Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

perfect suckers

Time to say goodbye to the beach and get back to "reality," such as it is. It's really pretty awesome if you don't watch any TV or social media. 

I've snipped a few paragraphs from The New Republic suggesting that Trump is the ultimate con artist, fleeceing millions of Republicans who have been groomed for the shearing.

We know Trump is a con man. How has he fooled so many people?

Conservatives Have Groomed the Perfect Suckers for Trump's Epic Scam

by Jeet Heer
In 2000, Donald Trump boldly told Fortune magazine, “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.” Sixteen years later, he’s structured an entire presidential campaign around making good on that boast. While Trump is turning out to be a disaster for the Republican Party, the real estate magnate is pretty much guaranteed to come out richer. That was the plan all along. And conservative voters, conditioned by decades of right-wing politicians and media exploiting and enhancing their gullibility, make the perfect victims for his ruse. 

Not so long ago, in the days before Marco Rubio endorsed Trump, the Florida senator called him a “con artist.” It’s hard to imagine how anyone could dispute Rubio’s evaluation. The operations of Trump University alone paint the convincing portrait of a swindler. Yet the deeper question is how such an obvious mountebank could win the majority of a major party’s delegates. Is there something in the nature of the Republican Party and its conservative base that made them particularly vulnerable to Trump’s deceptions?

Republican strategist and Never Trump stalwart Rick Wilson hit upon the perfect coinage when he described Trump as running a “scampaign.” It’s not that Trump doesn’t want to be president. It’s that the real objective, win or lose, is relaunching his lucrative brand. 

In a sense, conservative voters have been groomed for Trump since the 1960s. As the historian Rick Perlstein wrote in The Baffler and The Nation in 2012, the American conservative movement has become more and more amenable to get-rich-quick schemes, snake-oil salesmen, and confidence men. Direct-mail barons like Richard Viguerie began raking in the dough in the 1960s by stirring up ideological hysteria and convincing an audience of senior citizens that only their small-dollar donation could fend off union bosses, abortionists, and gays. Of course, most of the money ended up with the fundraisers.

Conservative ideology, as Perlstein persuasively argues, is particularly vulnerable to grifters because of its faith in the goodness of business and its concomitant hostility toward regulation—which makes it easy for true believers to buy into the notion that some modern Edison has a miraculous new invention that the Washington elite is conniving to suppress. In Perlstein’s words, “The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.”

There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump. The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.

much more at the link

No comments: