There’s Only You and Me and We Just Disagree as America’s Togetherness Myth Melts Away. Thanks, Trump.

As we enter the final month of Donald Trump’s Journey of Self-Discovery… as he discovers the traits that made him Fake Business Genius Bully Trump are not acceptably transferrable to become President Trump… it’s important to recognize the horrible legacy he’s leaving behind.  The King of Reality TV Stars thought he could cross over to the screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-2-09-38-pmWhite House as easily as Hootie went country.  Not gonna happen.  But like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil, Trump is leaving behind a damaged, divided citizenry. I knew I recognized Trump from pop culture from somewhere other than Celebrity Apprentice:

Taz is generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. His enormous appetite seems to know no bounds, as he will eat anything in his path. He is best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls, and rasps (in his earlier appearances, he does speak English with primitive grammar) as well as his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through nearly anything

You surely remember the depiction of the Civil War that could literally tear a family apart, pitting brother against brother or father against son as each rallied to the flag of the cause that captured his heart.  Not since the height of the Vietnam War has the country been so divided.  But Vietnam was over something that truly was a life and death situation.  This is about Donald Trump, who has emerged as the black hole of all of the worst aspects of America.  Some of those characteristics are noted here, in The Atlantic’s first endorsement of a presidential candidate since 1964, when they warned of the danger of Barry Goldwater and backed LBJ. That followed a 104 year-record of non-endorsement, when they’d backed the saving of the Union by getting behind Abe Lincoln in 1860.  The magazine was founded in 1857.  Imagine all those angry subscription cancellations! Hardly head over heels for Hillary, a flawed candidate for sure, the Atlantic makes the choice and comes to the conclusion that:

Donald Trump….has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.

“Appears not to read,” is a good dividing line.  You either believe that education and study and scholarship and learning about stuff outside your main area of interest is important…. or you think a narrow, self-interested, unprepared, simple closed mind that is 100% convinced of its own invincibility is just great.  Trump needs to be asked the “what newspapers or magazines do you read?” question.

Much has been written about people at the office not talking to each other about the election.  Bumper stickers and yard signs seem scarcer than ever out of fear of your car getting bashed, someone flipping you off, or your house burned down.  It’s even infected Fox News Channel, where adherence to the code has made them number one for 20 years.  Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly went at each other this past week, then pretended to make up, sending out a picture of the two of them faking togetherness as they realized the checks still don’t bounce from Rupert Murdoch every 2 weeks.  Mommy and Daddy were fighting but they love each other now!

Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity bury the hatchet, much to media’s chagrin

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-40-35-pmFinally, my favorite Division of America.  Inside medicine, you can almost predict your doctor’s likely political leanings based on their specialty. The most Top Gun-like specialties of them all, surgery, and their necessary screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-46-39-pmsidekicks in anesthesiology, are easily the most Republican-leaning. Pediatrics, psychiatry, and infectious disease docs, who spend more time than others face to face with people they have to talk to, lean most heavily Democratic.  

More here from the New York Times:

The fields with higher average salaries tended to contain more doctors who were Republican, while the comparatively lower-paying fields were more popular among Democrats. That matches with national data, which show that, for people with a given level of education, richer ones are more likely to lean Republican (possibly because of a concern over the liberal policy goal of taxing the wealthiest at a higher rate).

156 years after The Atlantic endorsed the house divided against itself cannot stand guy, we’re a month away from the possible Trumpocalypse. Hang on.

Hey Republicans: YOU BUILT THAT!

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 2.01.49 PMForget Mondale, 1984 (won one state + DC, 13 electoral votes to Reagan’s 525, got 40.6% of the vote to Reagan’s 58.8). Forget Goldwater, 1964 (won 6 states to Johnson’s 44+DC, got 38% of the vote to LBJ’s 61%).  Right now Trumpus the Tank Engine is determined to set a new standard for losing a presidential election.  Down there with the 1940 NFL Championship Game, won by the Chicago Bears over the Washington Redskins, 73-0.  Trump wants to make history, and currently seems determined to do so, but not in the way he anticipated after scientifically targeting a surely-shrinking group of blindly loyal followers. As of midweek, he’d triggered talk of a new show on A&E… Celebrity Politician Intervention.

Smart CEO’s underpromise and overdeliver.  Before the Republican convention, this:

“It should be a monumentally magnificent convention and it should be brilliantly staged,” is what Trump told the Washington Post earlier this year. “The convention in Cleveland will be amazing,” is an exact quote of a tweet by Trump himself.

When the chalk dust finally settled, it was a radical case of overpromise and underdeliver.  Apparently Scott Baio, the UFC guy, the wife plagiarizing Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.01.03 PMMichelle Obama, and the 75 minute Rebel Yell Acceptance Speech didn’t move the needle the right way:

Two Gallup surveys of 1,000 adults after each convention found that just 36 percent said they were more likely to vote for Trump after watching the GOP proceedings, while 51 percent said they were less likely, a 15 percentage point disadvantage. That was the first time since Gallup began asking the question in 1984 that a candidate has left a convention with a net negative. Previous conventions left candidates with a net positive ranging from a couple percentage points to a 45 point advantage. More below, courtesy Time Magazine:

Forget the ‘Convention Bump.’ Gallup Found People Less Likely to Vote For Donald Trump.

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Determined to run the table by offending every possible slice of the American electorate and then declaring that each one of those niches (women are a niche?) “love me,” here is the New York Times’ updated Twitter Insult list, as of July 29, that is a bit outdated since it doesn’t include Khizr Khan and Gold Star parents, babies, and the NFL scheduling computer.

The 250 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List

Less than 100 days before election day, and melting down in front of us is what is left of the Republican Party Hardly of Lincoln.  When he said in 1858 that a “house divided against itself cannot stand,” Lincoln was referring to the divisions over slavery, not a political party itself.  But it sure applies right now, and it’s a party establishment against its own voters, many of whom have decided that frustrated anarchy carried out by an ignorant, unprepared, authoritarian one-man-band of bully is better than anything.  It’s like telling your 5-year-old to go to his room.  Time out.  Next thing you know you hear things crashing and breaking he’s so mad at you. It never ends well.  The lack of courage…. the outright fear in the souls of the members of the Republican party unwilling to put the welfare of the country… the world possibly…. above their own elected selves is a sad, mass case of Profiles in Cowardice.  So far, a few corporate executives and retiring members of Congress have stepped off the runaway train.  But very few.

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Finally, a quick math lesson. In 2012, Barack Obama harvested 66 million votes.  Mitt Romney got 61 million. In the 2016 Republican primaries, Donald Trump piled up 14 million votes, which was 45% of the Republican primary vote.  In other words, 55% didn’t like him much.  So, he needs every person who’s already voted for him, plus literally every person who didn’t (17 million).  That gets him to 31 million, if he were perfect in the preliminary Republican category.  He’s got to more than double that to win, assumedly by appealing to lots and lots of folks who don’t dislike him as much as they hate Hillary Clinton.  Good luck with that.  She may be best advised to take a 3 month cruise around the world and let Trump roll.

Another math lesson. Trump seems to start out fast and then fade over time.  His glory days as a developer of real estate are certainly behind him, but you’d never know that from the outward sheen of conspicuous consumption… the airplane and the helicopter with his name on them, the younger wife (latest model…. literally), and a braggadocious, bigger-than-life persona that makes one greatly appreciate the understated elegance of Hugh Hefner.  His boasting about the popularity of his Apprentice shows on NBC was always based on knowing no one would ever look up the raw numbers.  Let’s do it here, and you’ll quickly see the fade over time, and don’t add up to presidential consensus popularity:

Number of viewers the first six seasons of The Apprentice, 2003-2007: Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 4.08.23 PM

 

 

 

Rebranded as The Celebrity Apprentice, 2008-2015… a slight bump then the final fade out into political obscurity:Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 4.11.23 PM

 

 

It’s not fair to assume Trump’s tv ratings over time are now being reflected in his poll numbers as a presidential candidate.  It’s not fair.  But one can certainly hope.

Trump Declares Trump “U” Will Be Back… Applications Soar… US News Ranks Trump “U” Educational Juggernaut #1

 

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I’m learning the Art of the Donald a bit more, day by day.  Not a great week for him, which probably means it was a great week for him.  Josh Barro of Business Insider thinks Trump’s explicitly purposeful, racist attack on the 100% American judge of Mexican descent in the Trump “University” case was purely designed to try and keep the conversation and news cycle on that wholly manufactured subject. Anything to divert attention from the one Hillary Clinton spoke of Thursday: that he is an unstable, mentally unfit hothead whose temper could lead us instantly into nuclear annihilation. Better to be thought a crook than a crank.  The Turn Trump ’16 into Goldwater ’64 Strategy is underway full speed.Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 12.03.40 PM

One of the main tenets of the Art of the Donald is to double-down on a lie about an impossible situation that you can never, ever deliver on… so boldly… so shamelessly… that arguing against it becomes wasteful of one’s time and energy, so the lie seems, at some crazy-ass level, plausible.  As the evidence against Trump “University” was made public, it became more obvious than ever why he declared on February 23rd, the night he won the Nevada Republican Caucus:

“We won with highly-educated, we won with poorly educated! I love the poorly educated! We’re the smartest people, we’re the most loyal people.”

“Poorly educated?”  So sad. Surprising political correctness from Donald. Should’ve just called em “stupid.”

In the middle of this…..

Donald Trump Says He Will Reopen Trump University After Lawsuit

Sure it’s gonna reopen.  And Bernie Madoff will be opening that hedge fund right after he completes his 150 year sentence. Trump “University” was, without a doubt, set up as a high-pressure, money-making scam that its operators knew could take in the most desperate, vulnerable, often uneducated people whose economic prospects made them most susceptible to the get-rich quick pitch of front man/con man Donald J. Trump.  Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 12.01.15 PM

Trump may be so pathologically crippled that he believes what he’s saying, which would be worse than if he were just a garden-variety huckster.  A huckster so dishonest that he spent 2 years trying to bully the NY Better Business Bureau to up the ratings on his “university” from D-. Read Politico’s reporting here. He’s several decades and technology cycles behind if he thinks a few phony testimonials will sway public opinion on this, as the AP reports:

The testimonials for Trump University are as fraudulent as the school itself…A new ad aims to debunk the claims of swindled students. Several of its participants have personal ties to Trump

From Eric Trump, the son of the man whose name adorned a “university” that taught no one anything… the generic boilerplate they could find via Google in 1/1,000th of a second, where down-on-their-luck desperate people were pressured to run up tens of thousands of dollars of debt on credit cards to pay for their “education”… regarding the former students who’ve filed the lawsuits:

“There’s probably people that go to Harvard and say, ‘Listen, I went to Harvard, I got a great education and I can’t find a job or I didn’t become the success that I could have been,” Eric Trump said on Fox’s America’s Newsroom. “Sure, I mean, you probably have that at every major university,” he added.

How Art of the Donald-ish for his son to make up a false pretense/equivalency to defend against daddy’s scam.  In fact, here’s an argument that, while not excusing or exonerating Trump “University” at any level, would make more sense in the context of the politics of it all:

Considering that the average 2016 graduate from (a real) college or university has incurred $37,172 in student loan debt… collectively 43 million Americans owe $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, don’t blame the benevolent Donald J. Trump…. blame the US government for encouraging this crushing burden on millions of families, whose members can’t find decent jobs. Elect Trump and I’ll fix it overnight and we’ll have a big, beautiful education system. 

It’s frightening that I am thinking like a Trump to try to help him wiggle out of this, but even as brilliant as my idea is, it’s way too late, irrelevant at this point and wouldn’t work with that evil, biased, hateful Mexican judge!  The stupid hubris of it all didn’t allow for Donald Trump to do the one thing several years ago that would have really been smart…. the thing all good, quality companies do to maintain their reputations and their brand and their good name:  give the customer a full, 100% refund if they’re not satisfied with the product.  No questions asked.  How crazy is that?

Ad Wizard Who Took Apart Crazy Barry G. in ’64 Perfectly Nails The Pathology of Trump’s Brain Disease: ASDD

 

The most psychologically unqualified, arrogant, dangerous person to ever get close to the White House was at it again on Sunday. He just HAD to make his appearance at the Rolling Thunder Rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial all about him, with a token malapropian nothingness salute to the event, “It’s our day, and we have to be very proud of it and we are very proud of it.” Huh? What? He then bragged about himself, called reporters Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 4.30.41 PM“lowlifes,” and thanked the great coach Bobby Knight for his endorsement. Shocked and understandably disappointed that his mere presence didn’t equate to an August, ’63 Martin Luther King-sized event, he then proceeded, of course, to lie about the actual size of the crowd. “No matter where I go, there’s bikers,” said Mr. Trump.

Best Description of Trump comes from a guy named Lloyd Wright. Lloyd was one of the advertising guys involved in LBJ’s 1964 crushing of Barry Goldwater, who they painted as crazy and dangerous. Via Politico:

“My opinion is that Trump is suffering from what I call “Attention-Seeking Deficit Disorder.” ASDD ….He doesn’t want to serve. He doesn’t want to be president; he wants the attention that accompanies the campaign. And now, I think he’s rather afraid that he might win. [Laughs] I don’t think he knows what he’s going to do as president.
I never had that same view about Goldwater. While we felt strongly that he was not adequately concerned about nuclear proliferation, he had some solid views — views I respected, and which would have enabled him to be an effective president.”

Trump’s daughter Ivanka recently reassured us that daddy is “not a groper” of women.  His wife Melania guarantees he’s “not Hitler.” But he may simply just be worse than Barry Goldwater.  A somewhat different take from Watergate’s John Dean:

Don’t Compare Trump’s Presidential Campaign to Barry Goldwater’s

Barry Goldwater entered public service to make government better. He served the State of Arizona, and the nation, in the United States Senate for thirty years with great distinction. He was one of the most popular members of the Senate, respected and admired by all his colleagues. Donald Trump has spent his life serving Donald Trump. His pursuit of the presidency is not to make America great rather it is like everything in his life—it’s all about Donald Trump. Just as there are no similarities between Trump and Goldwater, as men, there are no similarities between the 1964 and 2016 Republican presidential campaigns. Only fools and the uninformed are comparing them.

Rest well, and enjoy 2 minutes of Memorial Day Megalomania in Washington.