Sam Smith - There are so many things repulsive, dumb and cruel about Donald Trump that it is easy to get distracted from the business at hand: to insure that this rampant con artist doesn't make it into the White House.
The basic rule that should be followed - and isn't - would be that the Democratic campaign concentrate not on Trump's offenses against his opponents - liberals, blacks, latinos etc - few of whom will be voting for him, but instead on the stories and facts that show how he has betrayed the very constituency of white male workers and small business people who are forming an important part of his base.
The pitch needs to be that Trump is a highly successful con man of the sort that have ripped off Americans throughout their history. And that the important thing is not to argue with what he is saying but show how he doesn't believe or practice it himself. And how he has harmed the very people he claims he wants to serve.
This puts his critics not in opposition to many of his supporters but in the role of someone who has uncovered the fraud in his arguments and doesn't want others trapped in them.
Here are some examples of such incidents:
From the Washington Post
- · Trump’s casino bankruptcies, which left investors holding the bag while he skedaddled with their money
- · Trump’s habit of refusing to pay contractors who had done work for him, many of whom are struggling small businesses
- · Trump University, which includes not only the people who got scammed and the Florida investigation, but also a similar story from Texas where the investigation into Trump U was quashed.
- · The Trump Institute, another get-rich-quick scheme in which Trump allowed a couple of grifters to use his name to bilk people out of their money
- · The Trump Network, a multi-level marketing venture (a.k.a. pyramid scheme) that involved customers mailing in a urine sample which would be analyzed to produce for them a specially formulated package of multivitamins
- · Trump Model Management, which reportedly had foreign models lie to customs officials and work in the U.S. illegally, and kept them in squalid conditions while they earned almost nothing for the work they did
- · Trump’s employment of foreign guest workers at his resorts, which involves a claim that he can’t find Americans to do the work
- · Trump’s use of hundreds of undocumented workers from Poland in the 1980s, who were paid a pittance for their illegal work
And some others:
- · Political Wire - Donald Trump “has run an unusually cheap campaign in part by not paying at least 10 top staffers, consultants and advisers, some of whom are no longer with the campaign,” Reuters reports.
- · Neil Barsky, NY Times - Amid all the self-made myths about Donald Trump, none is more fantastic than Trump the moneymaker, the New York tycoon who has enjoyed a remarkably successful business career. In reality, Mr. Trump was a walking disaster as a businessman for much of his life. This is not just my opinion. Warren Buffett said as much this past week. . . .His list of real estate accomplishments were minuscule compared with those of more successful New York developers who garnered far less publicity, and he lied a lot. He made up the prices he was getting for his condominiums, the value of bids he had turned down for various properties and his prospects for luring corporate tenants to his buildings.And, of course, he lied about his wealth.
- · USA Today - Nailing down the number of legal battles involving Donald Trump and his businesses is a moving target, and the USA Today Network's ongoing review of his empire's litigation continues surfacing new cases. In early June, the analysis had found at least 3,500 cases — a figure that has now surpassed 4,000 ... Trump uses the lawsuits to negotiate throughout his business relationships. He turns to litigation to distance himself from failing projects that relied on the Trump brand. And he uses the legal system to haggle over his property bills and contracts with vendors.
- · According to the Tax Policy Center analysis of the Trump tax plan, “the highest-income households would receive the largest cuts, both in dollars and as a percentage of income.” People at the bottom of the economic ladder would receive, on average, a $128 tax cut under Trump’s plan, while the top 0.1 percent would take home an extra $1.3 million.
- · Daily Beast -Consider the Trump National Golf Club Westchester, located roughly 33 miles north of Trump Tower in Manhattan. It features a 50,000 square foot, $20 million clubhouse that Trump built after he acquired the 140 acres in the late 1990s. There are 18 holes and a majestic waterfall that Trump says is 101 feet high. Trump boasts that “no expense was spared” in creating a “world class” golf course. In his presidential disclosure Trump valued the golf course and its massive clubhouse at more than $50 million. In tax documents Trump valued the same property at just $1.35 million. That is a 97% variance, an irreconcilable difference that raises yet again questions about Trump’s integrity, not to mention the size of his fortune, which he has testified he values differently as his emotional state shifts, regardless of objective facts. Trump’s presidential disclosure indicates he made $10.3 million off the golf course last year and early this year. That alone should sound alarms since businesses normally sell for multiples of their profits, not a tiny fraction of profits.
- · Donald Trump's own line of men's wear, the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, is manufactured in China. -Salon