April 16th, 2021


Trump Humbug

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published Jan. 29, 2016

Months ago I wrote that Trump really isn't a conservative. His recorded interviews and past actions all bear this out. Add to that his donations to liberal Democrats (like the Clintons) and he really begins to look more like an opportunistic crony capitalist with a socially liberal bent. He's also, in the tradition of P.T. Barnum, an old-fashioned huckster con artist; a salesman who will tell you what he thinks you want to hear. But mostly he's an entertainer.

He's such a convincing and entertaining con man that his followers and much of the media don't notice when he back-peddles and alters many of the statements he makes. His style seems to be to 1. First stir folks up and get major media attention over some outrageous comment. 2. Then, once his comment has been splashed all over the news and social media causing a commotion, he will "explain it in detail" and in so doing subtly alter what he said earlier while not backing down from the initial statement.

He does this brilliantly, never an apology, never a regret, never showing weakness in any way. He didn't misspeak; it's just that we didn't understand him. There's never a "gotcha" moment on Trump. That's true salesmanship. Knowing how to keep the upper hand, how to put it over. It's the "Art of the Deal."

Some angry blue collar Democrats are jumping onto the Trump bandwagon along with angry Republicans. Many Democrats that feel let down by Obama and can't quite stomach voting for a lying crook like Hillary or a 74 year-old admitted Socialist. Trump is attracting people who don't dig too deeply into his background and are impressed with what they perceive is his anti establishment, non-politically correct "say it like it is" bravado. They don't get that it's all bluster and con.

Trump is a blank slate; people see in him what they want to see. Just as in 2008 Barack Obama fooled the masses with his abstract message of "Hope and Change" Trump promises to "Make America Great Again," which is also pretty vague. It's clever marketing. It all depends on what your definition is of "Making America Great Again."

To a Marxist, making America great might mean making America more progressive and socialistic, expanding government; but to a patriotic conservative it might mean upholding the Constitution as it was written and building up America's might and prestige in the world. It depends on your personal view. The devil is in the detail.

Like that other egomaniac, Obama, Trump prefers running the show all by himself. Obama used executive orders to avoid working with congress; Trump will do the same thing. He's made no secret that he would be the "boss," the guy who will fix what needs fixing. And he'll decide just what it is that needs to be fixed. Just like Obama.

Most people don't want to think that hard about this stuff, they hear Trump telling them that he'll take care of it all; immigration, China, Islamic terrorists, trade, the economy, whatever you got. He'll fix it all. How? Don't ask. It's like going in for major surgery and your doctor telling you that he'll fix everything that's wrong with you, don't worry. Do you want to know the details of what he's going to do once he opens you up? No, you trust him to make you all better, that's all. There are lots of people that have that level of trust in Trump, just as they did Obama.

But more than that, it's really two things that attract people to Trump: Attitude and entertainment. Sadly, we may have finally gotten to the point in this country when people only want an entertainer in the White House, not a politician. Think about it. You could see it starting as far back as John Kennedy, a young man whom the media fell in love with, the first TV star president.

Bill Clinton was a consummate entertainer, biting his lip as he "felt your pain," playing his bluesy saxophone and making the rounds of the late night talk shows. Obama played the superstar, speaking while standing within Greek columns, his head elevated towards the heavens. The media loved it and people ate it up. Hey, it's show biz.

Trump was already an entertainer long before he entered the presidential race, so it comes pretty easy for him.

Ultimately if our choice for leader of the free world is between a lying crook (Hillary) and a huckster entertainer (Trump) then the phrase attributed to P.T. Barnum should be revised to "There are millions of suckers born every minute."

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.