Jack of all trades, master of none
May 31, 2018
"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier." –President Donald Trump, April 27, 2017
Donald Trump the reality star apparently believed he was ready to be president. He did have some unique qualifications. Following are a few examples.
1) Game show host. Trump walks around clapping his hands, showering amazing prizes on the Trump Show contestants. The only requirement to be a contestant is to be as sycophantic and obsequious to Trump as humanly possible. Pass that test, and you're in! Here are just a few of the lucky winners. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, won a beautiful $31,000 dining room set, paid for by us! (Sadly, due to Carson's failure to read the fine print, he had to return the prize). Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, won a free eclipse-viewing trip to Fort Knox, Ky., costing taxpayers a mere $33,000! And the Grand Prize winner is Scott Pruitt, Secretary of the EPA, who won a $100,000 First-class trip to Morocco, a $120,000 trip to Rome, a 24/7, 19-man, 19-vehicle security detail costing millions of dollars, and other terrific prizes, all paid for by us! Trump shows great talent in awarding taxpayer-funded prizes to his favorites. Who will be the next big winner? Not the taxpayers.
2) Reality show producer. I've never watched Survivor or Big Brother or The Bachelor, but I understand the basic premise — betrayal and back-stabbing as people connive to win. Trump promised to hire the best people and drain the swamp. Instead, he has brought a lot of swamp creatures together to battle it out to see who will survive the Trump Show.
People are being kicked off the White House island in unprecedented numbers. The best people are turning out to be not so best. "More than one in three Trump administration staffers have left the White House in its first year, a pace that far eclipses the rate of departures in the previous five White Houses." (CNN, 2/13/18)
Between the leaks and the back-stabbing, the Trump Show is definitely popcorn worthy!
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3) Accomplished storyteller. Trump is skilled at making people believe him. He's accomplished far less in his life than he claims, but for years, he's kept up the façade of being a successful businessman in spite of his many failures. Trump created a fake persona, "John Barron," and pretended to be his own publicist. In 1984, "Barron" called a reporter from the Forbes 400, the annual ranking by Forbes Magazine of the richest people in America, claiming Trump was a billionaire. Forbes had reported that Trump's wealth was in the multi-millions, not billions, but "Barron" spun such a good story that Forbes published it. Trump then used these Forbes stories as a basis for borrowing money, gaining wealth under false pretenses. (Washington Post, 4/20/18)
In 2005, Trump sued author Tim O'Brien, who had written that Trump was worth between $150-250 million, not the billions he claimed. Trump lost the lawsuit and the appeal. The appellate judge wrote, "The largest portion of Mr. Trump's fortune, according to three people who had had direct knowledge of his holdings, apparently comes from his lucrative inheritance. These people estimated that Mr. Trump's wealth, presuming that it is not encumbered by heavy debt, may amount to about $200 million to $300 million."
Trump is still saying that, due to his incredible business skills, he is worth billions. What an amazing teller of tales!
4) Illusionist. Trump is also an expert at making people think they see things that aren't really there. All he has to do is wave his hands and chant the magic words, "No collusion, no collusion, no collusion," and suddenly his followers are transported to a magical realm where they are rulers of all they survey and America is "great again."
A few of the illusions he has tried to create are his big, beautiful wall that Mexico would pay for; his fabulous health plan that would cover everyone at lower cost; peace in the Middle East; and the denuclearization of North Korea. Those of us who saw behind the curtain always knew these were just tricks, not real accomplishments. But many of Trump's followers still believe the smoke and mirrors.
Trump found that being president was harder than he expected. Maybe he ought to do everyone a favor, gather up his pathetic little skills, and go back to the life he loved.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at email@example.com.