Seems like just yesterday when Donald Trump was coming down that escalator in the iconic Trump Tower to announce his bid for the presidency, and we all heard he paid people to show up. He was already fantastically famous due to his reality tv program which depicted him as a very successful businessman, albeit with an entire fuckton of editing. The reality has always been a lot more complicated. As in, very legally complicated. Just so, so, so complicated. Trump was already knee-deep in litigation over Trump University--a fraud.
Since then, he's had to pay $2 million and shut down his fraudulent Trump Organization charity, his business has been found liable for tax fraud, and now, in a summary judgment, NY AG Leticia James' bank fraud case against him has been substantially bolstered--Trump and his family loses their business, and Trump even parts with that golden escalator.
On top of the brutal reality of his 2020 election loss and the four indictments on 91 counts and being legally understood to be a rapist, wow, that's got to hurt, as I mused in a recent comment on another TrumpWorld Grab-Bag post:
His Truth Social posts today are more revealing. I think he's truly concerned about the legal exposure of the Trump Organization, either as being worth less than he puts forward (diminishing his reputation) or becoming suddenly massively encumbered--possibly even being dissolved. It's his family business, from his father, that he expected to be in the hands of his children. I think if he were to suffer that major a business reversal, unlike the Trump Foundation or Trump University settlements, it would be a blow right to his identity.
He can blame others being "out to get him" for that. But while it's questionable that he knows he didn't beat Obama in 2016, that there already has been a WW2, that Jeb Bush did not invade Iraq, and whether windmills cause cancer in humans or madness in whales, he still sort of knows he fooled around and may have badly fucked up regarding his businesses.
And the brutally weird thing is: in a way, Trump might be right that this much attention and liability fell on him in part due to politics, but not in the way he thinks. He could have stayed shadowy, eccentric, a little corrupt. But then he went and flaunted what he was in everyone's faces. More is expected of people in politics; there's a such a thing as standards. Trump's arrogance is so on display that in his defense of his business frauds, he pointed out that Saudi Arabia would pay any price for his properties, openly admitting to the potential of foreign money in exchange for his political influence.
Can he be trusted when he so openly talks like that?
As of today, for example, a number of Democratic US politicians have now called on fellow Democrat, Sen. Bob Menendez, to step down over his second indictment. A lot of them cited the idea of public trust. Serving in office is a privilege. Performing one's oath and doing one's duty is a public trust and it means people put their faith in the person they elected. The ability to perform in that capacity is badly damaged when that person might not be able to be trusted. But noted Republican ethics posterchild Rep. George Santos and incarceration-enthusiast Republican Senator Tom Cotton alike have said Menendez should not step down--innocent until proven guilty!
How much of that is because they have the most corrupt person alive in US politics today as their frontrunner for the presidential nomination? I'm willing to bet an awful lot. And this wouldn't even be their problem (which it certainly is) if they had any standards aaaaalllll the way back in 2015, when anyone looking at that man coming down the escalator might have suspected he was, quite frankly in all probability, a huge crook.
Trump's passionate affair with politics may have cost him his jewel, the pearl of great price (but apparently, not THAT GREAT) that made him who he is. Or who, at least, he appeared to be. The Republican's love affair with Trump has solidified that the reputation their party once had (Grand), also a jewel, is gone.
Stolen? Or just thrown away on a con artist?
(Just kidding, their reputation was also mostly a fraud going back to Nixon, but sometimes it's fun to pretend.)