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Thanks TJ --- Here's another good article along the conman theme by Jonathan Chait in the New York Magazine.
The System Has Failed and a Con Artist Has Won
It's a short article and you should read it for the full view, but I will just make comment on his concluding paragraph:
"The methods of a skilled con artist have worked just barely well enough to deliver the presidency to Trump. But what happens when his grandiose promises fail to materialize? And when the aspects of his program that he never mentioned in his speech — tax cuts for the rich, stripping away health insurance from millions, massive graft — do take place? A con artist who always escaped his old victims and found new ones has reached the maximal limits of his strategy. What happens when the marks are demanding that the promises he made be redeemed, and there is nowhere for him to go, and he commands the powers of the state?"
My belief is that Trump will extend his con game well into his presidency and beyond. The tribal Republicans who helped put him in power are an important part of that con game. In fact, they invented it going way back decades. The Ronald Reagan presidency was a big con game, as was the George W. Bush presidency. I suppose one could go even further back to Nixon, or even earlier as we analyze how the ruling rich oligarchs in this country have successfully divided the populace against itself.
Looking at just the last 50 years, however, I think the Powell Manifesto published in August 1971 set the groundwork for current events. It started with the defeat of Jimmy Carter by the conman Reagan and has now manifested itself in the current day conman Trump. I use the term "conman" quite deliberately because it is the only word that fully describes the ruthless ways that Republicans have been able to grab power and turn public opinion in their favor, even to the extent of getting solid liberals turning against our own by continually and skillfully tapping into our emotions at the expense of critical thinking. Purity tests.
Trump is really a "nothing" much like Bush and Reagan. That's the way the Republican oligarchs like their presidents....in a sense, the dumber the better. It makes it easier to control them. I doubt that many of Trump's cabinet picks and aides were his own choice. Someone is pulling his strings just like they pulled Dubya's strings. The only difference is that the Trump Puppet dangles a little more loosely and unpredictably, unlike the obedient Bush puppet. Maybe that's because there is more than one puppet master.
Closing note -- I should really write a blog article along the conman theme.