Everyone knows that when Donald Trump speaks, human intelligence winces. Well, everyone but the large swaths of the American public who claim that he has the courage to say what’s on their mind. And if Trump’s belligerent bombast and crass cajoling is really what much of America is thinking, then that is about the most depressing indication of the decline of this great nation as I have ever seen. We are doomed.
Even if you agree with the endless inanity of the Trump persona, even if you prefer sound bytes over substance, and even if you think that America should be the land of not only the bully pulpit but a bully president, the one thing you cannot deny is that, while many – though none more so than himself – consider the man to be the posterchild of American business, Donald Trump is actually a fairly poor businessman. And an outright lousy human being.
Yes, I know what you are thinking: Trump is a billionaire, so how can he be anything but a brilliant businessman? It’s quite simple, actually. Donald Trump is good at looking out for Donald Trump. He’s an expert at self-promotion. And, like Bernie Madoff, he knows how to fill his own pockets. But anyone who has ever run a successful business knows there’s a lot more to it than that.
A successful business person doesn’t just serve themselves. They build a sound company, offer valuable goods and services to their customers, provide secure jobs for their employees, and practice corporate responsibility in their community. Trump’s track record shows that he’s only really concerned with his own image and assets. His employees, investors, and creditors are merely tools for his own personal gain and glory. All Donald Trump really cares about is Donald Trump.
The Anatomy of a Schmuck
First of all, it’s important to note that Donald Trump inherited his father’s company. And, perhaps equally important, he inherited his father’s business connections. The Donald’s father was an immigrant, and a self-made man. He made the family fortune by building low-income housing. And he helped his son get into the family business.
This is important because Donald Trump likes to sell himself as a self-made man. He doesn’t want to offer assistance to the less fortunate because he claims that he never received any. But the truth is that he had a more than healthy head-start in the business world, thanks to daddy helping him along, clearing the way, setting him up with the right people, and supporting his initial investments.
Then there are the management failures. Over the past 25 years, Trump has miss-managed his businesses to the point that four of them had to declare bankruptcy. He has never personally had to declare bankruptcy, as he’s quick to point out, but his failed leadership has forced his companies to do so about once every six years. Impressive track record, huh?
Trump claims that these bankruptcies were shrewd business deals. How is amassing more than $5 billion in debt, the accumulation of the losses that led to these four bankruptcies, a shrewd business deal? Is it shrewd to run businesses into the ground like that, repeatedly? No, my friends, that is poor management.
And keep in mind, this doesn’t even count the companies he’s run into the ground without filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Trump Shuttle, Trump Mortgage, and Trump University are all businesses that he was either forced to close down or sell-off at huge losses. When you look past his bullshit and bluster, Trump has quite the dismal record.
Donny In Denial
Of course, Trump insists that none of this was his fault. In fact, in one case, he resigned from the board of his company four days before it defaulted on a $53 million bond payment. Afterwards, he claimed that the bankruptcy wasn’t his fault because he wasn’t in charge…he was no longer on the board. That’s leadership for ya!
This has become Trump’s trademark move. And perhaps what he feels is a shrewd business maneuver. The company tanks under his shoddy leadership, so he bails out just before the crash and leaves his investors, creditors, and employees to bear the brunt of his miss-management.
The reason Trump is a billionaire is because he rarely gambles with his own money anymore. He took a heavy hit on that first Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After that, he decided to invest less and less of his own money in his business deals, realizing that gambling on his own business acumen was far too risky…even for him.
And why are these failures so important? For starters, they prove that the man’s one claim to fame, his business acumen, is actually well below average. Quite poor, in fact. Secondly, they demonstrate how he treats the people foolish enough to put their faith in him (which is exactly what he’s asking the American public to do). In each of those four business failures, Trump left his investors, creditors, and employees holding the bag while he escaped relatively unscathed. Is that the type of person you want running this nation? Do you want a president with a track record of running things into the ground and then bailing, refusing to take any responsibility?
What I don’t understand is how political conservatives can embrace a candidate who so eagerly embraces government entitlement programs like Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nor how religious conservatives can embrace a man who has filed for divorce almost as many times. Or how everyday people – the working class, and even the middle class – can think an unabashed one-percenter like Trump is in anyway like them, let alone interested in their well-being.
Not only is the man incompetent, but he’s also a heartless hypocrite. Trump has repeatedly said that big money donors have ruined this country. Yet he admittedly is one of those people. Do his supporters not see this?
Trump is the fat cat one percent that’s been sticking it to you for years. He is not a political outsider. He’s a political player, who has admittedly been buying influence for decades. And now this bloated little wolf is trying to squirm into a sheep costume? Are you really buying this crap?
Trump isn’t the solution to America’s problems, political or otherwise. He is the posterchild for everything that’s wrong with this country. He is greed and avarice, vanity and self-aggrandizing, power and abuse, sanctimony and selfishness. He is the establishment, minus the middleman…your traditional bought-and-paid for political candidate. He, like Ross Perot back in the 90s, is self-shilling. He’s his own puppet of the power elite, because he is the power elite.
Throughout his life, the man has shown no loyalty to any political party or principle…only to himself. It’s enough to make you wonder what his real motivations are. If elected, will he be plastering the Trump name on every building in DC? Will we become Trump America? That’s how he’s operated his on-again off-again business empire. The man is like a white Tyler Perry, so shamelessly desperate for attention and acknowledgement. Is that what this all about?
Finally, there’s the unabashed jingoism. It’s as if tea partiers can overlook everything else about him as long as he shouts loud and waves the flag. Are you really tired of big business moving manufacturing overseas? Well, that’s Donald Trump. He’s already sold out America for his own personal gain. And he’s been doing it for years. Why do you think he would be any different in the White House?
I wanted to conclude this piece by calling out Trump’s most ridiculous claim of all, which is that he is going to build a wall along the Mexican border and have the people of Mexico pay for it. Why not just tell the American voters that he’s going to reduce the work week to four days and double everyone’s pay…without raising taxes. If we’re going to make empty promises to the American public, why not go all the way?
But as I thought about it more, I started to realize what Trump might have in mind. Given the man’s track record in business, and overall behavior, a Trump presidency would almost certainly send America into a spiraling nightmare of economic failure and armed conflicts around the globe. If I were Mexico and Trump got elected, I would indeed build a wall along the border…to keep American refugees from fleeing into Mexico. In fact, I imagine Canada would build a wall as well, fearing Trump might decide he was going to unilaterally renegotiate the 1783 Treaty of Paris in an effort to claim the Canadian territories as part of the United States.