Donald Trump: Statesman of the Year!

It seems that the Sarasota, Florida chapter of the Republican Party has named Donald Trump the “Statesman of the Year” for 2012.  It’s shit like this that makes it impossible for me to take the modern Republican Party seriously.  Clearly, the GOP of Sarasota county has no clue what the term “statesman” even means.

According to Wikipedia, “[a] statesman is usually a politician, diplomat or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career at the national or international level.”  This is akin to using the term “distinguished actor” to describe Pauly Shore.  Donald Trump is many things: an arrogant blowhard, an unmitigated asshole, a dick neighbor, an incompetent businessman–but he is not a “notable public figure” with a “long and respected career” at any level, national or otherwise.

Donald Trump has gone bankrupt four times–the first time, running a casino, no less.  Before Donald Trump came along, nobody even knew that was possible.  Casinos are like wishing wells:  holes in the ground that people come from miles around to throw money in while hoping for their lives to get better.   The only difference is with wishing wells people only throw loose change, as opposed to their kid’s college fund.   The worst part of it was that it was entirely predictable actually predicted in advance, and the egocentric prick had the gall to get the analyst fired who predicted it.

The only reason Trump makes money is he doesn’t run most of his businesses; Donald Trump’s business plan consists of running a business spectacularly into the ground, filing for bankruptcy, screwing the investors, then giving up control of the company in the settlement so they can hire someone competent and cashing the dividend checks.  Rinse, repeat.  Think about it:  how does a guy “running” so many various business interests–with properties coast to coast–have time to star in a third rate reality show and make semi-regular appearances on the Fox propaganda network?

Trump is a brand, not a businessman.  The guy is a walking publicity stunt.  He has no credibility on matters of import; he can’t even manage his own affairs, let alone those of others.  He’s publicly stated he thinks we should slap a 25% tariff on goods from China, demonstrating that his grasp of basic economics and international trade is on a par with that of a third grader.  The difference is, you could easily explain to most third graders why that is a stupid idea.  Trump’s ego is such that he’s incapable of recognizing or accepting that he could be wrong about anything, let alone the reality that he’s wrong about everything.

He’s a poster child for the Sisyphean difficulty of going from riches to rags in this country; if people aren’t going to stop investing in your lame-brained money pits after filing for 4 bankruptcies (did I mention one of them was a casino?) and shafting countless investors and customers, you’re set for life.  Donald likes to claim he’s a “self made man”, but he’s selectively ignoring a whole lot of advantages and help that he’s gotten along the way.  Remember, none of Donal’s big projects are ever paid for with his own money; he borrows the capital for every project, and it’s almost impressive that he can boast about being “self made” when all of his projects are paid for with other people’s money.  Especially when so much of that money is never repaid.  Because he is wealthy (largely because his second greatest skill, after self promotion, seems to be depriving creditors of their money) he is “well respected”–because Americans don’t really care how you get your money, just that you have a lot.  Trump inherited wealth and connections, and used them to make more wealth and connections.  Along the way he has benefited greatly from governmental protection under bankruptcy laws, government loan assistance, and the general benefit of being an American, where his particular form of ass-hattery is not only allowed, it’s downright revered–how else can one explain his continued appearance on TV and in print, despite never having anything of any merit to say?

If it seems like I have some sort of personal grudge against Donald Trump, I don’t.  I could give two shits about him.  What pisses me off is when anyone mistakes him for anything but an utter shitbag, and falls for his public facade of being a competent businessman who is also sane.  Naming him Statesman of the Year is like giving a good parenting award to Casey Anthony.  If Donald Trump hadn’t been born rich, he’d be the sleazy cousin whose calls you avoid because he’s always hawking some new, dipshit plan that he needs your money for but will collapse for some complex assembly of circumstances that will be totally not his fault.  But this new plan, this one is foolproof, a sure thing.  Just like the last one was.

I don’t see Donald Trump as particularly respectable or in any sense a statesman–nor do I have any illusions that the only distinction between him and the meth-head who lives under the overpass and chokes up the line at the welfare office arguing with the clerk is a couple hundred million dollars in the bank.  I’ll give him credit for a ruthless cunning; he’s a man who has internalized the old adage “when you owe the bank $10,000, you have a problem; when you owe the bank $10,000,000, they have the problem”–more than that, he has built an entire business plan around it.  Trump may fail often, but he always fails large–his failures are always someone else’s problem.  That he manages to continue to maintain an aura of success and competence, enough that he never seems to lack for a new batch of suckers to bury him with their money in the hopes they’ll get any of it back, is a testament to a nearly admirable form of functional psychopathy–but it doesn’t qualify him to have a valid opinion on anything outside his extremely limited and narrow are of expertise, which doesn’t include trade, politics, international affairs, birth certificates, or what constitutes appropriate behavior and is, for the most part, relegated to real estate speculation, bankruptcy laws and combovers.  In Manhattan, he can probably also recommend some good restaurants and clothing shops.

He should leave the other stuff for real statesmen, people who have earned the title by virtue of their considerable experience, judgment and knowledge–not been randomly awarded it as a publicity stunt for a bunch of rich central-Floridian Republicans looking for a chance to have their pictures taken with him.  Honor Donald Trump as the Republican of the Year, the Birther of the Year, the Rich Guy With The Most Airtime of the Year, hell I could even choke down Businessman of the Year, but for the love of Pete, why did they have to go pump his already over-inflated ego with a title so ridiculously superlative that it borders on self parody?

“The horror. . .   the horror.” — Colonel Kurtz,  Apocalypse Now

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