March 31, 2016

If you were attracted to this post by the title “The Upside of Trump” this won’t take long. Here it is, from Donald Trump’s Twitter post of August 2, 2015 mocking Republican candidates summonsed to prostrate themselves before the Koch Brothers network:

Even a blind pig finds an acorn sometimes.* Here Trump stumbles upon one self-evident truth of politics in 2016: most of the candidates are beholden to wealthy patrons. This introduces one of Trump’s favorite themes – how rich he is. So rich, in fact, that he doesn’t need to kowtow to the other billionaires who breathe corruption into our political process.

Thus when his GOP debate opponents try to apply the killer hold that Trump has routinely contributed big bucks to Democrats including – gasp! – the Clintons, Trump shrugs off the attacks.  It wasn’t any kind of partisan or ideological motivation, he says, just business. And voters accept this because they believe, quite rightly, that people with money give campaign contributions to politicians in order to rig the system.

The same with Trump’s four bankruptcies. Just business. If you are a billionaire like Trump bankruptcy is another mere legal tool available so you can pivot from a belly up casino toward something lucrative, like Trump University. If you are a thirty-something with a spouse, mortgage, and kids, struggling to pay off student loans, that is not the purpose of the bankruptcy laws. Fugheddaboudit!

This is the beauty shot of Trump’s underlying argument: I’ve exploited this corrupt system so successfully for so long that I know where all the bodies are buried. So put me in charge.

But Trump’s financial contributions and legal maneuvering have all had this purpose: the enrichment and aggrandizement of Donald Trump. Why would any non-moron believe that Trump inside government would be any different? Trump would do the same thing he’s always done – gorge himself on riches and beatify his own name. A Trump administration could rival Somalia and Korea as the most corrupt governments in the world. Why be mid-pack – make America great again!

I promised the Upside of Trump wouldn’t last long.

*A few people have asked me about this remark. As I recall it, back in the Larry Bird era my best friend Pat and I were attending a playoff game at the old Garden (Sec. 104, Row L, seats 1 and 2). The Celtics had possession and were behind in the closing seconds. The defense was extremely tight. Kevin McHale at 6’11” was one of the greatest low post players ever, and rarely took a shot from more than five feet away from the basket. But he was open way behind the three point line and accepted a pass. McHale squared up, launched a shot as the clock ran out, and of course his shot went in to win the game.  Incredulous members of the press asked how he, of all people, could hit such a shot and McHale responded, “Even a blind pig finds an acorn sometimes.” At least that’s how I remember it.

Donald, Trump

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