I Want a President Who is My Kind of Con-man

Many conservative pundits and principled Republicans are recoiling from Donald Trump on the grounds that he is a con-man, a confidence trickster. To which my retort is: So?

Is not all politics a confidence trick? Is not Bernie Sanders a confidence trickster for conning the Millennials with the fantasy of free college? Free for whom? Students? Parents? Taxpayers?

When Democrats of all stripes hammer away on equal pay for women, are they not conning the worthy women of America? Studies show that young women in their twenties are outearning men, but many women, like humans everywhere, are attracted to politicians that treat them like victims.

When Barack Obama promised $2,500 savings in health insurance premiums and people keeping their doctor, who was he kidding? What comprehensive and mandatory government program ever cost the nation less and delivered more than a market-driven system?

And what about the Republican chestnut, that tax cuts create more revenue? It has some basis in economics, but who are we kidding? If we want to cut big government, it means cutting spending.

The novelty of Donald Trump is that he is opening a new front in the Darwinian evolution of the political confidence trick. He will build a wall; he will teach the Chinese a lesson. He will make America great again. What is not to like if you are a white working-

\class man who has seen bupkis in the way of wage gains in the last two decades?

The truth is that we all believe in the fantasies of politicians. It’s just that different people believe in different fantasies.

I have my fantasies, and I’d vote in a heartbeat for a politician that was offering my particular brand of unicorns and moonbeams. Like most people, I like to paint my fantasy as a fight against injustice.

For instance, I think that the current education system is an injustice worse than child labor. I’d vote in a heartbeat for a politician that reintroduced child labor, because I think most children, excepting only the children of the educated and the wealthy, would do better if they quit school at twelve and went to work as an apprentice. I think the current system of mandatory child incarceration in government child-custodial facilities, where children are expected to work long hours for no pay, is monstrous.

I also think that the current Social Security and Medicare programs are simple generational injustice, and I’d swoon at the feet of any politician that promised to abolish them. On my idea, a just system of pensions would require people to save their own money and retire once they had enough money to afford it. This is simple justice. Young people have no money, and so their jobs and their mortgages depend on the savings of older people. With the older generation’s savings the young produce the products and services that old people can pay for with the income from their savings. Nobody gets to retire until they have saved enough to create some jobs for the kids. Because justice.

I think there is a special hell reserved for the twisted people for who fighting racism means appealing for votes on the basis of race and creating programs that favor people on the basis of race and top it off by accusing other people of racism, and I’d fall at the feet of a politician that said so.

But there are many Americans who would recoil in horror at a politician offering my kind of unicorn, and they would probably communicate their horror to the world by lurid reference to his parentage, his hairstyle, and his mating habits.

It is a revolting spectacle to see other people getting conned by some political confidence trickster, just as it is revolting to see a woman seduced by another man. It is revolting for conservatives to have to witness liberals being seduced by Obama’s Hope and Change, or Bernie’s Feel the Bern. And for all kinds of people it is revolting to watch mainstream America getting seduced by the born-on-third-base thrice-married, four-times-bankrupt, thin-skinned, bullying Donald Trump.

There is another way, as Groundhog Day showed us 20 years ago.

While stuck in a time-warp Bill Murray’s weatherman character grows: from denial, to cunning, to despair, to final surrender of the ego as he becomes a decent human being and goes around helping other people, and thus worthy of the love of Andie MacDowell’s character.

Politics is stuck in the cunning stage. Voters and politicians manipulate each other endlessly in a time-warp demanding and offering free stuff. In that time warp nobody ever learns that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything begins when you decide that you can’t go for a coffee at the diner with the sweetest girl in the world because you have some errands to run.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

Many conservative pundits and principled Republicans are recoiling from Donald Trump on the grounds that he is a con-man, a confidence trickster. To which my retort is: So?

Is not all politics a confidence trick? Is not Bernie Sanders a confidence trickster for conning the Millennials with the fantasy of free college? Free for whom? Students? Parents? Taxpayers?

When Democrats of all stripes hammer away on equal pay for women, are they not conning the worthy women of America? Studies show that young women in their twenties are outearning men, but many women, like humans everywhere, are attracted to politicians that treat them like victims.

When Barack Obama promised $2,500 savings in health insurance premiums and people keeping their doctor, who was he kidding? What comprehensive and mandatory government program ever cost the nation less and delivered more than a market-driven system?

And what about the Republican chestnut, that tax cuts create more revenue? It has some basis in economics, but who are we kidding? If we want to cut big government, it means cutting spending.

The novelty of Donald Trump is that he is opening a new front in the Darwinian evolution of the political confidence trick. He will build a wall; he will teach the Chinese a lesson. He will make America great again. What is not to like if you are a white working-

\class man who has seen bupkis in the way of wage gains in the last two decades?

The truth is that we all believe in the fantasies of politicians. It’s just that different people believe in different fantasies.

I have my fantasies, and I’d vote in a heartbeat for a politician that was offering my particular brand of unicorns and moonbeams. Like most people, I like to paint my fantasy as a fight against injustice.

For instance, I think that the current education system is an injustice worse than child labor. I’d vote in a heartbeat for a politician that reintroduced child labor, because I think most children, excepting only the children of the educated and the wealthy, would do better if they quit school at twelve and went to work as an apprentice. I think the current system of mandatory child incarceration in government child-custodial facilities, where children are expected to work long hours for no pay, is monstrous.

I also think that the current Social Security and Medicare programs are simple generational injustice, and I’d swoon at the feet of any politician that promised to abolish them. On my idea, a just system of pensions would require people to save their own money and retire once they had enough money to afford it. This is simple justice. Young people have no money, and so their jobs and their mortgages depend on the savings of older people. With the older generation’s savings the young produce the products and services that old people can pay for with the income from their savings. Nobody gets to retire until they have saved enough to create some jobs for the kids. Because justice.

I think there is a special hell reserved for the twisted people for who fighting racism means appealing for votes on the basis of race and creating programs that favor people on the basis of race and top it off by accusing other people of racism, and I’d fall at the feet of a politician that said so.

But there are many Americans who would recoil in horror at a politician offering my kind of unicorn, and they would probably communicate their horror to the world by lurid reference to his parentage, his hairstyle, and his mating habits.

It is a revolting spectacle to see other people getting conned by some political confidence trickster, just as it is revolting to see a woman seduced by another man. It is revolting for conservatives to have to witness liberals being seduced by Obama’s Hope and Change, or Bernie’s Feel the Bern. And for all kinds of people it is revolting to watch mainstream America getting seduced by the born-on-third-base thrice-married, four-times-bankrupt, thin-skinned, bullying Donald Trump.

There is another way, as Groundhog Day showed us 20 years ago.

While stuck in a time-warp Bill Murray’s weatherman character grows: from denial, to cunning, to despair, to final surrender of the ego as he becomes a decent human being and goes around helping other people, and thus worthy of the love of Andie MacDowell’s character.

Politics is stuck in the cunning stage. Voters and politicians manipulate each other endlessly in a time-warp demanding and offering free stuff. In that time warp nobody ever learns that the meaning of life, the universe, and everything begins when you decide that you can’t go for a coffee at the diner with the sweetest girl in the world because you have some errands to run.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.