Chinese knuckling to his superior negotiating ability.
Never in modern history has a serious presidential candidate displayed such contempt for responsibilities that come with the Oval Office and custody of the nuclear codes.
His ignorance of the nuclear triad and his claim that he gets his foreign policy expertise from watching TV talk shows symbolizes something larger — an ego that makes Napoleon seem self-effacing.
Equally alarming is the brazenness of Trump’s lies. He insists that he never called for a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports — and still clings to that denial even after the New York Times released a tape of him saying just that.
A liar? Who cares?
And, in a piece that Trump-haters like me find delicious from beginning to end, Matt Walsh:
Dear Donald Trump Fan,
I’m going to tell you the truth, friend.
You say you want the truth. You say you want someone who speaks boldly and brashly and bluntly and “tells it like it is” and so on. According to exit polls in South Carolina, voters who want a president who “tells it like it is” are an essential demographic for Trump, just as they’re an essential demographic for Judge Judy and Dr. Phil. You say you want abrupt and matter-of-fact honesty, and you want it so much, you’ll make a man president for it regardless of whether he defies every principle and value you claim to hold.
Personally, I think you’re lying, and I’m going to test my theory.
. . . .
By your logic, then, you should be filled with an immense and irresistible affection for me when I call Donald Trump a crooked, underhanded con artist and you a reckless, ignorant dupe. You should fall madly in love with me when I accuse Donald Trump of being a spoiled, overgrown brat and you of being a cultish groupie enamored with fame. You should well up with pride and salute me as I mention that Donald Trump is a stuffed, soiled diaper sagging in the pants of American politics and you’re the poor, pitiful sap trying to elect it president. You don’t have to agree, but man, isn’t it refreshing that I’m willing to tell you what’s on my mind?
. . . .
I’m just telling it like it is here, friend. I’m telling you what’s on my mind. I’m being completely and painfully honest with you. I don’t believe your anger. I think you want a spectacle, not a solution. A celebrity, not a statesman. A circus performer, not a leader. I think you want to be entertained. I think you’re not taking this seriously enough. I think you’re intellectually lazy so you’ve accepted authoritarianism as a stand-in for strength. I think you’re following the trend of the day. I think you’re wrapped up in media hype.
In other words, I think your anger, if it exists, is misplaced. You should be angry at yourself, because if this country falls finally and irrevocably into despotism, it’ll be your fault. You’ll have chosen it. You’ll have elected it and applauded it. That, my friend, is what makes me angry.
Me too. I have been saying this for a while.
I don’t expect to change any hearts of minds with this. I’m saying, as clearly as I possibly can: America, you’re fucking this up. Do not tell me I didn’t tell you so. I did. Quite clearly.