Donald Trump would like us to believe that he practices “The Art of the Deal.” But ever since he rode down the escalator of Trump Tower in 2015, Trump has demonstrated on an almost daily basis that his real stock in trade is “The Art of the Con.”
Think about it, folks. A multi-billionaire who has never worked for anyone not related to him before somehow portrayed himself as a man of the common people. A man who has cheated on two of his three wives, revels in degrading women, and finds it acceptable to fire off hateful, violent, and degrading tweets made the nation’s so-called moral guardians think that he is not only making America great again, but making America Christian again.
But if there was any doubt that Trump is pulling a massive con on the American people, it was put to rest on Tuesday night, when Trump saw fit to fire this off on Twitter.
Trump shared a tweet from the feed of his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, which touted golfing legend Gary Player taking in a few rounds. And therein lies the problem. As we all know, Trump never offered a credible plan for how he would wall himself off from his real estate empire. He never did so even when numerous ethics experts and constitutional scholars suggested that many of his dealings with foreign governments and state-owned businesses fell afoul of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which bars federal officials from accepting gifts from foreign officials.
Ultimately, Trump turned over his businesses to a blind trust overseen by sons Donald Jr. and Eric, though he still retains controlling interest and can dip into its coffers as he pleases. While presidents are technically not bound by federal ethics rules, this arrangement has led us to ask questions that we shouldn’t even have to ask about our leaders. For instance, we should not have to question whether a president will use the power of his office to unduly favor his business interests.
And yet, it’s hard to spin this tweet as anything else. This may very well be Trump’s most shameless tweet yet that doesn’t include some variation of “(noun) (verb) FAKE NEWS!” Indeed, as evidence of how shameless this is, it’s still visible as I write this on Wednesday night.
With that tweet, Trump effectively declared that such things as ethics and conflicts of interest are little more than things in his way. He also effectively declared that his promises to “drain the swamp” and give us a government that would be “owned by you, the American people” are nothing more than a massive con. And he only needed 52 characters to do it.
Can you imagine what the response would be if a President Hillary Clinton touted a Clinton Foundation initiative on her Twitter feed? Well, let’s take that back. We already know what would happen.
That makes the silence from the right even more deafening in the wake of this tweet. Perhaps they’re basking in the afterglow of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing his retirement–and thus assuring a conservative majority on the Supreme Court for at least another decade.
It was already amply established that Trump was pulling a massive con on the American people. Anyone who believes otherwise should consider that we have a president who has no qualms about promoting his own businesses while in office.
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