“Protectionist trade polices are one of the primary factors economists cite for deepening the Great Depression. So if there’s one thing that most economists agree upon, it’s no one wins a trade war.” –CNN/Money
I hate Donald Trump. Unapologetically, unequivocally, unquestionably, whole-heartedly, without hyperbole or regret, in no uncertain terms, I HATE DONALD TRUMP. With great passion and with the hate of 1000 hates. Anyone that knows me or has read anything I’ve ever written about the man, this hardly comes as ground-shaking revelation. The man is a fully solipsistic, tasteless, thoughtless, belligerent, self aggrandizing, pathologically lying, malignantly narcissistic buffoon. He is a caricature of bigoted, sexist putrescence (thanks, unkempt old lady from Buttercup’s nightmare) whose one and only goal is to get people to look at him, talk about him, pontificate about him, acknowledge him. Him, him, him, nothing else, good, bad or indifferent. To paraphrase Ghostbusters Zuul, “there is no other, only Trump”. “But surely there’s at least ONE thing you could say nice about this shitpile of sewage detritus, yeah? ONE thing? Just one, Steve?” All right. I’ll bite.
Well, he’s supposed to be this great businessman, right? I mean, he’s a billionaire, sooooo… If there is one “attribute” that many of my friends continued, and continue, to harp on as to why they voted for a pussy-grabbing, tone deaf sociopathic mutant whose only inherent power is sucking the life out of those around him to bolster his own image of himself, it is “he’s a successful businessman.” We can ignore the fact that being a great businessman has as much to do with forging new business as president as living in Alaska makes one a great candidate for foreign policy development on account you can almost see Russia. Forgoing the facts that he inherited his wealth, squandered it on failure, after failure, after failure, including six bankruptcies, cheated other businessmen and investors, doesn’t pay workers, staff or pretty much anyone else AND cheats charities, they also overlook both WHERE his wealth has come from and HOW he overinflates what he did make and does have.
No, Trump is no businessman. What he is amounts to is little more than a mooch and a thief. And while, yes, being successful in business often may require one being at times either a mooch or a thief or both, it usually isn’t the contributing or attributing factors in defining their methodology. The ones most notorious for building wealth using malfeasance as a foundation are often destroyed by that very hubris. Think Bernie Madoff or Kenneth Lay or Charles Keating. In fact, Trump is actually so shitty at business, the National Journal reported that “had the celebrity businessman and Republican presidential candidate invested his eventual share of his father’s real-estate company into a mutual fund of S&P 500 stocks in 1974, it would be worth nearly $3 billion today, thanks to the market’s performance over the past four decades. If he’d invested the $200 million that Forbes magazine determined he was worth in 1982 into that index fund, it would have grown to more than $8 billion today.”
So, doing jack squat would have actually made the man richer than he is today. But, therein lies a part of the problem. No one really knows, because he refuses to release his tax forms, Trumps actual worth. And believe you me, if that man had an inkling of what he claims, which is roughly $10-12 billion, he would be chomping at the bit to get that info out. Even if releasing this information would somehow point to illegal or embarrassing activity, he wouldn’t give a shit, just as long as people could ooh and aah over his wealth. The man has no discernible ability to recognize, let alone accept, moral or legal implications. What he does have is a fragile ego that needs constant bloviating and attention in order to keep it perpetually inflated. No, his wealth is not near as much as he claims. Revealing that bit of truth would devastate him internally, even if he poo-pooed it to his subservient masses.
Trump’s newest business blunder, raising tariffs on steel and aluminum, has the GOP, again, crapping themselves. One singularity to classic economic depression, as pretty much all economists agree, is starting a trade war. But Trump, as he does with all things, gives no fucks. Hell, he’s willing to start a war war without so much regard as to how many mulligans he’s willing to give himself on the 4-Hole at Mar-lago (spoiler alert, for anyone wondering, is “as many as it takes.”) He is completely unable to think beyond the immediacy of the event of him saying it, how it will garner him attention. The NOW. The only caveat seems to be how much effort is required of him, as he will undoubtedly take the path of least resistance. Like water.
And there it is, folks. Right there, fully obfuscated by the very simplicity of the man himself, is the one “good” thing you can say about Trump. He is Zen defined. He is so uncluttered with everything else, he is fully able to think of absolutely nothing else but himself at any given moment in any given circumstance. He is able to stay in the now because he can’t remember the past and cares not for the future. Because he has no soul, fortitude or character, he is formless and shapeless, like water. And, like water, he allows himself to take the shape of whatever controlling force would like for him to take, like, say, Evangelicals. And, again, like water, he can erode and destroy everything around him simply by being himself over and over and over again without being damaged himself. Trump is the essence of Zen. A very, very shitty perversion of Zen, but Zen nonetheless. Hate him, vilify him, accuse him, fault him…it matters not. He will not cede and he will not sway, no matter what the import of any truth placed in front of him may implicate. Trump is a Zen master of ego. He is the best at being the worst of everything. He has become like water. My apologies to Bruce Lee. I know this isn’t what you had in mind, but it’s the best we can do, apparently, these days. Sorry, Bruce.