Corrupt and Corruptible

I’ve always been a happy person, but I’ll admit to being very depressed these days.

The thought that Donald Trump is actually the Presidential candidate of one of America’s major political parties–a party I worked for and supported for 35 years– nauseates and frightens me. Without money, this man would just be dismissed as the ignorant pontificating asshole you try to avoid at parties, the guy telling  tasteless racist jokes and bragging about his latest con.

(If we had any doubts about the racism, a recent study has pretty much settled the issue: in a survey undertaken to identify the most likely Trump supporters, by far the most likely were people who still insist that President Obama is a Muslim.)

And there have been plenty of cons: his “send in your urine sample and we’ll send you supplements” diet scam, the Trump University fraud (Trump’s “not fair–the Judge is Mexican” sort of reminds me of the whiny undergraduates who complain that their poor grades are because the mean professor didn’t like them…), his refusal to pay people the full amounts of their contracts (he calls that “haircuts”), and so many more.

Now the AP has reported

As scores of students complained that Trump University was a ripoff, the Better Business Bureau in 2010 gave the school a D-minus, its second-lowest grade. State regulators also began to take notice.

The office of then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, opened a civil investigation of “possibly deceptive trade practices.” Abbott’s probe was quietly dropped in 2010 when Trump University agreed to end its operations in Texas. Trump subsequently donated $35,000 to Abbott’s successful gubernatorial campaign, according to records.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi briefly considered joining with Schneiderman in a multi-state suit against Trump University. Three days after Bondi’s spokeswoman was quoted in local media reports as saying the office was reviewing the New York lawsuit, the Donald J. Trump Foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a political fundraising committee supporting Bondi’s re-election campaign. Bondi, a Republican, soon dropped her investigation, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.

So, we know Trump is sleazy and corrupt. But apparently, there are officeholders who are equally corrupt. Or at least, easily corruptible. Maybe that explains the willingness of so many in the GOP to obediently “fall in line” and support the candidacy of this massively unqualified jerk.

I’d love to believe that Trump’s candidacy will go down in flames–that Americans will reject this fascist buffoon, that–as a friend puts it–he is not what is meant by Orange is the New Black….But I keep thinking of a (possibly apocryphal) story about the woman who approached Adlai Stevenson after he’d made a speech, and said “Oh, Mr. Stevenson, no intelligent American could fail to vote for you after that speech.”

Stevenson reportedly replied, “But Madam, I need a majority.”

My stomach hurts, and I think I’m getting hives.

46 thoughts on “Corrupt and Corruptible

  1. Just this week I received a special mailing from the Southern Poverty Law Center titled, “The Trump Effect”. This is part of SPLC’s “Teaching Tolerance” program for interested and enlightened teachers. Before you jump in against SPLC, Marv, I will quote from the accompanying letter with this booklet.

    “We surveyed more than 2,000 teachers across America. They reported a sharp increase in the bullying, harassment, and intimidation of students whose races, religions, or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.

    A number of teachers reported that students are using the word “Trump” as a taunt or chant as they gang up on minority children.

    We’ve seen Donald Trump behave like a 12-year-old, and now we’re seeing 12-year-olds behave like Donald Trump.”

    ’nuff said! These statements say it all, no need to quote from the booklet “The Trump Effect” or expand on Sheila’s statements in this blog.

  2. I will add this statement from the booklet regarding quoted teachers, “…Another, in Indianapolis, Indiana, says, “I am at a point where I’m going to take a stand even if it costs me my position.”

    Too bad voters aren’t this strong!

  3. JoAnn,

    “’nuff said! These statements say it all, no need to quote from the booklet “The Trump Effect” or expand on Sheila’s statements in this blog”

    ditto. This is all about White Power. Who are we kidding? All is can say is, “that we better take a plunge into that reality before it’s too late.” And don’t wait for the Southern Poverty Law Center to lead the way. The courtroom is not the answer.

  4. Marv; this is NOT about the Southern Poverty Law Center in the courtroom, it is the response from teachers in answer to their question regarding their teaching experiences regarding the 2016 presidential election. “Teaching Tolerance” is a service provided by SPLC to those interested educators who request the information. Every election year, teachers concentrate on the election process and the connection to the people; “The Trump Effect” is the result of this year’s teaching – and learning – experience in some schools. Which should teach all of us a bitter lesson and hope we aren’t learning it too late.

  5. Pete,

    “I’m not sure that we should be all that surprised. Majorities don’t give up their entitlements easily.”

    You can’t blame them. But national suicide?

  6. JoAnn,

    “Marv; this is NOT about the Southern Poverty Law Center in the courtroom….”

    Don’t be upset over my answer. You’re the one who brought me into the conversation. I’m not against “Teaching Tolerance,” but it isn’t enough by any means. At this point in time, in my estimation, it isn’t even a starter. Nor is the Courtroom. That’s all I have been trying to say for months as the political situation continues to deteriorate EXPONENTIALLY.

  7. “So, we know Trump is sleazy and corrupt. But apparently, there are officeholders who are equally corrupt. Or at least, easily corruptible. Maybe that explains the willingness of so many in the GOP to obediently “fall in line” and support the candidacy of this massively unqualified jerk.”

    Agreed, but to act like this is limited to the GOP, its officeholders and candidates, is laughable.

  8. Rex Bell; I clicked on your name and pulled up your web site. Would like to know what you actually stand for, other than the obvious GOP support, but the information scrolled sideways far to fast to read more than the top 1 or 2 lines.

  9. Rex,

    “Agreed (Trump is sleazy and corrupt)but to act like this is limited to the GOP, its officeholders and candidates is laughable.”

    Are you insinuating that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are in the same class as Donald Trump? If you are. Then you’re more that “laughable.”

  10. “So, we know Trump is sleazy and corrupt. But apparently, there are officeholders who are equally corrupt. Or at least, easily corruptible”.

    Yes, definitely, but they’re not aiming at being President of the United States. At least, not yet. He is however bigtime as the GOP nominee.

    This is way, way beyond horrifying and Sheila typically nailed it with her opening comment. The fact that the GOP is just fine with this is even more horrifying. At some point the GOP, both its “leadership” and the rank and file, and like Sheila I used to be one of those, is going to think past party and being re-elected and think of the welfare and political cohesion of this country instead. It needs to happen sooner than later as well.

    We are in deep trouble folks!!

  11. I admit that this Trump phenomenon has me perplexed beyond all hope… He has built a coalition of some unsavory types along with many standard Republicans and Independents – all out in the open. I do not understand how this coalition can hold. I hope it does not but I will not be surprised if it grows. The only commonality seems to be a hate of Obama and that they want to win at any cost. I guess that is the winning formula so far.

  12. Just as the courtroom is not the answer, I would like to remind the anti-Trump protesters that violence is not the answer. Every time his supporters are attacked, it feeds fuel to the fire. Let’s not get down in the gutter with the Trumpets. Don’t take a swing, just VOTE!

  13. The problem as I see it is; the NRA has spent the last decade arming up white Americas who are under employed, under educated, in a changing world they can’t adapt to, they are preached to 24×7 by hate radio about how the US Government is destroying their country, and they have been betrayed by everyone. They are militarily armed but not militarily disciplined looking for a charismatic leader to command them. A NRA leader said this week if they don’t get their way at the ballet box they could resort to the bullet box. Trump’s threat to America goes beyond the 2016 election, if he wins America will have and national & international catastrophe and if he looses he will stand outside of Americas political process and command an Armed & Dangerious Militias that rare at his command, that will allow him to threaten or target the people he sees as a threats to his vision of America but without his fingerprints on what happens to the people he has pointed out as the problem faux patriots need to remove. That’s my real fear for our Nation and the Republicans have let it happen.

  14. T Lentych,

    “I admit that this Trump phenomenon has me perplexed beyond all hope… He has built a coalition of some unsavory types along with many standard Republicans and Independents – all out in the open. I do not understand how this coalition can hold.”

    Donald Trump hasn’t built anything. The coalition was there for the taking. It’s been building under different names such as Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, and Tea Party for 50 years.

    This coalition can do much more than hold its own. Right now it is unbeatable.

  15. Ray,

    You’re 100% right about the future as it now stands. You’ve perfectly outlined the two futures awaiting us. Both are catastrophic.

  16. For an antidote to jerk Trump and for real substance, listen to Hillary’s San Diego speech on foreign policy.

    It’s about 33 minutes long. Starting at 11:42 minutes it concentrates on how we protect our country. My favorite part is at 30:40 minutes – what American troops did to uphold American honor while protecting us. POWERFUL.

    The You Tube post includes an occasional ad which I clicked to skip. There ARE political comments in it, but for real substance, it’s unmatched anywhere else. I felt smarter and safer after hearing it. It’s all here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlYq4Ex-C60.

  17. I’ve said it before and will say it again, Trump is the GOPs ideal candidate; just watch the demurring establishment endorsements as they come in. He’s pitching the easiest thing in the world to sell a human being: fear and hate. He has tapped what his followers believe is a righteous anger at our government and promises the solution. I colleague once said, “The greatest accomplishment of the GOP is getting people to vote against their own interests.” Trump is a marvellous candidate for a party with such a mindset. His chances are real I’m afraid.

  18. Sheila:
    As you well know, I grew up in the GOP too. However, I question whether the GOP exists any longer. When 52% of Indiana primary voters voted for Trump, that told me that I did not want to be closely associated with them any longer. For the time being I am an independent. I will support and vote for candidates on both sides who stand for civility and integrity in government.

    The comments and reports about fear and bullying among children are not just rumors. They are true. I have heard two first hand accounts. One friend of mine is a blond woman married to an Asian man. They have two beautiful and talented almond skinned children. The daughter came home recently from school and was crying because a boy told her, “My Dad says that if Mr. Trump is elected, he will send you back to where you belong.” I also talked to one of our Federal judges just after she had returned from a naturalization ceremony. Such ceremonies are usually happy and joyous occasions. However, there was a little Muslim girl there who had come to see her grandmother obtain US citizenship. The little girl was crying as she met the judge. She told the judge that she had been lead to believe that if Mr. Trump becomes president the US will no longer allow Muslims to become citizens.

    Trump’s bullying and racism is having genuine impact, and for me it is scary because 52% of the Republican primary voters apparently endorse such behavior.

    It is time for each of us to speak up and speak out. Trump is dangerous.

  19. We all need to sharpen our vision.

    The following is from “Let the People Know” by Norman Angell, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, The Viking Press, New York, 1943, page 57:

    “We miss the significance of what is happening unless we realize the importance of distinguishing between two distinct orders of events: those happening in the visible and external world, the actual fall of nations, destruction of states, and the domination or threatened domination of the vast majority of mankind by a relatively small minority, between events of that order and those happening in the MINDS OF MEN. In this latter sphere we face above all a miracle of blindness. It behooves us therefore not merely to face the facts of yesterday’s folly but inquire how it came about that we did not see it to be folly. We are confronted by two miracles, not one: one of a material and another of a moral order. It is the latter which explains the former. Yet it is the mental lapse which we overlook.”

  20. In union politics there was the old saw, “The membership always gets the leadership they deserve.” That, my friends and fellow commenters is what scares the hell of of me about Trump.

  21. Saw an article about how running Zachary Taylor destroyed the Whig party. But he did win.

  22. How does one even begin to address the “news” sources, where conservatives and faux patriots confirm their twisted views with the “facts” found on the internet? Here are just a few, and I have read outrageous articles today on each link. SMH.
    http://www.conservativetribune.com
    http://www.thenewamerican.com
    http://www.breibart.com
    http://www.charismanews.com
    http://www.todaysworld.org
    http://www.americasfreedomfighters.com with the voting pop up – Obama should be in prison for treason – “click here” on facebook.
    Look at all the “news” and biblical “guidance” on church websites, spewing hate and bigotry. Look at the messages from Indiana Pastors Alliance, Tomorrow’s World, Micah Clark and the AFA of Indiana…. Don’t forget the blogs (ex: Monica Boyer) and read the sermons posted online from pastors across Indiana – the believers are just following along and make Facebook pages, such as Redneck adults, Nation In Distress, Patriot Journal, Patriot Guard Riders, Patriots United, and Hal Lindsey Bible Prophesy.
    How does one even begin to counter the effects of this bombardment of “news”?
    Today, Pence is portraying himself as a friend to public schools with pictures of him signing education bills at public schools surrounded by cute little white students and flip flopping on his decision for preschool federal funding. How does he get away with it…. A FB friend summed it up – “Problem is we need news media to cover his deception and they won’t do it.”
    The next election will be so important on a federal and state level, and I also have hives just thinking about it.

  23. OHHH, OHHH, OHHH, how shocking people in the 1% using their wealth to influence elected officials with campaign contributions (legalized bribes).

    The Trumpet is just one of these get rich quick schemes. We have these so called Universities and trade schools that take your money and in some cases set up loans for repayment. We have phony foundations that collect donations and do very little or nothing.

    Even United Way was touched by a scandal in the 1990’s. William Aramony, was the CEO of United Way of America for more than twenty years. On April 3, 1995 Mr. Aramony was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 23 counts including conspiracy to defraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, transportation of fraudulently acquired property, engaging in monetary transactions in unlawful activity, filing false tax returns and aiding in the filing of false tax returns.

    For more: https://www.charitywatch.org/charitywatch-articles/charitywatch-hall-of-shame/63

  24. Rex, I’m curious. Why would you assume that the worldview held has nothing to do with progress made?

    Honestly that seems foolish to me. How you view the world has everything to do with you relate to it and what you contribute to and how important the future and greater good are to you.

  25. If you’re just now getting this upset you’ve been living under a rock. Trump and his candidacy are direct results of the how Washington has been and what they’ve been doing to America.

  26. Disappointed Joe; you are the “new kid on the block” (unless you are Gopper reincarnated), some of us have been here since Sheila began her blog. Our “upset” regarding “Trump and his candidacy are direct results of the how Washington has been and what they’ve been doing to America.” has been ongoing since before she began. We have decades of Trump and what has been going on in Washington to draw our “upset” from. Super pissed and scared sh*+less is a better description…speaking only for myself with that.

  27. I don’t get the hand wringing? Trump is the quintessential GOP candidate. This is the party of Goldwater and of Nixon. Most Trump supporters are white males,many educated and doing well financially. I know it’s in vogue to disparage the uneducated but most of those in the lower tier do not vote. Why do you think they’re called College Republicans?

    There’s enough corruption in the political environs on both sides. My conscience will be clear as I will vote for Bernard Sanders. And speaking of following obediently in line,that isn’t something exclusive to the GOP.

    For those that are former members/supporters of the GOP,what attracted you to the GOP in the first place?

  28. Everybody now realizes how destructive the GOP has become to government but the vote only Republicans are in a bind. They can’t admit even to themselves that they’ve been played like a fiddle. So to save face they’re resorting to everyone is a bad as we are.

    Well, no. Vote them out of Congress and it and the Supreme Court will be back in business in a few weeks.

  29. I hate to say it,but Get Rich Schemes and Con-jobs are as American as Mom and apple pie. Only the failures are deemed to be ostracized and treated as pariahs. The bigger the con,the bigger the windfall ..and if you’re successful…… One gains respect in America. Americans worship money and wealth.

  30. @William, you raise an interesting question by asking “For those that are former members/supporters of the GOP,what attracted you to the GOP in the first place?”

    It’s especially interesting to me personally as I grew up in an out-of-state area where everyone voted Democrat, they did then and they still do. So, I’m always curious about the ‘born again’ Democrats and what triggered their conversions.

    I’ve never converted to the Republican party. I’m now simply a backsliding Democrat.

  31. Yes I can see what you said however if Hillery wasn’t a woman the person that has done what she has would have been raked over the coals.

    And if our current president wasn’t a black man, he would be brought to trial for many things. He has caused racial issues, our allies are now alienated and we’re giving guns to the drug cartels, militant groups killing Christians are getting weapons as well. Those protecting our boarders are being brought to trial on criminal charges for shooting those that were shooting at them. People are worried about the second amendment of the US Constitution however we’re having more than just the right to bear arms issues. The first amendment is freedom of religion, be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, and many others, this is being challenged. The 4th amendment where no illegal search and seizures, seems that has gone out the window as well as they will do it to anyone not just those they suspect of a crime, just say something that doesn’t agree with the current administration. Which takes us back to the 1st amendment, freedom of speech, since when has it become a crime to speak out in America? I’m not talking about hate I’m talking about facts and if the current government doesn’t like it, well remember the things the US Attorney General has stated they will prosecute Americans for if they say something on their list. This of course doesn’t seem to to stop the other side saying something bad. Then we can talk about the 5th, 6th, and 7th amendments which lead back to freedom of speech again.

    Does anyone even know what the Executive branch of the government is allowed to do and not do? The Judicial branch? And of course the legislative. However it seems that the Judicial is starting to make the laws as well as the Executive branch. The legislative branch is having a civil war between each other.

    People forget we’re all one people living in the US, we’re Americans now, or we’re supposed to be. We’re a country that is supposed to be led by those we elect and I’m watching those we elect do the things we don’t want, it’s what they want and be damned with the outcome as long as they are making money. It seems that all of our elected government or at least most have money, more than most Americans. And yes, the Desecrates have more millionaires in office than the Republicans, however I don’t see them taking a pay cut, I do see my taxes going up, my affordable heath insurance cost me more now than it did when it wasn’t affordable (I really need to read the definition again what affordable means, or maybe the government does).

    I’m of a mind that there isn’t one person running for president this year that should even be elected. If your going to point a finger at one, then you need to point the finger at the rest too. How many of our candidates or even the ones in office are just as offensive as Trump? Hillary? Obama? People don’t point a finger at those that can speak even when they’re telling a lie and we have been lied to many times from many different ones in our government, but I guess they’re okay because they don’t offend you when they speak so eloquently, it’s the one that rattles the bars and makes noise that scares most people. Do you know how many of the really great presidents we’ve had through history made rattled the bars and made noise? Most would not have elected them today. Now everyone wants FREE FREE FREE, tell me, when the incentive to get the high paying jobs that you have to work for are gone, who’s going to pay for it? Makes me wonder how many people are drinking the koolaid.

  32. The big lie every Republican keeps spouting when they have to defend why they are supporting Donald Trump day after day when Trump proves by opening his mouth or 3am Twitter rants that he is not qualified in every single aspect necessary to be the president always ends with “well the Democrats are just as bad, just as corrupt, just as greedy, just as violent, just as racist.” And yes we all know a few life long Democrats who strike it rich and suddenly turn into Republican the very next day, and yes we have a few racist Gay citizens or a few anti-Gay African Americans who drink the Republican kool aid.

    But time after time a huge obvious difference between a Republican and a Democrat is a Republican will support or vote for that candidate that is best for the Republican Party over the candidate that is best for the country. While Democrats overwhelmingly vote for the candidate they perceive to be best for the country as a whole even if at that time it hurts the Democratic Party.

    Republicans could not make it any clearer that they have no intentions to ever share this country with Liberals. They would rather destroy this country than compromise on a single issue with the 50% of our citizens who lean left. It’s like sharing an apartment with a roommate who is determined to kill you so they can have the whole apartment for themselves, while you’re putting together schedules to make sure each roommate has equal living room TV time and posting daily spreadsheets so food and utility costs get split equally. Now their falling inline with Trump we know the roommate will go as far as burning down the entire apartment to make sure we have no place even if it means they to will have no place to live. That is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat.

  33. William, Americans are besotted by advertising. It tells them how to think, what to feel, how to live, most of all what to buy.

    We need to shed the screens and go back to live life.

  34. BSH, I have always voted for individuals who seemed well qualified, regardless of party. My GOP choices began to dwindle when they increasingly rejected well-researched proposals to make Indianapolis a more sophisticated big city. Some prominent city leaders (still extolled here and elsewhere as “visionary”) scoffed at ideas that today are reality. Those of us committed to progressive ideas simply turned to savvier leaders for public policy support. Until the last decade, those smarter leaders were often Democrats. More recently, GOPers have come back on board. The lingering problem is that old party unity crap. Most of my GOP friends are socially liberal but reluctant to say so publicly because of the GOP priority on being a team player. That gullibility undermines the admiration I have for them otherwise. Remember how parents used to ask, “If all your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do that too?” I eschew all party-driven positions and look for smart, broadminded, compassionate ideas.

  35. BSH,

    “It’s especially interesting to me personally as I grew up in an out-of-state area where everyone voted Democrat, they did then and they still do. So, I’m always curious about the ‘born again’ Democrats and what triggered their conversions.”

    In many case it’s about leadership.

    Because at one time, not such a long time ago, being a white MODERATE Republican in a Republican controlled state would be the only place, if you wanted to run for public office, that you could have a chance of being elected and thereby contribute as a leader in a progressive way to the WHOLE community. That’s all changed.

    On the other hand, if you are a member of a racial minority, for example, you can run as a Democrat and lose, but still become the leader of that minority community and potentially make a big difference.

    Since the late 80’s, that’s been pretty much the situation in both of the two areas that I have lived in —Jacksonville, Florida and Dallas, Texas. There might be an exception or two that I’m unaware of. To be honest, all I know about Indiana politics has come from participating in this blog.

    Before Jeb Bush was elected Governor of Florida, as I remember, a Democrat held that office.

  36. @Pete:

    I don’t disagree with your statement,however,long before the television became ubiquitous the public was being deceived,just as we are still being deceived today. The more things change…..

    Read Upton Sinclair’s The Brass Check, from 1919. He excoriates the press.

    One must also be judicious when reading blogs and their comments. There are a number I’ve deleted since this primary.

  37. C Wayne, you seriously need to stop watching Fox News. Pres. Obama has not “caused” racial issues. The racial issues never went away, and his presidency has just brought the ugliness back to the surface.

  38. Joy; wonder if C Wayne writes the reports for Fox News? Or do we have another Gopper in the woodpile?

  39. Great blog today and great comments, except C Wayne. He has drank so much tea party koolaid that he is drunk.

  40. EFK; as a life long republican till several years ago, when the MC GOP failed me for the last time, for 25 years I had to drag the Marion county government into recognizing the value of our environments, river, streams and the possibility of reconnecting out communities and parks with a nature and fitness opportunity. And even though the success we had with our efforts there were countless Republicans fighting me at every turn, I had served the GOP sense Lugar first ran and I was doing yard signs, pole worker, PC, campaign mgr, financial donor and CCC Dist 22. I have found the GOP to be aginst the environments, aginst the infrastructures, and aginst anyone that pushes for a better quality of life for all residence of Indy not just the few. This is also a condition that is even more exaggerated in the state, the legislators and now the governor are handicapping the state rather than promoting the quality of life and the opportunity for everyone to contribute and share in a quality of life for all and excepting of others to come join us. Like you as an independant my vote goes to who is best able to accomplish the quality of life, community safety, infrastructure up keep and inclusive communities.

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