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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Who shows up at the opening of a nursery school opened to care for AIDS patients, demands to speak as if he were an honored guest, and then leaves without ever offering a donation?

The man who would eventually become the current Republican nominee for president.

That’s the stunning opening ancedote of a new blockbuster account of Donald Trump’s charitable giving by The Washington Post‘s David A. Fahrenthold.

Fahrenthold first got on the Trump charity beat to investigate a “veterans’ charity” event Trump conjured as a diversion when he decided to skip a Republican debate to protest Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who attempted to point out that his foul treatment of women might become an issue in the campaign. The Post reporter wondered what had happened to the “millions” promised to vets, including a million pledged by Trump himself. The money finally showed up — but only four months later, after a story in the Post questioned the donation.

Since then, Fahrenthold has used Twitter as his notebook and ally in his effort to document the “tens of millions” the Trump campaign claims its candidate has given to charity. Our David Cay Johnston pointed out over a year ago that Trump hadn’t given to his own charity in a decade. And in months of digging, Fahrenthold found that the largest gift the Donald J. Trump Foundation had given was $264,631 to renovate a fountain outside Trump’s Plaza Hotel.

Along the way, the now-star reporter also was the first to report on the Access Hollywood tape that revealed Trump bragging about sexual assault. But Fahrenthold’s look into Trump’s attempts to present himself as a generous man are invaluable, because he has revealed a hollow man who has come to represent the Republican Party —  the epitome of the sort of unchecked greed and exploitation the conservative movement was built to enable.

With charity for none and malice toward all, Trump exemplifies the perfidy of Republican policies in these five special ways:

  1. He pays no taxes.
    In the first debate, Donald Trump said it was smart not to pay taxes — seeming to contradict Mitt Romney’s point in the famed “47 percent” tape. In the next debate, Trump seemed to confirm a New York Times story suggesting that he hadn’t paid taxes for 18 years. In those nearly two decades, he declared bankruptcy over and over and took millions out of Atlantic City while leaving his workers and the town to rot. Meanwhile, Republicans were so concerned about the plight of the rich that they donated much of the budget surplus from the late 90s to making them richer with tax breaks that helped create the worst inequality between the rich and poor in America since before the Great Depression.
  2. He still seems to give almost nothing to charity.
    Get rid of high taxes and you won’t need a safety net! The rich will rush in to help the poor. Or so conservative theory tells us. Except that Donald Trump seems to have nearly erased his entire tax burden and then responded by creating a foundation that gets other people to help him pay for things —  like $7.00 for his son’s Boy Scout dues.
  3. He outsources almost anything he can and uses non-citizen labor while stoking fear of minorities.
    Trump’s protectionism is supposed to be a break from conservative orthodoxy, but his own business practices show him be a perfect example of why American workers are suffering. He seems to outsource anything he can put his name on; he used undocumented workers to build Trump Tower; and right now he’s employing non-citizens over citizens at his Mar-a-Lago resort. His excuse? “You shouldn’t let me do it.” He claims he will make the best trade deals that will stop robber barons like him from robbing. Meanwhile, he wants to roll back the Wall Street reforms designed to prevent the sort of crash that cost us eight million jobs after 2008. Yes, trade can hurt workers, but nothing has cost America more than unchecked greed. And Trump is promising to uncheck it. Before his advisers warned him off, he insisted that wages are too high. And in Michigan last year he revealed his real plan: outsourcing within the United States. Shipping good union jobs to states where they workers will earn a pittance for the same work. That makes him an old-fashioned, anti-labor conservative. As does his stoking of ancient hatreds against minorities and foreigners to distract from the war on the middle class — waged by men just like him. It’s classic “dog whistle” politics from a man whose businesses have been accused of racial discrimination over and over. Only now, it’s so obvious that it has sparked the rise of bald-faced white racism like America hasn’t seen in generations.
  4. He claims to be the world’s biggest hawk, yet avoided the draft and lies about his record of backing wars.
    This is Trump’s military record: He avoided the draft five times. He backed the Iraq War, the intervention in Libya, and the bombing of Syria. Now he claims to have been against all three and yet is the “most militaristic person” who “knows more than the generals.” This is a man who recognizes that Republican adventurism overseas now repulses Americans, but can’t help revealing his belligerence by calling for the bombing of civillians, torture, and stealing Iraq’s oil — all war crimes. He proposes weakening NATO,  wants to be friendlier with Russia (which has enabled the worst massacre of this century in Syria), and threatens the nuclear deal with Iran. He’s proposing a world where despotism reigns and American and Western European leadership retreats, recognizing that the American people are sick of our endless engagement in undeclared wars throughout the Middle East. But who knows what he’s really proposing when he contradicts himself constantly and seems only interested in building himself up and nurturing those who flatter him? Maybe that’s why prominent national security experts in his own party say they don’t trust him with nuclear codes, although he has the qualified support of Dick Cheney.
  5. The only traditional value he believes in is controlling women’s bodies.
    Republicans have long made a mockery of their crusade for “traditional marriage” with champions like the Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, who have been married seven times between them (but never to each other). Trump takes the GOP’s disrespect for personal values and the dignity of women to another level. It isn’t just that he appeared on the cover of Playboy, brags about his adultery and conquests, and made a career of marketing women for their looks. He has no history of religious conviction or moral compunction or respect for the “sanctity” of marriage. So his vows to embrace the far right agenda of ending Roe, defunding Planned Parenthood, and outlawing same-sex marriage expose a man who is willing to surrender to any position in order to gain power. But it’s even worse than that. His bragging about sexual assault on that Access Hollywood tape and the subsequent accusations of assault from a dozen women reveal a man who believes he has the right to control any woman’s body. Now he is united with the conservative movement in the effort to make this principle, which is at the core of the anti-choice agenda, the law of the land.
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15 responses to “5 Ways Trump Is A Living Parody Of Conservative Beliefs”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    What exactly is Republican conservatism? The fact that the GOP nominated the least conservative candidate in history, an arrogant – immature – narcissist, a man with a history of bigotry, a sexual predatory behavior that includes 13-year old girls, a man who changes course within hours to satisfy the wishes of whomever he is addressing, and a man whose claim to fame include profiting from misery, exploiting undocumented immigrants, and profiting from bankruptcies while letting investors hanging, suggest that old fashioned conservatism is a thing of the past.
    Most Trump supporters don’t endorse his candidacy because The Donald is a conservative. Since most of them are either wealthy or upper middle class, they don’t do it because they are struggling to make ends meet. They do it because they share the sentiments and plans that are the centerpiece of Trump’s agenda: building a wall along our Southern border and making Mexico pay for it, deporting Latino illegal immigrants (Slovenians living and working illegally in the USA are exempt), banning Muslims – and anyone even remotely related to the Islamic and/or Arab word – from entering the USA, and keeping women where they belong, which does not include running for President. As for religion, that only becomes relevant when the strategy includes a feigned attempt at reaching out to ethnic minorities.

    • Bosda, The Raccoon Philosopher says:

      Neoconservatism is a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.

    • Jon says:

      I agree with you as to why he has so many wealthy supporters. He owes some of them rewards for their monetary and in kind support just as he does Russia. What seems more inexplicable is the number of working class people whose interests he has never represented but claims that he will start if he wins the rigged election.
      Trump has said that he loves the uneducated. That seems to best explain who these supporters are. Some are disaffected citizens who are fed up with business as usual politics and feel neither the Democratic nor traditional Republican party listens to them. Some have not benefited from Obama’s economic recovery after the disastrous Bush years. Some hate Hillary believing all of the lies Republicans have told about her for years and that Trump feverishly repeats and adds some of his own.
      Trump keeps his message geared to the uneducated and angry ready to get even with traditional politicians. He fires then up with empty phrases that have no substance. He tells them he will Make America Great Again but never tells them how he will do it. To the extent Trump has disclosed policies such as tax reform, trade, the economy, foreign policy, domestic policy, education, veteran’s benefits, national security, minority rights, unions, women’s rights, social security, medicare, medicaid, health insurance for all, anti-poverty programs, business regulation, and the environment none of them will benefit them and most will harm them.
      Trump keeps them entertained getting them chanting “build that wall” and “lock her up” while appealing to their worst fears and prejudices. He lies about virtually everything and scapegoats others. He appeals to their feelings of not being treated fairly by repeatedly telling them that the system and this election is rigged against him and them. Despite the fact that his explanation as to how things are rigged makes no sense, his followers believe him.
      Trump will never change anything for the better for any of them. Unfortunately they operate on a low information simple level. They fervently follow him to their own detriment and that of the nation.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        People must keep in mind that one of the most important responsibilities of an aide or assistant is to review relevant documents, print them, and highlight important paragraphs for the boss. Nothing has been provided, to date, indicating that Huma Abedin did anything unprecedented, unusual, or let alone criminal. By the way, the aides of every Republican member of Congress does the same thing Huma has been doing. Don’t expect any of them being investigated…

        • Jon says:

          That is what made me so upset with Comey’s tossing the GOP something to use to create a scandal that exists only in their twisted minds. At this point the emails have zero probative value and I suspect never will. He has destroyed the confidence people had that the FBI worked independently from political parties.

    • 788eddie says:

      I am convinced, Dominick, that Conservatism’s goal is to conserve power, wealth and privilege mostly for the white male population. There is no other way to interpret that philosophy of control.

      • That is the truth. The unmitigated gall of the GOP to openly spit in the face of America by denying justice and fair play for all, while supporting this most farcical and despicable person, speaks volumes.

  2. plc97477 says:

    trump is what you get when greed and worship of the almighty dollar become more important than the people in your life.

  3. CrankyToo says:

    What’s that you say? Donald Trump’s a slimy piece of sh!t???

    Where’d you park your squad car, Sherlock?

  4. nutbar says:

    Sadly, the parody actually embodies the core principles of the GOP and that’s only fitting for a congregation parading an orange pervert as their champion.

  5. stcroixcarp says:

    Donald Trump is the Face, heart and soul of the republican party. He has esposed the conservative movement for the evil it is.

  6. Dominick Vila says:

    Trump’s decision to embrace populist themes, with special focus on globalization and international trade agreements, is eerily similar to the rhetoric we hear from European politicians such as the UK’s Farage, and France’s LePen. The reason these opportunists are relatively popular is because they know their claims appeal to those who have been displaced as a result of a migration of assembly line work from industrialized nations to Asia, and their inability to qualify for the service and high tech jobs that very often go to immigrants from countries like India, China, and Pakistan that enter the USA with H1B visas.
    This situation did not start 8 years or 16 years ago. Its roots, in the USA, can be traced back to President Nixon’s decision to re-establish and trade relations with China in the 1970s. The problem has been compounded by the failure of millions of Americans to get the formal education they need to overcome the challenges of the 21st century, lack of

    re-training programs to help them, and refusal to invest in infrastructure because of political reasons.
    The Trump phenomena is not an accident, it is the result of our failures, our fears, and our inability or unwillingness to address issues that affect our livelihoods without resorting to simplistic “solutions” such as those being advanced by Trump.

  7. Calling all “InformedVoters”, “AgLanders”, “Box’s”, and Jim Samaras—Where are you??Your beloved idol, Trump, is aflame on his altar and could use your help. Anything you can offer as a distraction would be greatly appreciated by Donald.

    I implore you to reply quickly, before he becomes just another crispy critter.

  8. PrecipitousDrop says:

    By now, it’s clear that FBI Director Comey’s bombshell is more of a dud than a threat. Some states will elect Trump, but not enough to deliver an Electoral College win.
    Now, on this ballot, we must vote to unseat every Republican House and Senate candidate listed. What, really, have they done for us but obstruct every government function that touched their desks? Corporate tax reform? No. Immigration reform? Nope. Infrastructure maintenance? Nah. However, they did find time to vote against the ACA 62 times as of January 2016, and name over 40 post offices and other public buildings. And they expect to receive our votes? Again? It’s time for us to “Just Say NO”.

    After November 8th, we must bank the fire, elevate competitive progressive candidates, and put them on the 2018 midterms ballots. This requires selection, vetting, unrelenting voter registration, and DONATIONS. Look at your ballots, voters in deep red states. How many of your Republican Representatives are running unopposed? In my state, it’s ALL of them. This must end. With us. Time to blast the logjam.
    No more Trumps. Ever.

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