By the time Donald Trump was 3 years old, he was receiving $200,000 a year from his father. By the time he was 8, he was a millionaire. By the time he was 12 and too “rambunctious” his industrious, disciplined, German father dropped him into military school. Trump likes to say that he chose military school, but the testimony of his classmates at the time says that his father made the decision. Trump merely saw that he liked it, and did well, socially and athletically.
Because Trump won’t disclose, or allow others to disclose, his grades, we can surmise that he had average grades. At a minimum, he was designated Captain of the corps at New York Military Academy, which was a very high honor, before being demoted for some infraction. Early in high school, Trump was already 6 foot 2, tall for his age. He wasn’t a loner and seemed to have the average number of friends among members of his class. But he is remembered for one particular aspect of his character.
As taller than many, he was known for being somewhat authoritarian to younger class members, which is not necessarily discouraged in a military prep school. But it was for bringing beautiful young women to the campus that he was best remembered by several classmates. It would seem that he was already rehearsing for his later life. In fact, his senior yearbook gave him the designation “Ladies Man.” Here was a young man with more money than he could spend, and a playboy mentality.
We can’t look into his mind and we can’t believe what he says or writes about his upbringing because he has created a world around him that corresponds only to his personal recollections. At New York Military Academy, for example, the story is that after attaining the highest rank at the school, Captain of the corps, he was moved out of the position of Captain, the highest honor a cadet could earn and presumably demoted into a training position. Nevertheless, he refers to it as a “promotion.” His life is a series of events like that. If people around him are indicted or pilloried for some rude or potentially criminal behavior, he simply says that he really he “didn’t know them that well,” even though there are pictures of him sitting around a table with them or standing with his arms around them
You can see that Trump has learned almost nothing from his time in the White House. Some of his actions succeeded in the beginning because of the nature of Washington news. On-air news media are selected for their looks as much as for their analytic capabilities. The fact is that the press did not understand that Trump was neither a truth-teller nor a Populist. Only after he had lied so many times that to cover for him would have made them complicit in his lies, did the Washington Press corps understand that he was not only a congenital liar, but a leader using lies to propagandize—a Fascist.
But Trump did not understand that, unlike his business press conferences, which he could call at will—and make go away at will—in the White House his every word and thought and speech and comment would be recorded by the Press every day. After a time, his lies about the same things, lies about his actions, began to pile up. One, two, three, five, ten lies about one particular subject. Soon there were thousands of statements on subjects about which he had said one thing on one day and then the opposite on another.
After 2018, when the Democrats won back the House of Representatives, Trump’s lies became an issue in House hearing after hearing. Testimony under oath proved that the President did know these people, did have the facts, did make the decisions, and did fire people who simply disagreed with him. Testimony under oath could not be disregarded. Consequently, the idea of allowing people to simply forget about his contacts with shady characters or criminals, as he had done in his business days, no longer worked. He was President now, and his words and actions had consequences that spread across the length and width of the country.
“Trump followers” have been pretty accurately described, if we only look at the video of rallies or see interviews with those people outside the arena. They know very little about politics. They have almost no reason to support Trump. In fact, based on their obvious income and social status, they should be working tirelessly against him. These are not independently wealthy, luxury-car-driving, private-plane-owning plutocrats. These are truck drivers and construction workers and security guards. These are “never-been-Republican” Republicans. Some are racists. Some are misogynists. Some are simply not very bright. And there is that sliver of aged, white, suburban or small-town small business owners or people in solid middle class jobs, like owners of small hardware stores or truck drivers.
Regardless of the naivete of his audience and of those voting for him, Trump has lied and used those lied to turn government from a forward-looking, people-oriented group of agencies, working to improve the lives of individual citisens into a single force designed to knock down and circumvent laws and policies for the sole benefit of his billionaire-class friends. The list seems endless.
Trump has been after the poor and the Middle Class for years. One of his attacks is on food stamps. According to Reuters news agency, in an article some months ago, “The Trump administration said on Wednesday it will make it harder for states to keep residents in the U.S. food stamp program in a move that is projected to end benefits for nearly 700,000 people.” The article in question refers to a Trump rule that would make it harder for those out of work to get food stamps and would involve about $3.5 billion in food stamps that would be withheld over time.
Another of his attacks is on clean water. In September of last year, he began rolling back the clean water regulations established in the 2015 Obama era rule known as the Waters of the United States. Under the new Trump rules, the safeguards against the use of chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers that had been removed from the environment with the Obama rule would now be restored. This will have an enormously deleterious effect upon the protection of clean water in the environment.
Trump has bigger game in his sights. Around 70 million people depend for part or all of their existence on Social Security. Trump has already suspended payroll taxes for Americans, which pay for Social Security, and has no plans to restore those funds, if elected. In fact, here’s what he said about it, as reported by MarketWatch.com.
“If victorious on November 3rd,” the president said on Aug. 8th, “I plan to forgive these taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax.” He then added: “I’m going to make them all permanent.”
MarketWatch goes on: “So when Trump talks of a ‘payroll tax cut,’ you might think that sounds great. A tax cut! But this is deceptive election year politics, designed to take advantage of voter ignorance. Anyone in the media that’s going along with Trump’s framing of this as a mere tax cut is also being played.’ Trump has never liked Social Security and already has deep cuts in SSI for 2021 if re-elected.
Trump would like to take credit for the booming economy. What did he do? He cut taxes. What did that do? Well, there are 629 billionaires in this country and their net worth is approximately $3,2 trillion. First of all, that is probably understated by at least a couple of trillion, as the estimated net worth of the top 1%, of which they make up a large portion, is approximately $97 trillion. So these numbers are widely apart and I would go with the higher number. Trump ran their incomes up by about 11% per year since his tax cut in 2017. Since the average cost of living is about $55,000 per year in this country, an income, every year, of $1,100,000,000 or about $91,666,667 per month is plenty to survive on.
By the way, many accounts have estimated that the amount of money Donald Trump inherited, in New York City real estate, when adjusted for inflation, by the year 2000 made him a billionaire before ever touching a single penny of his inheritance. Whether he has made money or lost money since then is debatable, but he had no particular economic expertise to give to the country. What did he do for the country: Nada. Zip. Zero. But for billionaires—made them immensely richer.
Forest fires are burning down the country west of the Rockies. Nowhere is safe. Hurricanes are increasing in intensity and, worse, in size. A hurricane that in past times might have attacked New Orleans or a swath across middle Florida, may now encompass all of Florida and Louisiana, move up the coast all the way to northern New Jersey. And they are coming every year.
This isn’t new Climate scientists and physicists and meteorologists have been warning for years that this is a huge problem, one that, if not solved, will eventually destroy parts of the United States and flood parts of the world killing tens of millions of people.
Yet what has Trump done? Trump has initiated a number of rules that have undermined previous legislation, turned his back on science, and created new regulatory roll backs that impact every aspect of daily life. His attacks on longstanding regulations are unprecedented. He has initiated rollbacks that undermine and ruin environmental efforts of previous administrations. He has loosened restrictions on both drilling and mining and on pipe line safety. He has virtually eliminated the restriction on killing birds in any kind of enterprise that involves large habitats. Rollbacks initiated by Trump will take years, if not decades to return to environmental normalcy.
Health care has been under attack by Republicans since President Obama and Vice President Biden fought for and won health access and security for tens of millions of additional Americans. Trump has been the leader against reliable, affordable health care for Americans since he was elected. In 2017 he and the Republican Senate fell one vote short of passing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with no substitute bill to replace it. Only a dying John McCain, with his last vote in the Senate,
In his 2021 budget, Trump intends to lop $1.2 trillion from Medicaid and SNAP, the food stamp program for low income individuals. On top of that, he has entered at least another $360 billion in random reductions for non-defense expenditures, most of which are designed to help individuals get minimal help in finding low-income housing and other basic needs.
In a previous article, we talked about the Trump voter. Now I hope we have made it clear what Trump is all about. He is aligned with Republicans who, having been elected themselves through lies delivered in a blitzkrieg of television commercials paid for by people like the Koch Brothers and the Adelsons, and Philip Anschutz…all Right Wing billionaires, now need him to bring those they had fooled in the past back to the voting table. Once some people learn how badly they have been duped by Republicans, they never vote Republican again. So Republican Senators and House members need Trump, as bad as he is, because their voter bases dwindle every time they vote for something like the bill to repeal Obamacare, which they did the time that John McCain saved it for the American people.
Get out and vote. And get out and vote Trump out!