Selling the Fantasy
Trump is treating his re-election campaign as if it's just another condo scam.
Before he painted Mexico as a land of “criminals” and “rapists,” Trump was pitching it as one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Way back in 2006, Trump worked a real estate scam with his daughter Ivanka and sheep-killing son Don, Jr. in Baja, “the most spectacular place in all of Mexico.” In the end, nothing was ever built and 250 Americans lost their money.
Trump may have moved on to to bigger scams and put his days as a sleazy condo salesman behind him. But the sales tactics are still the same. He told Fox News on May 8: “I created, as president, we had the strongest economy in the history of the world, the strongest economy we’ve ever had, and we had to close it, which is artificial. We artificially closed it. Those jobs will all be back and they'll be back very soon. And next year we'll have a phenomenal year.”
On Twitter he’s promising a “TRANSITION TO GREATNESS!”
In his former life as a con man, Trump would simply prey on hardworking Americans, steal from war widows and plunder the life-savings of seniors, then skip town and move on to the next scam.
As President, Trump doesn’t have the same luxury. To stay out of prison, he can’t simply rely on lawyers and out-of-court settlements. He has to get re-elected.
Our so-called leader has no interest in dealing with the harsh reality of the present—the fact that 80,000 are dead and more than 33 million are unemployed because of his own relentless stupidity and incompetence. Trump doesn’t want you to blame him for the “Trump Depression.”
He just wants you to close your eyes, ignore the body bags, forget that you can’t afford to pay your rent this month, and imagine yourself, slightly retouched, looking slim, tanned and relaxed behind your best Instagram filter. It’s a year from now. You’re earning big bucks in that super cool job you landed, driving your fancy new car, just living the dream in the “phenomenal” future he’s promising. That’s right. Today might suck. But if you believe what Trump’s selling you, next year will be great. You can “relax by the infinity-edge pool, margarita in hand, as the cabana boy brings fresh towels.” Don, Jr. will be buying the condo next store. Ivanka will be right downstairs. She might even be popping over to borrow a cup of sugar.
OK, time to wake up.
FACT: The Trump economy was collapsing long before COVID-19
Like Trump’s Baja real estate scam, Trump’s re-election con is based on him convincing people they can trust him to deliver the “phenomenal” future he’s promising because he’s done it before.
Real estate investors in 2006 could be forgiven for being hoodwinked by Trump. They knew him as the flashy real estate developer they saw on TV. They probably had no idea about his reputation for shoddy construction, skimping on essentials like sprinkler systems, and stiffing his contractors.
But we’re not in 2006 anymore.
In 2020, Trump cannot be allowed to get away with selling the bullshit line that he built “the strongest economy in the history of the world.” Before coronavirus even arrived in the USA, the shoddily constructed Trump economy was collapsing faster than his vanity wall in a strong wind.
We should have taken Hillary Clinton’s warnings more seriously in 2016:
He makes over-the-top promises that if people stick with him, trust him, listen to him, put their faith in him, he’ll deliver for them. He’ll make them wildly successful, and then everything falls apart. And people get hurt.
Now that things have fallen apart and tens of thousands have not just gotten hurt, but gotten killed, it’s imperative that we all push back hard on Trump’s “you never had so good until the virus came along” crap.
As I wrote recently about Trump’s performance before the coronavirus pandemic began:
He has failed to keep America safe. He has failed to build the wall. He has failed to make Mexico pay for it. He has failed to give us the fantastic and cheaper healthcare he promised. He has failed our farmers and coal miners, driving YUGE numbers of farms and mining companies into bankruptcy. He has failed our factory workers with stupid trade wars that caused a manufacturing recession through all of 2019. He has failed to reduce the deficit. And he has failed in his pledge to eliminate the debt, instead sending it skyrocketing above $24 trillion.
When I launched this newsletter in January, I pointed out how surging consumer debt—which hit a record $4 trillion in 2019—made the economy especially vulnerable in a downturn. Later that same month I detailed how badly Trump had failed the working class. In February, as Trump was making the “strength” of the economy the centerpiece of his re-election campaign, I listed 29 reasons why the economy back then was weaker than he wanted you to realize. A week later, I highlighted how quickly the economy was slowing, quoting Al Root in Barron’s who said you “can’t simply blame the coronavirus outbreak in China… It’s the U.S. economy that’s vexing investors.”
FACT: Trump created 1.5 million fewer jobs in his first three years in office than Obama did in his final three
Now that more than 33 million jobs have evaporated in the Trump Crash, you can be sure that Trump will be working hard to convince you he’s really a job creator. But the fact is, Trump’s first three years in office delivered fewer jobs than Obama’s final three years.
Trump’s claims of record employment? They were bogus, too. More people were working in America at the start of 2020 because the population was at a record high. The reality: The Labor Force Participation Rate was nearly 4% higher under Bill Clinton.
Trump’s getting desperate. He has less than 6 months to sell you his latest fantasy. He’ll be pressuring you hard to sign on the bottom line.
He’ll be begging you to stick with him, trust him, listen to him, put your faith in him. In the midst of the death and despair he has brought upon the country, he will insist that only he can can create for you a “phenomenal” future.
But all he has left to sell are lies, delusions and fantasies.
Don’t buy the bullshit.
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