Donald Trump’s political opponents have been hurling slam after slam against him for his use of foreign plants to make his goods. Trump branded shirts are made in China, Bangladesh, Honduras and Vietnam. Trump eyeglasses are made in China. Trump furniture is made in Turkey and Germany. Trump Hotel pens were made in China and Taiwan. Trump Vodka was made in the Netherlands. The list is long and well-worn.
When Trump DOES buy goods and services, he is well-known for having not paid his bills in full, forcing his vendors to take him to court or just suck it up. The guy that rented Bruce Springsteen his very first guitar got stiffed when Trump only paid him $70,000 for $100,000 worth of pianos. Today we learn that Trump didn’t even use American-made steel for some of the construction projects he’s always being braggadocious about.
It’s not just Democrats beating Trump up about this stuff. His primary foes did, too. And, the whole time, Trump sits back smugly. Bigly smugly. His argument to his devoted followers and those who are on the fence are that he has been cheating these systems for so long that he knows them inside and out. Who better to fix these loopholes and stop all this greedy behavior by rich people who exploit a rigged system (including a political system that allows politicians to be bought off by the wealthy) than the man who made an
art career out of exploiting it?
He might have a point if there was any hope that he’d actually DO that. But you can’t find any examples of proposals he’s made to “unrig” these rigged systems so that the wealthy elites can no longer exploit them for personal financial gain.
That’s the gambit he’s making and, so far, it seems to be working. Trump has some how managed to convince a large swath of people that he’s going to unrig all of these systems that he currently benefits from. He’s counting on the fact that, not only do these people have short memories, they’re also incapable of looking forward more than a day or two. Because, if by some miracle Trump is elected president, he’ll be back to swindling the gullible as a private citizen within four years (or eight if he should somehow be reelected.)
Why would anyone believe he would come in and unrig a system he will exploit again in less than a decade?
The problem is how to reach these people with this message. They are firmly convinced that a super-wealthy and legendary New York swindler is more of an “average guy” who will fight for them more than the woman who has done so for her entire career. They actually believe that one person who cares the least for them is the one who will fight for them. He’s even trying his swindle on black people who are laughing in his face.
Donald Trump is swindling his middle class followers every bit as strategically as he cheated his business associates, swindled his vendors, and bought off his politicians. These followers are gullible, yes. But the last thing they will listen to is someone telling them they’re gullible. They can’t hear words like that when they are applied to them; they just harden down in their beliefs.
And that is EXACTLY what Donald Trump is counting on.
[CC image credit: Thomas Hawk | Flickr]