Donald Trump is a masterful con-artist and has been so his whole life. His latest con, and his biggest con, was convincing 46% of the Americans who voted to vote for him. If you were one of them, you got conned. Here’s why.
There are so many cons, but let’s just consider the seven biggest cons.
Con #1: Trump is a great businessman.
Most people who have been very successful in business (for example, Mark Cuban and Michael Bloomberg) have no respect for him. You got conned because you thought the character he played on The Apprentice was who he really was.
Even if he were a great businessman, running a country is not like running a business. The CEO gives orders and they are obeyed; the president has a lot of legal and political constraints.
The proof that Trump is not up to the job is that the Trump Administration is being characterized as "in chaos" and "like the Keystone Kops."
Con #2: Trump will repeal and replace “Obamacare.”
The Republicans have no replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the real name of the law that transformed health insurance in the United States. It looked like Congress was going to delay this until 2018, but on February 16, Speaker Ryan announced that he would have a "repeal and replace" plan after the President's Day holiday. (So far, nothing--probably because Ryan can't get Republicans to agree on what to do about ObamaCare.) Let's see if it is just Obamacare with a new name or if this administration will shred the safety net of the American people.
The reason the ACA cannot be repealed is because it is providing benefits to all Americans-- even those who get their insurance through their employers or Medicare--as well as the 20 million people who get their insurance through the ACA exchanges.
The only unpopular part of the ACA is the “mandate.” But if you remove the mandate, the whole system falls apart. Republicans know that repealing the ACA will have such negative consequences for so many Americans that they anyone who voted for it would likely lose their next election.
Trump now says he never realized how complicated health care is. Ryan put forth a "repeal and replace" bill and the Republicans proceeded at breakneck speed to get it passed before people had time to learn how bad it is. They failed. It was a humiliating experience for both Trump and Ryan when so many Republicans refused to vote for the bill. Trump proved that he was really bad at negotiating (just as I have claimed).
The irony is--the very people who voted for Trump are the ones who would have been hurt the most. There is only one plan that would be better than ObamaCare: single-payer ("Medicare-for-All"). We'll never get that from Republicans.
Con #3: Trump will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it.
There will be no wall. It would cost $15 to $25 billion (twice what Trump estimated) and it will not stop illegal immigration. The border states don't even want the wall. Congress will never dare to appropriate the money for a useless wall when infrastructure is crumbling.
Mexico will not be bullied into paying for the wall. Starting a trade war with Mexico will hurt the U.S. economy more than it would hurt Mexico.
So far there is no proposed legislation to build a wall.
Con #4: Trump will ban Muslims.
The Muslim ban is not going to happen. The courts have ruled that Trump’s ban on Muslims is unconstitutional. Twice! And if a ban does get written in a clever way to pass judicial scrutiny, it will create more terrorists than it stops because it will stir up hatred for America. It will even serve to “radicalize” Muslim citizens.
The way to stop terrorism is to have good relationships with Muslim countries and the American Muslim community.
Currently, there is no Muslim ban.
Con #5: Trump will drain the swamp.
Trump has over-populated the swamp. Everyday there is a new ethical violation. Plus most of his cabinet appointees are swamp dwellers—the very rich, the Wall Street/Goldman Sachs crowd, the morally corrupt, and people who want to destroy the very agency they are supposed to oversee.
Con #6: Trump will bring back manufacturing and coal-mining jobs.
Nothing can bring these jobs back. They are gone due to forces beyond the control of a president. Manufacturing jobs are gone because the economy has changed due to automation and innovation. Coal mining jobs are gone because the market for energy has changed—natural gas is cheaper.
Con #7: Trump will lower your taxes.
So far there has been no proposed tax bill. When, and if, there is a tax bill, it will benefit the rich, not average Americans.
The one thing that Trump has done is to remove some restrictions from the Dodd-Frank Bill--the provisions that were put in to protect Americans from the Wall Street excesses that crashed the economy in 2008.
So far, a tax plan has not even been proposed.
Trump even conned himself.
He thought he was going to like being president. But he is constantly criticized, mocked, and blocked. I don’t think he is having fun. In fact, to use his favorite word, his presidency is “Sad!”
© Catherine Giordano 2017