The Art of the Grift
Since he lost the election, Donald Trump has received over $250 million from loyalists. Few controls exist to regulate Trump’s use of the money.
He’s a grifter.
I’m from New York too.
Connecting those two pieces was once something of great pride to street smart teens such as myself in 1970s and 1980s New York.
We all knew how to rip people off. The issue became if we followed through on that knowledge.
We also all knew the more renowned we would become, the easier it would be for us to assume that fortune on the backs of well-meaning friends and strangers.
Some of us elected to go the way of character and morality instead.
Others went the way of the man who is presently the outgoing President of the United States.
To answer an obvious question, what Trump is doing is, of course, anything but “small scale.” However, when individuals donate small dollar amounts the definition of “grift” holds well.
The issue becomes one of multiplication of those small gifts.
Donald Trump, while ignoring the nation’s larger issues, is swindling his most devoted base.
The game is effectively no different than prevalent Nigerian email scams, though on as large a scale as possible.
I joined Trump’s email list for the sole purpose of sharing information like this with you. This is what entered my email box yesterday:
In this illustration, Donald Trump is leaning on the Covid-19 vaccines to raise still more money for himself, while excoriating the political left. He is campaigning … but for what, exactly?
I’ll answer the question in another way. It’s not a for what. It’s a matter of for whom?
Who do you think?
Elsewhere, for the same pot, Trump is largely leaning on fraudulent election claims to raise his money.
Once he (finally) leaves office, he could purchase a bigger toy box than he could ever afford before.
Those sycophants who believe Donald Trump’s every word and swear by the fact that the president refused to take a salary for his four-year position can rest assured his interests were not philanthropic.
He deceived you to return to civilian life with the most financially lucrative package of any given four-year tenure of his term as a businessman.
Reportedly, $60 million of the over $250 million in 2020 Trump campaign donations have been subsequently donated to the Republican party. The rest is held by the Trump campaign itself, and how those funds are spent is up to him.
What will only make a difference is if one of the pending New York lawsuits against Trump regarding financial improprieties — which can include this windfall — is successful.
If not, Trump is said to want to use some of the money to fund rallies and television properties both featuring himself. The suspicion on the part of numerous public prognosticators, such as guests on left-leaning news programs inclusive of attorneys, is that Trump is planning to pay bills to lower his extreme debt.
I’d take that bet.
When I lived in New York, we all knew of tabloid fixture Donald John Trump. Nothing much has changed. The allegations then were parallel to those of today, but in our modern times they are of a considerably larger scale.
That’s the only difference, really.
Still, we all knew how to grift, or outright steal, because we learned in part from masters such as himself. Again, those who chose not to take advantage of that knowledge either applied their minds to more constructive matters, or worked their illegal schemes to where they would not hurt anyone.
Case in point, being completely honest: I used to hot-wire payphones as a kid whenever I needed to make a call. I took a paper clip, straightened it, put one end in the middle hole of the receiver’s mouthpiece, and the other end in the keyhole on the phone itself. One scratch of the keyhole with that connection and instant dial tone.
If payphones were not at this juncture basically obsolete, I would never have spelled out the above. But I did so to punctuate my point: Again, we’re all capable of breaking the law, even something as simplistic as what I did.
But when the President of the United States uses his considerable powers to profit in this fashion, he truly should spend the rest of his life behind bars.
I’ve said it. The internet is forever. I stand by it.
On December 22 and 23, Trump’s manipulation of his base by vetoing Congress’ highly-anticipated defense bill and calling it a “gift to Russia and China,” pulling his last-minute stimulus bill nonsense and making himself look like a savior by asking for $2000 — nothing more than political theater — and pardoning some of the nation’s most notorious criminals while calling himself “the law and order President” added to his coffers. Tomorrow, he’ll whine on Twitter while lounging at Mir-a-Lago, ask for more money while acting as though he’s putting “America first,” and receive millions more from his continued grift.
Our U.S. President has long zeroed in on his most gullible target — his most loyal supporters — and he will take advantage of them until death do him part.
But there is no more legitimate campaigning. Unless he truly does make another White House run in 2024, for those of you tempted now please take a moment to consider exactly where you believe your money may be going before you make another blind donation.
And then contemplate your answer and prove that contention to yourself.
I just saved you Starbucks coffee money for a month? A year? Five years?
Just think about it before reaching for your credit card is all I ask.
Then, let’s communicate. That’s what comments are for.
Thank you for reading.