While the United States is a republic, the current administration is a griftocracy—that is, the state is ruled by grifters and for grifters. While there are many varieties of con people and scammers, the hallmarks of the grifter are that they engage in schemes to gain the confidence of their victims and then defraud them. While there are many scammers, grifters can be regarded as being especially shoddy, unskilled and petty in their scams—or at least the term has that feel to it. That is, they lack the artistry of the true con artist and are mere fraudsters without the wicked brilliance of a master of deceit.
Trump and most of his fellows are, obviously enough, grifters. They engage in fraud but are not particularly clever about it—their grifting is often easily recognized and they are often quite petty in their misdeeds. This is not to say they do not try for big scores—sometimes they do. To be fair, they really do not have to be very clever—the Republican party (which seems largely composed of those who grift for power rather than primarily for money) actively protects them from the consequences of their actions. Given that Trump and his lot are so very bad at what they do, the obvious question is why they still enjoy a shocking level of approval and support.
In the case of those who benefit from what Trump does, such as his pushing of tax cuts for the wealthy and creating safe spaces for white nationalists and other racists, they have excellent reasons to support him. After all, while they might not be grifters, they reap these benefits. As such, it is rational for them to back Trump. What is far less obvious is why people support him who do not benefit in these direct ways and might even be harmed by Trump’s policies.
One obvious answer is that they are deceived by Trump—they have been taken in by his lies and accept them as true. In this case, they are being fully grifted. One problem is that Trump, as Trevor Noah has argued, can be weirdly honest about his lying. Perhaps his supporters still do not get that he is telling them that he has been lying or they think that he is kidding that he is lying. An alternative explanation is that they realize he is lying, but do not care.
They might think that they are in on the grift. That is, they believe that he is conning those other people, but he and his special people know what is really going on. Roughly put, Trump is lying with them and for them, but not to them. In this case, it makes sense they would support him—they are part of his group and they are pulling things over on the media, the liberals and others.
They might also simply enjoy the grift. To use an obvious analogy, people persist in playing the rigged carnival games even though most people know they are rigged. In part, this could be wishful thinking—some people might think that they can beat the rig. It is also likely that people enjoy the theatre of the scam—a social activity in which they agree to be scammed in return for having some fun. So, being a Trump supporter of this sort is like being perpetually at the carnival—they are being scammed, but enjoying it.
It might be objected that most politicians engage in grifting—they are in it to enrich themselves or are at least grifting for power if not money. On the one hand, this is a fair point. For example, the Clintons used their public service to amass impressive wealth. Members of Congress also do quite well; although some are wealthy before they are elected. On the other hand, to regard profiting off influence as grifting is to treat profiting from influence as being the same as fraud, which it is not. This is not to say that engaging in such self-service from public service is good, just that it need not be fraud. For example, if Obama or Bush gets a large check for a speaking engagement, they are profiting from public service, but not defrauding anyone.
Michael, I don’t know how else to put this – but I think you need help.
Are you serious? Really? I think you have gone completely off the deep end.
This piece of drivel is just a bunch of opinion – most of it completely wild and unfounded, and there is not a single argument that is even close to valid in here. What are we to make of this?
I read this piece a few times – once as a casual reader – once from the perspective of trying to see what accusations, if any, might stand up in court, and once from the perspective of an academic reading a research paper and deciding on whether or not it merits publication.
Zero on all counts.
“Trump is a grifter”
“Do you have any evidence of this?”
“Yes, your honor. My evidence is that it’s obvious”.
“i see. Yes, i agree – it’s obvious, but I’m afraid that’s not enough. Do you have any corroboration, or published evidence from credible sources?”
“Yes, your honor. I submit YouTube video of the former host of SNL Weekend Update, who now has his own late-night comedy show. I submit further evidence in the form of another video, this one featuring Steven Colbert, a noted comedian and satiric author”.
Cripes. Give me a break. Where is the “Philosophy” here?
Question – does your dean read this drivel? Is your validity as a logician and professor of philosophy ever questioned?
“Trump can be weirdly honest about his lying”.
“Can you back this up with any evidence?”
“Yes. He praised someone, but then said jokingly, “Of course, if you turn against me, I’ll take it back”.
“I see. Well, that’s all the proof I need!”
You have, I admit, come up with some unique approaches to some old saws. Trump’s tax cuts, for example, have benefited working class families across the country – resulting in pay raises and bonuses for thousands of people. They have sparked the economy and repatriated billions of dollars that were parked overseas to avoid the high corporate taxes. Further, as a result of a huge spike in employment, gross tax revenues in this country are up by 9%. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that this gain “largely Reflects increases in wages and salaries” (Investor’s Business Daily, 7/11/2018)
“Supply Side Economics”, the theory upon which this is based, has its roots in the philosophies of Ibn Khaldun and David Hume – and both of whom contributed largely to the economic theories of Adam Smith. While recognizing the essential value of labor to an economy, all three of these men advocated for free market economics and market-based compensation for labor. Khaldun was one of the first to discuss and analyze the interplay of supply, demand, prices, and profit.
As a professional philosopher, one who has quoted Hume in many essays, I’m sure you are very familiar with these theories, and how they were implemented in the 1970s and 1980s to combat the “stagflation” that resulted from Keynsian “demand side” policies.
So it is with great interest that I would ask you to expound on your characterization of this administration’s obviously successful cuts as merely “Tax Cuts For The Rich”, and further evidence of “Grift”. I would also request that your response address the JFK tax cuts of the 1960’s, which he himself described as “A rising tide, that will lift all ships”.
if people have been deceived by Trump, it is of their own doing, not his. Trump has been crystal clear in his intents since he first emerged on the public stage. I’m not talking about 2008 or 2012, I’m talking about the 1980’s. In that decade, Donald Trump spent nearly $100,000 of his own money to publish full page ads in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, outlining his views on international trade. (New York Times archive, Sept 2, 1987). At that time, the opinions were developed in response to the rise in japan’s global economic power, but over the decades he has repeatedly commented on US foreign trade policy that are exactly the same as the policies he has recently introduced. (Jacob Schlesinger, Wall Street Journal, 11/15/2018)
Trump has also been very consistent, from well before the 2016 election, on his opinions and beliefs regarding taxes and immigration reform. While he is probably the most hated president in modern history, the one thing that cannot be said about him is that he has been deceitful about what he intended to do right from the start – and well before the start.
As I have said before, most recently in my post of the last day or so, I used to have some faith in you as a thinker and as a teacher – holding out hope that perhaps you were advancing such poorly formed and irrational essays in an attempt to encourage us, your “students” to pick them apart for their lack of foundation, valid structure, or deductive reasoning – but that faith has completely eroded. This one is over the top, Michael – and I urge you to re-title your blog and stop pretending that this has anything to do with philosophy or reason. You are entitled to your opinion, and you are entitled to voice it however you wish – but by presenting an essay like this in the way you do, you are diminishing yourself as an academic, you are diminishing academia as a whole, and you are an embarrassment to the field of critical thinking.
I asked before if your dean ever read this stuff – if I were your dean I’d request that you remove any and all reference to
Florida A&M on this blog – and require that you place a disclaimer. It’s not for the opinions – it’s for the ridiculous way you support them while upholding yourself as some kind of authority on reason and truth.
Michael LaBossiere says
Here you go:
Mike, thank you for the links, but they don’t really do much, do they? They are all opinions. It’s easy to find journalists who have anti-Trump opinions that align with yours, but I know that you know that mere opinions have no place in deductive reasoning or valid arguments.
This is tribalism at its best. Arriving at conclusions based on no truth whatsoever, no process of reasoning, no consideration of context, no application of “critical thinking”, and defending those conclusions on the basis that a bunch of journalists agree with you.
And as for the opinions you present – the last one is from Don Lemon – who also states that “White Men Are the Biggest Terror Threat in This Country” I’m not sure that I would regard his opinions as a credible source.
My issue is not that you are an outlier in your opinions. My issue is not that you can’t provide a dozen links to left-wing publications whose op-ed pages are filled with the same opinions as yours. Do you think I am at all surprised that you can find a dozen people who think tax cuts are for the rich only, and are an example of grift? You are entitled to your opinions no matter how you arrive at them.
You are a professional philosopher with a PhD. You are better than this.
Please tell me, Michael, that you know the difference between opinion and fact. Please tell me that you don’t present this kind of “reasoning” to your students as valid. Please tell me that you understand that it doesn’t matter how many people believe the same thing, that number has nothing to do with the validity of an argument or the veracity of a conclusion. Please tell me this.
I have a theory about the people in this country and about the lack of critical thinking; it has to do with Social Media and AI, and it’s something we really need to be careful of.
Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix and others make extensive use of big data and artificial intelligence to make sure users get content that is appealing to them. Netflix, for example, routinely recommends movies to me based on my viewing habits; Amazon does the same based on the things I buy. Facebook and Google put news feeds in front of us – and that’s far from random. Our emails are scanned, our posts are scanned, our click-throughs are counted and measured, and we willingly give those companies whatever information they want – either purposely or inadvertently, so they can provide us with what they think we want to read.
So if you have a habit of reading anti-Trump opinions, or articles about White Nationalism or racist police, these articles will appear in your “feed”. The more you read, the more you click-through, the more you will get. And you will get them 24/7, in little bytes, little Twitter feeds, little headlines.
I know of very few people who turn this stuff off on their phones – the “alerts” are all on by default and it takes some doing to sit and turn them off. People around me are a constant buzz of vibrations and tones – and each of which provides a small dopamine dump from their brains. We think we are getting current news, we think we are well informed, but we are only getting a constant re-affirmation of what we already believe, with no alternative thought presented. We have to go out of our way to find that, and not many of us have the time or inclination – and why, in fact, should we, if we believe we’re getting it all anyway?
While I’m not promoting biological determinism, after years of seeing the ways liberals think vice conservatives (rather broad generalizations, I know) I really do think that there are biological differences in people’s brain that impact the ways people interpret political stimuli. There is some scientific studies to show this. For instance, in a book called The Righteous Mind, by professor of psychology Jonathan Haidt, he says that in studies he conducted on the differences between conservatives and liberals, conservatives displayed what he called the “conservative advantage”:
“In a study I did with Jesse Graham and Brian Nosek, we tested how well liberals and conservatives could understand each other. We asked more than two thousand American visitors to fill out the Moral Foundations Qyestionnaire. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out normally, answering as themselves. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as they think a “typical liberal” would respond. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as a “typical conservative” would respond. This design allowed us to examine the stereotypes that each side held about the other. More important, it allowed us to assess how accurate they were by comparing people’s expectations about “typical” partisans to the actual responses from partisans on the left and the right)’ Who was best able to pretend to be the other?
The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who described themselves as “very liberal.” The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives.”
I definitely fall into the “conservative” side of the political spectrum. “Right-wing” if you will. This said, my own observations, admittedly not scientific, but observations non-the less, is that liberals do have some advantages over me. Making decisions when there is no “good” answer is not one of them. They almost always like animals more than I do. Indeed studies show liberals own more cats than conservatives. In my own experience, those I would call conservative often have better street-smarts, and are able to come to heuristic conclusions that are fairly accurate, accurate enough to be able to move in a speedy way through a complex world. Liberals seem to have an advantage in my experience of grinding away on details (patience may be a factor, which again may be related to biology). They are not satisfied with heuristic answers. People of my own bent can say “don’t walk through that area at night, the people there are criminals”. The liberals will say “well not all of them are criminals, you shouldn’t generalize” But politics requires generalizations.
There are also studies that show correlations with testosterone levels and political beliefs.
One thing I’ve noticed about the Left is their sensitivity to “tone”. This is an aesthetic preference. They prefer the smooth talker. While I understand this, I also appreciate the fact that Mike Ditka and George Patton were not this way and were just as effective as any others at their job. I think people ought to display manners, but I honestly believe there’s room for a bit of hyperbole and showmanship. Trump is conducting his Shtick. This is not the way he speaks to his kids. I was in the military for long enough to understand that the leader has many faces. For young people, it was often strange for them to see the commander acting human at a party or BBQ.
For me it comes down to this: Is Trump trying to rip off Americans? If so, why would he do this, given his age and position?
For me, the answer is no. That was not my answer when the same question was applied to Obama. I believe we still do not know who the real Obama is. Nor, the real John Brennan. They had hidden agendas. I feel I know, at least generally what Trump wants. I also feel he does not dislike America, or me personally. Again, i cannot say the same for Obama.
Thanks for this response. I clicked on your link, and am now a fan of “The Independent Whig” – I read a number of the posts there, clicked on a few of their links, and am now a fan.
A few comments –
My first is to continue to underscore my main point, which, as Haidt describes in his “Strengthen U.” video, is the relentless pursuit of truth.
The essay that Mike wrote was an opinion piece – not much different from the opinion pieces to which he linked in his response to my initial comment. So we can agree or disagree with his point of view, we can put on our tribal mantles and retreat to the comfort of those who surround us – or we can debate. Unfortunately, Mike’s piece and the others he used as backup are little more than the playground cries of “Are TOO!” and “Am NOT!”, and there is no place to begin any kind of intelligent argument.
Which I think is fine – I really do. But not from someone who purports to seek the truth, to follow the tenets described in the “Strengthen U.” philosophy, to use logic and deductive reasoning when discussing issues or policies.
And that’s what is so frustrating. I have suggested that Mike re-title his blog; I think maybe he just ought to start a new one, one for which he can put on his partisan liberal hat and write away. But when you create essays like this one, and back it up with citations like he did, all under the title of “Professional Philosopher” with a PhD, it’s just embarrassing.
I had a long conversation with a colleague just last week about ideas, about expression, about politics and social interactions on a university campus. Both of us have been around a while, both of us are frustrated with the protective “coddling” students get – protection from ideas, from thought, from challenge. We talked about how universities have shifted from being “Idea Centric” to being “H.R. Centric”, and how the intent of an argument or statement or even word is no longer meaningful – having given way to interpretation. And the coddling nature of HR is to protect those against their own misunderstandings rather than embrace teaching moments – at the cost of the validity and relevance of the university itself.
Unfortunately, the net result of this is the suppression of free speech. Retaliation in the face of tenure is difficult – which leads to a comment like,
“Well, I’ve been doing this for decades. If I’m ever brought in front of HR by a bunch of young staff members who have no idea what education is, I’ll get a lawyer and just sue the fuck out of them. I don’t need this – I can just sit here and take as much of their money as I possibly can until I retire.” Not exactly a healthy response, but understandable. So far the requirements of tenure don’t include a lock-step agreement with a single ideology. It’s getting there, though …
Which brings me to your statement about “tone”.
“One thing I’ve noticed about the Left is their sensitivity to “tone”. This is an aesthetic preference. They prefer the smooth talker. “
Maybe in a president they do – but it stops there. In this regard, the presidency has been reduced to a symbol in some ways – the “face” of the party. A good example of his is Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster of Obama – which was used very effectively as a campaign poster, and was the subject of an important, if not landmark, case about fair use and copyright.
Of course, what is frightening about that poster is the power of the symbolism absent of any discussion, detail, ideology, philosophy, idea, or methodology. Comparisons have been made between the effect of a poster like this and the ubiquitous and infamous image of Che Guevara – and the fact that his brutal murderous and self-interested spree is belied by his handsome and deep revolutionary countenance.
Contrast this, of course, to the kinds of images of Trump that are so widely published – and others of people like Dick Cheney and GW Bush – scowling, angry, clumsy – and we get an idea of how “tone” really does matter.
But as I said, it stops there. The left has rallied behind the Democrats in the most recent midterm election – and on what platform? Did they talk policy in any of the campaigns? Healthcare? Economy? Immigration? Foreign Policy? The campaign was predicated on an angry, vindictive, and single-minded promise of a relentless pursuit of Trump, to bring him down in any way possible, and to seek any avenue toward impeachment they can.
This tone is carried by Maxine Waters, by Dianne Feinstein, by Chuck Schumer and many of the rest of the Democrat leadership – and echoed by members of the left-wing media like Jim Acosta and Don Lemon. And look what that tone begets! Only a few months ago, we were shocked at the ejection of Sarah Sanders and her family from a restaurant – but that act has lost its impact within the context of the subsequent escalation – the total destruction of a man’s reputation in a public tribunal, the angry mob at the front door of Tucker Carlson’s home … are we really that far from the murderous mobs in foreign lands, whose angry outbursts result in the death of their political opponents or journalists who express opposing ideas?
I don’t know if it’s biology or ideology, but it’s there. And as long as we stick our fingers in our ears and cry, “LaLaLaLa” when faced with challenges to reason and truth, the path is leading to a pretty dangerous place.
Michael LaBossiere says
They are opinions backed by evidence. I’m not saying that Trump is a grifter just because some people have the opinion he is a grifter. I’m saying he is a grifter because the serious sources who have the opinion he is a grifter present evidence that he is a grifter. As such, I think he is a grifter because of the evidence of his grifting.
Trump, I think, would agree-he loves to talk about how he outsmarts people and makes money. He seems to delight in being a grifter.
If that’s what you would like to believe, then have at it. I still find it embarrassing that you cannot distinguish between valid arguments and opinion pieces that spout talking points. There is not a single fact-based argument in the entire list of links you present – only name calling, innuendos, and allegations taken as truth.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t dispute a word of it. Nor do I accept a word of it. It is simply not presented in any way, shape or form that represents anything other than a left-wing spin on a bunch of loose allegations.
For you to call this “evidence” is shameful.
A few observations about Trump:
1) Trump isn’t always the clearest communicator, and there are lots of people in the press who deliberately twist his words and claim that he said something he clearly didn’t say.
2) There is no basis for the claims that Trump is a racist or anti-Semite or white supremacist.
3) Trump has tried harder than most presidents to follow through on his campaign promises.
4) Trump is a master at making the story about him, and he knows how to change the direction of a news cycle when it suits him.
5) No one looks to Trump for moral leadership, so stories about affairs with porn stars don’t hurt him.
6) Trump’s basic appeal is that he likes America more or less as it is. Most Americans don’t believe that the U.S. needs to be “fundamentally transformed.”
7) Trump’s legacy is mostly going to be his judicial appointments, and perhaps his lowering of the corporate tax rate to be competitive with the rest of the world.
Michael LaBossiere says
1. I agree that words are not his friend. While his wording is awful, he does make it clear what he means many times. For example, his claims about voter fraud in Florida.
2. Aside from the past evidence of racism; but I would agree that he is not an ideological racist like a Nazi or white nationalist. He does make a safe space for them, but they seem to get that he is not really one of them.
3. That swamp seems to be pretty full. But, I do agree that he will not let the wall go.
5. Also true. Although the president is supposed to do that.
6. I think he likes it as it was; it has worked great for him. Not so much for most other people.
Mike, what about the U.S. needs to be “fundamentally changed” in your view? And why do you believe fundamental change is needed rather than incremental change?
I really don’t get the allegations of fraud. Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do. As an example of fraud, I would look to the Affordable Care Act. Although it was claimed again and again that the ACA would reduce the cost of medical care, it is pretty clear that the architects of the ACA knew it would do no such thing. Even the “affordable” in the name of the ACA is fraudulent.
Also, since the rich pay most of the income taxes, any income tax cut is going to mostly benefit the rich.
“Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do”
I don’t know of any politician who has been so consistently outspoken about his core beliefs for as long as Donald Trump, who (as I pointed out in my initial post), spent nearly $100,000 of his own money in 1987 to take out full page ads in the NY Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, discussing American trade policy. He has been outspoken on this issue for decades. It was one of his key campaign promises. What did anyone expect?
He has been very consistent also in matters of Immigration and Tax Policy. His views on taxes (and even his party affiliation) changed, but that was decades ago. He has neither said nor done anything that represents a departure from what he has said he would do.
Even his personal life has been an open book. His marriages, his lifestyle, his associations and business dealings have been on the front page of tabloids since he was in his 30’s.
In a 1980 interview with Rona Barret, at the age of 34, he was asked “If you could make America perfect, how would you do it’?
Trump responded (paraphrasing here),
“I think that America is a country that has tremendous potential, but much like the human mind America is using very little of its potential; with the proper leadership it can go on to realize that potential and become what it should be”.
Barrett: What should it be?
Trump: “First and foremost, it should be a country that gets the respect of other countries. [With regard to the Iran hostage situation] That this country sits back and allows Iran to hold our hostages is a horror, and I don’t think they would have done that with other countries “.
Does this sound at all like who he is today, with his strong views on American exceptionalism and nationalism? Has he varied from that view? The interview goes on …
Barrett: “Would you like to be the President of the United States?”
Trump: “I don’t think I would be, but I’d like to see someone who is capable of doing the job. The most capable people are not running for office – they head major corporations, but they aren’t running for president. [I wouldn’t want to run because] I think it’s a very mean life. I see that somebody with strong views, and views that may be unpopular – which may be right – wouldn’t necessarily have a chance of getting elected against someone with no great brain but a big smile”.
In 1988 (after he took out the newspaper ads), in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, this went down:
Oprah: “You took out ads last year criticizing US Foreign Policy – what would you do different?”
Trump: “I would make our allies – forget about our enemies, you can’t talk to them so easily – but I’d make our allies pay their fair share. We’re a debtor nation – something is going to happen, because you can’t continue to lose $200 billion every year … you can’t let a country like Japan come in and dump everything in our markets – it’s not free trade.
If you ever went to Japan and tried to sell something, just forget about it! In Kuwait they live like kings – and they’re not paying! We make it possible for them to sell their oil, why aren’t they paying us 25% of what they’re making?”.
I think that people – I don’t know how your audience feels – but I think people are sick and tired of seeing the US being ripped off. This country can make one hell of a lot of money from those people who, for 25 years, have been taking advantage”
He gave similar interview to Larry King and others throughout the late 1980’s.
Trump is outspoken, he is boorish, he comes off as angry. His spontaneous outbursts at press conferences and on Twitter are great fodder for the press to slam him – but he has not wavered from his beliefs, and his life has been an open book – far more than any other president in modern history.
There is a huge difference though, between the 1980’s and today. In watching the interviews with Rona Barret, Larry King, Oprah Winfrey – the man was treated with respect. He was just as outspoken with his views back then – but instead of name calling, dismissal, and rude confrontations, his policy views were questioned, debated, and even disagreed with – but with civil dialogue.
I would really like to hear from someone who feels defrauded by Donald Trump to come forward and give some specific examples of how he has promised one thing and delivered another, has expressed one set of views and acted on another, or presented himself to be a person of any kind of moral behavior that he is not.
Remember his campaign promises – the big ones –
1. Build a Wall
2. Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US
3. Bring back manufacturing jobs to the US by withdrawing from NAFTA the Trans-Pacific Partnerships and immediately begin renegotiating the terms of those agreements
4. Impose tarriffs on goods made in China and Mexico
5. Full repeal of Obamacare, and replace it with a market-based alternative
6. Renegotiate the Iran Deal
7. Leave Social Security Alone
8. Cut taxes for everyone
Donald Trump has followed through vigorously on every single one of his campaign promises, and in most cases, successfully. Where is the secret? Where is the fraud? Who has been fooled by him? I don’t understand.
Please note that this does not in any way mean that I agree or disagree with him, nor do I think anyone who disagrees with him should not stand up for their own ideology and present alternative ideas and programs – but there is no fraud here. He has been very clear on his positions, he has made no vague promises or allusions as to who he is, who he was, or what he intends to do. His public record goes back for decades – and he is doing exactly what he said he would do.
I expected nothing less.
In her interview with Trump back in 1980, Rona Barret said to the 34-year old Trump, “You are not a talker, you are a doer”.
Michael LaBossiere says
He didn’t drain the swamp. Also, doing what he said he would do does not prove that he is not grifting.
well, if you want to parse words that finely, I guess you are right. You made the point that he is defrauding the American People, my point is that it’s actually the opposite – that the American People got exactly what they could have and should have expected from him. Not just in terms of his policies, his political motivations and his campaign promises, but in terms of his personality, his self aggrandizement, his ego, and his sexual proclivities. None of this was or ever has been any kind of secret in his uniquely public life.
Every one of your linked articles complains about Trump’s braggadocio, his self-aggrandizement, his Mohammed Ali-esque way of saying “I am the greatest!” , and then makes the case that that is his “fraud”. Well, I can tell you that I knew all about that, and probably so did you. Trump has made no bones about it and we’ve all seen it since he first emerged as a 35 year old wealthy punk. So what? He made no false promises, he is delivering everything he said he would (yes, yes, he hasn’t “drained the swamp” yet. I wish he would too – starting with Pelosi, Waters, Schumer, and Feinstein). So even Trump’s ego is no surprise. Where, exactly, is the fraud? Can anyone really say that he has duped us? i mean, how stupid do you think we are?
As TJB points out, the entire Obamacare debacle was a giant fraud. We were promised a list of wonderful things – from our premiums going down to our ability to keep our doctors and our health insurance, but both anecdotally and statistically we know this to have been a lie. “It’s not a tax” had to give way to a loophole.
So half the country or more was against Obamacare, so Obama resorted to political power-plays and trickery to preserve his political legacy, and force this down our throats muffling our objections in the process. Now THAT’s fraud.
Lying about his own sexual prowess is distasteful and uncalled for, but it’s not unexpected.
So if you want to call him a grifter, go right ahead. Fine by me. If you think that you have successfully proven that he is a grifter by virtue of deductive reasoning and critical evaluation of the facts, that’s on you, not me. I really wish you would call him that on a blog reserved for name calling, ranting, and opinions, and not on a blog dedicated to philosophy and deductive reasoning.
I’m sure you see the obvious irony here, you’re just too polite to say. Mike is projecting. If anyone is misrepresenting themselves it is he. As you say, this ain’t philosophy. As I have said repeatedly over the years, he “teaches” a class which the students, based on professor reviews and the couple of students that I have personally spoken with, regard as an easy pass. One which students don’t even need to bother to attend, as Mike himself complains about. Students put themselves into debt for his unnecessary classes and taxpayers fund both the facilities and are ultimately on the hook for the debt that some will students fail to pay. And Mike collects a paycheck for doing so. And on top of it all he complains endlessly about the very system that puts that money in his pocket. And on top of all of that, he also teaches a class on the subject of ethics. That’s a good grift right there. One for which he has virtually zero risk of being held responsible. Elsewhere you ask what his dean might think. Do you believe his dean feels any differently than Mike? If anything his dean might suggest that Mike shut this site down not because of its flaws but because in some small way it publicizes the problems with the grift that they have running.