T-Rump ‘Instinctively Corrupt’

November 14, 2016

wpap_donald_trump_by_adamkhabibi-dacabiwOvercast and chilly this early Monday on California’s north coast — rain supposedly starting this afternoon, with the NWS forecasting in their All-Caps fashion, ‘PERIODS OF INCLEMENT WEATHER‘ for the next couple of days, meaning the old rain-on-and-off routine for awhile.
And some gusty winds, too…

Speaking of ‘inclement weather,’ one week ago today appears as if from another lifetime, shit then considered ‘Mostly Sunny,’  before the nightmare glitch in the matrix — meeting President Obama, T-Rump “seemed surprised” with scope of the job:

Trump’s aides were also apparently unaware that the entire staff of the president working in the White House’s West Wing would need to be replaced, according to The Journal.
Obama reportedly will spend more time counseling Trump about the presidency than most presidents do with their successors.

(Illustration: ‘Donald Trump,’ by Adam Khabibi, found here).

Why the rip in the fabric of time is so immense. Disasters approaching on so many fronts are mind boggling. Chaos of a total-clusterfuck.
And although there’s word the horror won’t begin for a short space, don’t bet on it. T-Rump’s already waded lips-deep in being an asshole, and it will only get worse. In naming Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, T-Rump exposes the low-moral fiber of life a-coming.

One shit-stick aspect, however, I hadn’t really thought about is the gold-standard of politics — corruption.
T-Rump is a grifter from way back, con-man from business and beyond. And it should have been obvious, especially after Obama’s nearly scandal-free eight years, a historical period for presidential administrations — T-Rump will raise the bar in amoral corruption.
Josh Marshall at TPM yesterday nailed the subject matter.
Key points:

Trump himself is instinctively corrupt.
I don’t think requires much argument.
He took a substantial amount of the campaign money he raised and ran it through his own companies.
He practiced textbook self-dealing with his family foundation.
Many of his private businesses were no better than glitzy cons and he developed a reputation for cheating partners, even if in many cases doing so in ways that didn’t explicitly violate the law.
He is placing his own children into prominent positions organizing his administration.
His version of a “blind trust” is one in which his children and heirs administer his companies on his behalf while he is President.
His companies are not ‘public companies’ in the corporate governance sense.
But the vast majority of his companies’ activities are carried out in public — hotels, golf resorts, licensing businesses, consumer businesses.
None of this can really be blind even if there were any attempt to make it so.
Trump and his children are in the process of building a real life version of the cartoonishly caricatured fantasy of the Clinton Foundation he created for his followers on the campaign trail.
Trump is so thoroughly corrupt in his dealings that it is probably fair to say that he doesn’t even recognize the concept of self-dealing as being a problem in itself.
They say hypocrisy is the tribute which vice pays to virtue.
In Trump’s case there isn’t even much hypocrisy.
In every case we’ve seen him discuss it, he sees self-dealing and self-enrichment as a normal, meritorious way of doing things.
His followers almost all tend to be grifters, in many or most cases people who bet all on Trump when he seemed like a longshot because both professionally and metaphorically they had nothing to lose.
Those people will want a bonanza and I suspect they’ll get it.

Marshall does conclude on a queasy-sad note: ‘I should add here that if ridiculous amounts of public corruption is the worst we get from the Trump administration I will, frankly, be profoundly grateful. Profoundly grateful. I fear and expect things that are far, far worse.’

And how the media handles this, and the long list of ‘far, far worse‘ stuff, could be the big story of the coming weeks. The horror is the media will attempt to ‘normalize’ him.

Which maybe one of the items putting us in this nearly-no-win situation — people are actually being dumb-downed. A new study reveals modern reality — via Foreign Policy last Thursday:

Trump owes his victory to the uninformed.
But it’s not just Trump.
Political scientists have been studying what voters know and how they think for well over 65 years.
The results are frightening.
Voters generally know who the president is but not much else.
They don’t know which party controls Congress, what Congress has done recently, whether the economy is getting better or worse (or by how much).
In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, most voters knew Al Gore was more liberal than George W. Bush, but significantly less than half knew that Gore was more supportive of abortion rights, more supportive of welfare-state programs, favored a higher degree of aid to blacks, or was more supportive of environmental regulation.

Most voters are ignorant or misinformed because the costs to them of acquiring political information greatly exceed the potential benefits.
Most voters are ignorant or misinformed because the costs to them of acquiring political information greatly exceed the potential benefits.
They can afford to indulge silly, false, delusional beliefs — precisely because such beliefs cost them nothing.
After all, the chances that any individual vote will decide the election is vanishingly small.
As a result, individual voters tend to vote expressively, to show their commitment to their worldview and team.
Voting is more like doing the wave at a sports game than it is like choosing policy.

The real worry, though, is that when we look at the policy platforms of the two major parties, we see that both the Republicans and Democrats push agendas that tend to appeal to the uniformed and disinterested.
We can’t quite blame them for that.
After all, politicians need to win elections, and to do so, they have to appeal to voters.
In a modern democracy, the uninformed will always greatly outnumber the informed.
The quality of our candidates reflects the quality of our electorate.
But democracy encourages our electorate to be bad quality.

The intentionally ignorant — buckle-up…

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