January 6, 2018

∴ Frum: Donald Trump Is a Real-Life Fredo Corleone

David Frum, noted conservative intellectual — The Atlantic:

Who and what Donald Trump is has been known to everyone and anyone who cared to know for years and decades. Before he was president, he was the country’s leading racist conspiracy theorist. Before he was the country’s leading racist conspiracy theorist, he was a celebrity gameshow host. Before he was a celebrity gameshow host, he was the multi-bankrupt least trusted name in real estate. Before he was the multi-bankrupt least trusted name in real estate, he was the protege of Roy Cohn’s repeatedly accused of ties to organized crime. From the start, Donald Trump was a man of many secrets, but no mysteries. Inscribed indelibly on the public record were the reasons for responsible people to do everything in their power to bar him from the presidency.

Instead, since he announced his candidacy in mid-2015, Donald Trump has been enabled and protected.

The enabling and protecting not only continues. It accelerates. 

(Emphasis mine.)

This is the Donald Trump I saw while growing up in New York. He was the playboy millionaire always on the evening news, and later the increasingly unlikeable miscreant who profited from his New Jersey casinos even as the Atlantic City neighborhood they fronted crumbled around them.

This is the insect who skittered away through the bankruptcy courts before his empire fell, leaving others holding debt and living among the wreckage of lost employment, crime, and substance abuse, a stone’s throw from the palaces where people had happily thrown their money at him for “entertainment.”

This is the racist who, years before, had been sued by the US Department of Justice for refusal to rent his real estate properties to people of color, and who settled out of court rather than let the truth emerge.

This man has never had any scruples, not ever.

***

Frum:

In 2016, there were voters who genuinely, in good faith, believed that Donald Trump was a capable business leader, moderate on social issues, who cared about the troubles of working class white America—and would do something to help.

Lovely. If you supported this charlatan you can bathe in the memory of your good intentions. Have you ever wondered why, though, conservatives are so concerned about “working class white America,” but don’t spare a word or a thought about not-white workers? Did Donald Trump ever address people of color, other than to speculate “what have you got to lose?”

***

People who knew Trump’s history raised a warning when he became the clown candidate among sixteen actual Republicans, referring to Mexicans as “drug dealers, criminals, and rapists” as he announced his candidacy. Some laughed. Few listened.

Which were you?

People again warned about Trump when he became the last candidate standing, and the GOP crowned him their nominee after some mild hand-wringing. I did. Frankly, I couldn’t imagine him actually being elected president, but there was always a chance.

And then it was early morning November 9, and news outlets (save one) went wall-to-wall with disbelief and stunned, muted reporting of the Trump victory. Victory.

The man never expected to win office. Possessing no political experience, no policy ideas, and no conception of how government works he was suddenly the most powerful man on Earth, heir to the office of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln. What a disgrace.

Were you stunned, horrified, somewhere among the five stages of grief? Or were you an “enabler” all along?

***

Here we are, today. Frum, again:

However crazy Trump may be, in one way he is indeed the “very stable genius” he claims to be: Trump understands how to mobilize hatred and resentment to his own advantage and profit. He has risen higher than Joe McCarthy or Charles Lindbergh or Theodore Bilbo—and he has lasted already nearly a full year in office, holding the approval of one-third of the country, more than sufficient to keep him there for a full term.

That right there is the tragedy of the Trump presidency; that 62,984,825 Americans willingly voted for this guy despite what was known about him for decades, despite what he admitted to, despite what he said on the campaign trail.

Frum references “responsible people” in his piece. I was there at 5:45am, November 8, 2016, waiting for the polls to open. It was a very cold morning, but I was there to do the last thing I could to prevent this atrocity of an administration: vote for someone else.

What did you do?

***

There is no middle ground about Trump, or about GOP complicity in his presidency. There is no compromise.

Good intentions aside, people were either on the right side of humanity and history in November 2016, or they were on the wrong side of it.

If you were on the wrong side you can ignore all of us saying so, but you cannot ignore yourself. You did this. You will carry it with you, knowing your complicity in handing Donald Trump the presidency, until you are dead.

#Trump #unstable #incompetent #impeachment