Back when my brother and I were kids, my parents used to regularly take us to New York City. In part, we made the trek because our grandparents lived in Washington Heights. But we also made the trek because Mom and Dad wanted us to be exposed. Our hometown, Mahopac, N.Y., was small and insulated. There was more out there, and the folks made it a priority to show us.
Anyhow, on one of our myriad journeys I remember coming upon a table where a crowd was gathered around a few men playing the shell game for money. There was a guy in charge, challenging others to bet that they could find the small bead beneath one of three shells. Inevitably, someone would step up, plunk down $100—and win! Everyone would scream and shout and bellow, and (of course) another person would break out $100—and lose.
“It’s all a scam,” my dad explained. “The first person who bet was in on the scheme. The second wasn’t.”
I was probably 9 or 10, and blown away. Did people really behave in such a manner? And could so many folks be such suckers?
It is 2016, and I’m watching a shell game.
Donald Trump is now the Republican Party’s inevitable presidential candidate. He is, of course, a complete and total fraud; a man brought to us from the land of reality TV; a man whose legacy is based upon shiny buildings that bear his name. He is a big and simple talker; a bully who specializes in taunting, mocking, thugging. When you ask his simpleton supporters why, exactly, they like him, the answers are painfully predictable. Donald Trump, they say, tells it like it is. He’s real. He’s a man of action. He gets things done. He’s not another typical politician.
And, indeed, there is some truth to this. Donald Trump is not a typical politician—save for one major way: He’s full of shit. To be clear—Donald Trump will not be able to A. Build a wall between us and Mexico; B. Have Mexico pay for it. Donald Trump will not round up all 11 million illegal immigrants. Donald Trump will not be able to ban Muslims. Hell, remember when Donald Trump had proof that Barack Obama wasn’t born in America? Hmm, whatever became of that? How about Trump’s assertions that Ted Cruz’s father was in on the JFK assassination? Weird how that one was off.
Curious—have you heard how Trump speaks of protesters? Of women? Of Latinos? Did you listen to his foreign policy speech? The supposedly big one that MADE NO FUCKING SENSE WHATSOEVER. Curious—did you find it odd that Trump’s “advisory board” was filled with some of the least-impressive minds in the non-business? Since we’re on a roll here, how about looking into Donald Trump’s business dealings? His REAL business dealings. Did you know he ruined the United States Football League? Did you know he’s filed for bankruptcy multiple times? How’s Trump University working out? His steaks? His wine? Did you know he’s cheated on wives? Did you know he made up a position on abortion just to shut up the base? Did you know he’s almost certainly never read the Bible he professes to love (when Christians are around)?
This is a shell game.
And you, Donald Trump supporters, are being taken.