The Stand

The Art of Deception: Truly, the Emperor has no clothes

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200 days of Trump’s ‘Art of Deception’ make it clear: He’s unfit for office

 

By JEFF JOHNSON


(Aug. 7, 2017) — Six months into the Trump presidency and much of the American public has a severe case of PTSD. The latest Quinnipiac Poll has the president’s favorability ratings dropping to 33% — only the hardest of the hard-core devotees still believe in “Making Trump Great Again.”

Through executive orders, ranting tweets, rash talk and actions, innuendos and boasts, the executive branch is in disarray and America has never seemed weaker on the world stage.

Donald Trump claimed on the campaign trail and in his inaugural address that he would focus on those things that were in the best interest of the American people. Many people voted for him for his straight talk recognizing their economic situation, cleaning up the political swamp, and getting the better end of any deal.

Six months in and it all feels much more like deception than a deal.


Remember the children’s story by Hans Christian Anderson, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? Since Election Day, I have thought Anderson prescient in sizing up the current president.

If you remember the Emperor was a clothes horse. He wasn’t a thinker. He wasn’t concerned about public policy and how that policy would impact his subjects. He was only interested in how he looked, his image.

So when two roguish weavers appeared in the kingdom claiming that they could weave the world’s most beautiful garments and that any person who could not recognize the magnificence of the garments was either “unfit for their positions or stupid.” Well, the Emperor just had to have these clothes. His image would sparkle and he could judge those who were unworthy.

The weavers were paid handsomely in gold for garments that did not exist but were nonetheless praised as enchanting and beautiful by the Emperor’s ministers because they didn’t want to be thought unfit or stupid.

And as the story went the Emperor marched through town in all his exquisiteness. And then a small child cried out, “But he hasn’t got anything on.”

The Emperor, being The Emperor, while a bit stunned, went on marching more proudly than ever.


President Trump is The Emperor in the story. He is not a thinker. He is a showman. He cares mostly about his image, his brand and his company’s bottom line.

In the recently revealed transcript of President Trump’s conversation with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, President Trump implores Nieto to stop saying Mexico won’t pay for the wall because that would make Trump look bad and weaken his position. President Trump relished the campaign speeches when he would do a call and response on who was going to pay for the wall – “Mexico!” the crowds would shout. From Trump’s world view Nieto should help Trump protect his image.

But President Trump is also the weaver in the story, creating the deception. He creates the biggest crowds, the best health care plan, the biggest and most beautiful wall, all the jobs you could want, and so many wins you will get tired of winning. And if anyone can’t see that then they are either unfit or just plain stupid.

What about the all the criticism from the press? Fake news – unfit.

What about the court’s ruling against him? Too powerful, over-reaching, too stupid to understand his wisdom.

What about Congress?  Stupid, weak and unfit – can’t even repeal Obamacare.

And his own staff? “You’re fired!”


Also like the weavers, President Trump is a con-man. During the “Made in America” week at the White House neither the President nor Ivanka made an announcement about bringing their respective clothing lines back into the United States. Adding to the con, during this same celebrate America week Trump’s organization petitioned for H2B visas for foreign workers for his Mar-a-Lago and National Golf Club resorts in Florida.

During the campaign Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare with the best and least expensive health care there is. And yet both the House and Senate versions of repeal and replace would have sent premiums soaring, hurt individuals with pre-existing conditions, and removed over twenty million Americans from health care coverage.

And during American Dream Week, President Trump announced a program to cut the number of immigrants who enter our formal immigration system in half. Given the skill levels the president is willing to accept for entrance into our country I know that my relatives would not have made the cut. Would yours have been let in?

After six months it truly is time to cry out, “The Emperor has no clothes!”

Is this President really looking out for the interests of the American people? If you voted for him last November, do you still believe he’s giving us straight talk, or is it just bullshit?

Because the swamp is still there in D.C. It just has some new alligators swimming around. Corporate America is still calling the shots and still trying to eviscerate the labor movement. Trumpcare would hurt us all by weakening our quality of health care and by raising the its costs. Banning people who are LGBTQ from serving our country is a great loss to our country and an attack on our humanity. Cutting legal immigration by 50% and addressing undocumented immigration with walls and guns misunderstands the importance and contributions of immigrant labor to our country’s history, culture, and economy and will weaken growth. Pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accords is both a human and ecological travesty but as well a colossal misunderstanding of the impact climate has on our economy.

Today marks the 200th day of the Trump administration and I think that we have more than enough evidence, a “bigly” amount of evidence, that Donald Trump is at least unfit for the office of President. But what do you think, did we get a great deal or deception?


15-Jeff-JohnsonJeff Johnson is President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the Evergreen State, representing the interests of more than 600 local unions and approximately 450,000 rank-and-file union members.

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