Monday, April 02, 2018
Hog Trump and the Corruption That Could Destroy Him
As I'm sure you know, I've been portraying Donald Trump as a hog as long as I can remember.
I realize that there are other names one could call that misogynist, that bigot, that dirty old man.
But hog, with apologies to real pigs who are better than him, always seemed right to me.
So you can imagine how happy I was to see the latest cover of New York magazine.
And see that beautiful piggy nose, and read what I have reluctantly come to believe.
Most of his well known character flaws may not be enough to sway his equally bestial supporters.
His racism and misogyny motivate the Democratic base, but both were perfectly apparent in 2016 and did not dissuade enough voters to abandon him. The Russia scandal is substantively important, but it is also convoluted and abstract and removed from any immediate impact on voters’ lived experience.
The reports of Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels, even the possibility of hired goons to keep her quiet, is not exactly a disillusioning experience for voters who harbored few illusions to begin with.
Not when so many of those supporters are so morally corrupt that even the holier than thou evangelicals won't even spank him with their Bibles...
But corruption, defined by the use of power for personal gain, might just be Trump's biggest political liability.
Historically, corruption — specifically, the use of power for personal gain — has played a central and even dominant role in American political discourse.
There is a reason Trump labeled his opponent “Crooked Hillary,” and it stems from a law of American politics Democrats would be wise to remember: To be out for yourself is probably the single most disqualifying flaw a politician can have.
His administration reeks of greed and corruption.
It should take very little work — and be a very big priority — for Democratic candidates to stitch all the administration’s misdeeds together into a tale of unchecked greed. For all the mystery still surrounding the Russia investigation, for instance, it is already clear that the narrative revolves around a lust (and desperation) for money.
And the simpler you can tell that story, the more impact it can have.
Trump represented himself as a rich man feared by the business elite. He had spent much of his life buying off politicians and exploiting the system, so he knew how the system worked and could exploit that knowledge on behalf of the people. In fact, his experiences with bribery opened his eyes to what further extortion might be possible. Trump was never looking to blow up the system. He was simply casing the joint.
Let the corruption of his crime family be what sends him to the Big House.
So we can serve up the hog in the gilded manner he deserves.
On a silver platter.
With an apple in his mouth...