Friday, July 22, 2016

No Matter What You Think of Donald Trump

As Donald Trump is now officially nominated as the Republican Presidential Nominee, let me offer you some views about Trump from insiders and pundits. Trump is being compared to a sociopath, to Turkish President Erdogan, Russian President Putin and representing the biggest upheaval in US politics since Ronald Reagan. No matter what you now think of Donald Trump, read the following excerpts, and decide what you think of Trump's candidacy and of his chances to become U.S. president in the November elections.

Tony Schwartz, the Insider's View: Trump, the Sociopath

Let's start with quite a devastating insider's view of Trump by his ghostwriter Tony Schwartz (who co-authored "The Art of the Deal", which was released in 1987) in The New Yorker's article, "Donald Trump's Ghostwriter Tells All "

“...I put lipstick on a pig,” Schwarz said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

"..If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

"...I was shocked,” Schwartz told me. “Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote.” He went on, “Trump only takes two positions. Either you’re a scummy loser, liar, whatever, or you’re the greatest. "

"..In his (private) journal, Schwartz wrote, “Trump stands for many of the things I abhor: his willingness to run over people, the gaudy, tacky, gigantic obsessions, the absolute lack of interest in anything beyond power and money.”

Thomas Friedman, NYT's Columnist: Trump, Erdogan's Twin

Another telling article is "Trump and the Sultan" by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, where he states:

".......America is not Turkey, but in terms of personality and political strategy Erdogan and Trump were separated at birth....."

".........Erdogan was an outstanding leader his first five years.......But since then it’s all gone to his head, and he has gotten away with increasingly bad behavior by creating an us ­versus ­them divide between his loyal, more religious followers, and the more secular communities in Turkey. Because his followers see their dignity wrapped up in his remaining in power, he can say and do anything and never pay a political price. His base will always rally to his us­ versus ­them dog whistles...........

.....Trump relies on the same tactics: He fabricates facts and figures on an industrial scale........Trump also relies on the us­ versus ­them bond with his followers to avoid punishment for any of his misbehavior. He, too, is obsessed with his own prowess, and he uses Twitter to get around traditional media gatekeepers — and fact­ checkers — to inject anything he wants into the nation’s media bloodstream.........If you like what’s going on in Turkey today, you’ll love Trump’s America."

Paul Krugman, NYT's Columnist: Trump, Putin's man in the White House

In his latest column, "Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate", Krugman starts as follows:

".......If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House?..............I am talking about indications that Mr. Trump would, in office, actually follow a pro­-Putin foreign policy, at the expense of America’s allies and her own self-­interest............"

"........At some level, Mr. Trump’s motives shouldn’t matter. We should be horrified
at the spectacle of a major ­party candidate casually suggesting that he might abandon American (NATO) allies — just as we should be horrified when that same candidate suggests that he might welsh on American financial obligations. But there’s something very strange and disturbing going on here, and it should not be ignored."

David Stockman, Republican Pundit: Trump, the most significant upheaval in American politics since Ronald Reagan.
David Stockman, former budget director for President Reagan, and conservative pundit, wrote in a blog post "Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin....and How to Bring it Back":

"......Yet the rise of Trump - and Bernie Sanders, too - vastly transcends ordinary politics. In fact, it reaches deep into a ruined national economy that has morphed into rank casino capitalism under the misguided policies and faithless rule of the Washington/Wall Street elites.

This epic deformation has delivered historically unprecedented setbacks and resentments to the bottom 90% of American households. They have seen their real wealth and living standards steadily deteriorate for several decades now, even as vast financial windfalls have accrued to the elite few at the very top..."

Although Stockman acknowledges that the so-called scapegoats being mentioned by Trump - from illegal immigrants to bad trade deals - are not the root cause of the problems in the U.S., he does say:

 "....The actual culprits are the Wall Street/Washington policy elites who have embraced statist solutions which aggrandize their own power and wealth. That much, at least, Donald Trump has right. Throwing-out the careerists, pettifoggers, hypocrites, ideologues, racketeers, power-seekers and snobs who have brought about the current ruin is at least a start in the right direction."

Last but not least, in a recent New York Times editorial, "Donald Trump's Campaign of Fear" the New York Times comments on Trump becoming the Republican Presidential Nominee:

"...How did a braggadocious Manhattan billionaire with a history of dodgy business deals convince 13 million people feeling battered by a changing world that he is their solution? Chutzpah, reality TV and a hyperactive Twitter account are part of the answer. But Mr. Trump’s nomination is also a referendum on the Republican Party, delivered by working people fed up with leaders who
want their votes but don’t address their struggles........

"........Trump has since sought advantage by playing to disaffected people’s worst instincts, inventing scapegoats and conspiracy theories, waging and inciting vicious attacks on those who disagree with him. He is a poisonous messenger for a legitimate demand: that an ossified party dedicate itself to improving working people’s lives, instead of serving the elite."

I repeat here a key statement from The New York Times: "Trump is a poisonous messenger for a legitimate demand: that an ossified party dedicate itself to improving working people’s lives, instead of serving the elite." From the above comments from varied sources, it seems this view is being shared by more and more people. No matter what you think of Donald Trump as a person, he may become a winning messenger.

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