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Trump’s New Book: “The Art Of Manipulation (Confessions of a Demagogue):

In 1987, Trump wrote “The Art of the Deal”.  Well, he claimed to have written the book, but it was actually written by Tony Schwartz who said just a few months ago during an interview with New Yorker magazine:

“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I
contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention
and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe
that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility.
it will lead to the end of civilization.”  If he were writing “The Art of the Deal”
today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title.
Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

After this Presidential election is over, the title of Trump’s next book should be “The Art Of Manipulation: Confessions of a Demagogue” because the one sure thing that can be said about Donald Trump is that he is a master manipulator – a true demagogue.  The common definition of a demagogue: “a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason.” (Merriam-Webster dictionary).  This describes Trump perfectly.

Donald Trump has managed to gain the support that he has by doing three things:

First, he made the people in his base believe that America is dying by lying to them about the unemployment rate, the status of jobs, the poverty rate, the crime rate, immigrants, how their gun ownership was being threatened by Democrats, how ISIS was going to place all Americans under Sharia law.  He made them fear and feel like losers.  “We don’t win anymore.  We never win.”

Second, he gave them things to blame – Mexicans, Chinese outsourcing, Muslims, a rigged system, President Obama, HillaryJ Clinton, the other members of NATO, and many more – and he gave them permission to express their anger, racism, hate and fear towards these targets of blame.

Finally, he offered himself as their savior.  During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he said “Nobody knows the system better than me.  Which is why I alone can fix it.”

Granted, many of his followers are and have always been racists.  Trump is supported by the KKK, white supremacists, the radical right, and the alt-right, many of whom are former Tea Party supporters who have never gotten over the fact that a black Democrat became President – twice – and actually rescued this country from the Great Depression in spite of the GOP obstructionists who sit in Congress.  They just feel freer to express themselves now because Trump has given them his blessings.  President Obama’s accomplishments, verifiable by facts, don’t matter to this group because they want to hear that the black Democrat has failed.  They welcome the lies that Trump has been spreading.

Many of Trump’s supporters are also misogynists (those who dislike, mistrust, or mistreat women).  They don’t believe that a woman should be President simply because she’s a woman.  Hillary’s credentials and accomplishments do not matter.  She’s still a woman.  You hear these people being interviewed from time to time at Trump rallies.  “A female has more hormones.  She could start a war in ten seconds if she has hot flashes or whatever.”  This was a statement by a female  made during an interview conducted by Jordan Klepper of the Daily Show at a Trump rally.  You can find the entire interview here.  Well, news flash – Hillary is 68 years old.  Menstrual cycles and menopause are history.  But like racists, misogynists don’t embrace facts.  Their objections are based on gender and their ingrained stereotypes of men and women.  So when Trump starts commenting on Hillary’s lack of stamina, his lies make sense to them, even though HE is the one with the mood swings, the rants on Twitter, and the inability to concentrate so that he often fails to finish sentences, rambles, and goes off on tangents.

However, aside from the racists and misogynists, many Trump supporters are just people who he has manipulated so successfully that they are deaf and blind to the truth.

Trump calls Clinton a liar and yet long lists of the lies that he has told are accessible everywhere.  Like here and here.

Trump supporters ignore these facts because their supreme leader has them believing that the media is rigged.  “Forget the press, read the internet, study other things,” he has said. “Don’t go for the mainstream media. Most of them, good news, most of them fortunately won’t be around much longer.”

He says this with a straight face even while his own supporters like Sean Hannity promotes him on Fox, Corey Lewandowski promotes him on CNN, and former FOX “News” Chairman and CEO and sexual predator Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon of Breitbart “news” occupy positions in his campaign.  Trump himself has said that he doesn’t need to raise much money because he gets so much publicity.  The New York Times in March estimated that this free publicity totaled approximately $1.9 Billion. He uses the media constantly to his benefit, but convinces his base that they should not believe any negative statements that appear in the media because the media is liberal and “rigged”.  I see it all the time on comments made by Trump supporters on stories reporting about Trump’s lies, even those that are simply fact-checking his statements.

Once he was able to convince his base that they should ignore mainstream media and only listen to him or the media that he approves, he was free to lie with impunity.  He can claim that he is “very, very rich” and believes in transparency yet refuse to produce his tax returns.  He can claim that he’s a “great businessman” although he has filed 4 company bankruptcies and started numerous businesses which have failed, including Trump “University” over which he’s being sued in 3 states.  He can claim that he will be “the greatest jobs President that God ever created” and yet outsource his own manufacturing jobs, use Chinese instead of American steel and aluminum to build his hotels, hire foreign-workers, some of them illegal, and be totally insensitive to the fact that his business failures have cost people jobs and their savings.  He can claim, as he did during the third Presidential debate, that “No one respects women more than I do” and yet appear on a video tape admitting to having committed sexual assault because he believes himself to be a star and able to get away with it and multiple women have come forward against him.  He can claim that he has a “great memory” and yet, when confronted, cannot remember David Duke, John Miller (his alter-ego), ever having said that he did in fact meet Vladimir Putin, what’s in a lease document that he signed – the list goes on and on.

Many of his lies are intended to instill fear in his supporters and fuel their inherent hatred and bias.  Trump makes them believe that their fear and hatred are justified and gives them targets to blame.

**Blame President Obama for the bad economy (even though the economy has steadily improved since President Obama inherited George Bush’s broken economy) and the massive unemployment (even though unemployment rates are at 5-6%).

**Blame Mexicans who are pouring over the border stealing jobs, many of whom are rapists and criminals, and President Obama because he allows it (even though most illegal Mexicans are considered illegal because their visas expired and President Obama has deported more illegal aliens than any other president).

**Blame President Obama and Hillary for ISIS (even though it was Bush’s war on Iraq that began the circumstances that led to the creation of what is now known as ISIS AND according to a Gallup Poll taken in 2003, 73% of Americans – including Trump – were in favor of the Iraq war.)

**Hillary is part of the rigged establishment so she’s a liar (even though he would win hands-down in a contest of who has told more lies).

**Hillary is a crook (although he violated foreign trade embargo laws by doing business in Cuba when it was forbidden, wrongfully used money from his non-profit foundation to settle personal debts and to purchase personal items, scammed hundreds of people with his fake “University” and multi-level vitamin scheme, and refused to pay people who have done business with him in good faith or provided him with financing).

He gives his supporters slogans to chant because chanting makes a group feel united and powerful.  “Build that wall!” “Make America Great Again!” “Lock her up!”. Although, if you asked the overwhelming majority for specific facts to support their chants – for example, exactly HOW is Trump going to make America great again – they can’t give you any.  They can only regurgitate what Trump has said.

How can Trump ever make America great when he is ridiculed and hated by so many other nations that the United States needs to work with on a global level and yet is praised by Putin and endorsed by Kim Jong Un?  (see my post Trump Has Made America An International Joke)  How can he fix the economy when his plan has been devised by billionaires, hedge fund managers, and bank CEOs and benefits primarily the rich?  How can he be expected to protect the rights of women or the disabled or veterans and their families or people of color or the LGBT when he has insulted all of these groups and more?  He can’t.  Yet none of these facts matter to his supporters because they are blind to reality and have adopted a mob mentality.

Now Trump has told them that he and only he can fix this broken system.

This is how demagogues gain power and THIS is what happens when they do:

Des Moines, Iowa:  Police arrested Terri Lynn Rote, 55, on suspicion of voting twice in the general election.  “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice. It was a spur of the moment,” Rote told Iowa Public Radio. “The polls are rigged.”  She claims she feared her first vote for Trump would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton.  Rote has been charged with first-degree election misconduct, a felony that could land her in prison for 5 years.

North Carolina’s Cumberland County: Sheriff’s Office arrested John McGraw who was shown on video sucker-punching a black Trump protestor who was being escorted out of the rally.  When asked by Inside Edition whether McGraw believed the protester deserved it, he said “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”  He claimed the protestor was not acting “like an American”.

New York City. A security guard took a sign from and struck an immigration activist during a protest outside of Trump Tower.  The protestor claimed that they were on a public sidewalk and had the right to protest.  The security guard claimed that he was attacked from behind (that was after he wrongfully took away the protestor’s signs)

Janesville, Wisconsin: A 15-year old Trump protestor hit a Trump supporter she claimed had grabbed her breasts and was pepper sprayed by another Trump supporter.  “You goddamn communist n***er-lover, get the hell out of here!” a person in the crowd can be heard yelling on an ABC video.

EXCLUSIVE vid shows teen get pepper sprayed after shoving protester, called a
bitch & “n****r lover” at Trump rally pic.twitter.com/kB4GqQbbaG
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) March 30, 2016

The police decided to charge the girl saying they could find no evidence of an assault on her (even though they arrived after the confrontation took place).  They are still looking for the person who used the pepper spray.

Las Vegas, Nevada:  Individual heard yelling “light the motherfu**ker on fire” as a black protester was being physically removed by security staffers at a Trump rally.  pic.twitter.com/65pXHjsJ3x

Wisconsin – A pair of football fans showed up to a University of Wisconsin game with a Barack Obama mask ― and a noose wrapped around its neck. The other fan who wore a mask of Donald Trump was holding on to the noose.  The person in the Obama mask wore a black and white jailhouse suit and later swapped the mask of the president for one of Hillary Clinton.

At the @UWBadgers game and there is a man with a mask of President Obama
and a noose. This is racism, why was this allowed into the stadium?
pic.twitter.com/zKEqhdDYny
— ? (@woahohkatie) October 29, 2016

At a Trump rally in September:  Observers tweeted about seeing a Trump supporter carrying around a mask of Clinton on a spike.

Watching the horrific image of Trump mob at his speech hoisting a bloodied
mask of Hillary being swung on a stick. What country is this?
— Kathy Savitt (@ksavitt) September 1, 2016

Someone at this Trump rally has a Hillary mask head on a spike, Game of Thrones
style. This is politics these days. pic.twitter.com/egbmkRBwly
— Emily Schultz (@emmyb84) September 1, 2016

These are just a few examples of the racism, hate, and violence that Trump is responsible for; just a few examples of the kind of country that the United States will regress to under his kind of leadership.  History is full of demagogues and the one thing that history has shown us over and over again:  Demagogues are dangerous.

In the forward of his book, Trump should give credit where credit is due:  to the Tea Party.  In 2009, after President Obama won the election, the Tea Party movement gained momentum.  Many of them claimed that they weren’t racists and that they were concerned about the economy and the socialism of  Obamacare, but the shirts they wore, signs they carried, and messages they distributed told the ugly truth and no one in the GOP did anything to stop them.  Here are two of the much milder messages.  To see a full array of offensive (and graphic) images and to read the accompanying article by Def Shepherd about this matter, go here.  (3rd article on page – “Racism Is Alive And Well: 35 Incredibly Racist Anti-Obama Images”)

pictures-2

And who was there watching and learning how easy it was to incite a crowd with fear and lies?

trump-tea-party-2-w710-h473
Donald Trump speaking at a Tea Party rally in 2011.  Photo: Larry Marano/Getty Images as it appeared in the article “Trump Proves Republican Obama Hate Was Never About Obama’s Ideas” by Jonathan Chait published in New York magazine.

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Hillary Clinton – Why She Isn’t Winning In More States

Whenever Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity is discussed, there are three issues that come up repeatedly.  First, the Benghazi incident.  Second, her emails.  Third, the Clinton Foundation.

However, none of those issues is the real basis for her unpopularity.

BENGHAZI:  There were eight hearings held on Benghazi spearheaded by the Republicans which cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.  They were unable to find anything to hold her directly responsible for – and everyone knows how hard the GOP must have tried.

EMAILS:  Tens of thousands reviewed by the FBI and other than the fact that a woman in her 60’s should probably not have assumed that a private server was actually private, should have carried two phones, and should have been more careful,   the FBI found no criminal wrongdoing.  As for the emails now being released by Wikileaks, they are mostly John Podesta’s emails and only show that the Clinton camp was planning political strategy like every other political camp does.  Besides, there are good reasons why those Wikileaks emails are not credible. (See my other post about Julian Assange).

CLINTON FOUNDATION:  Let’s not forget that this Foundation has received 4 stars from both Charity Watch and Charity Navigator, files tax returns as a non-profit, and can and has established that the majority of its funds goes towards solving global problems such as hunger, education, and HIV.  In any case, Hillary Clinton was not part of the Foundation while she served as Secretary of State, was not involved in the sale of the uranium mine to Russia which the media and Trump tried to make a big deal about, and that sale required and received the approval of 8 other government agencies over which she had no control.

Compare all of those things to what Trump has done (the continual lying, the insults hurled against people of color, POWs, a gold star family who lost their son in battle, a federal judge because of his Mexican heritage, the media, other Republicans, and, of course, women, his refusal to release his tax returns, the numerous shady deals made through his Trump Foundation, his tax plan which he says will help the American people but is designed to benefit the rich, his failure as a businessman, his past of discriminating against blacks when renting apartments in his buildings, his disparaging remarks about an Indian tribe when he was trying to prevent them from getting a gaming license, his admission that he has committed sexual assault against women, his most recent claims that everything relating to this election is rigged against him, etc.) and it’s absolutely no contest.  It’s absolutely clear who the liar and crook really is.

So, why is Hillary still so unpopular in so many States?  One article I read suggests that it’s because she doesn’t come across as warm or approachable; no one knows what she does “for fun”.   Another mentioned that she should smile more.  Comments have been made about the pants suits that she wears.  Those comments, whether or not the people who made them realize it, illustrates a major problem that Hillary Clinton faces – gender bias.

As a professional woman who has worked in a field dominated by men, I fully understand the narrow line that Hillary Clinton has to walk.  For example, when a man walks into a meeting to negotiate a deal, he can be brash and aggressive, even condescending, and although many may consider him a jerk, he’s still thought of as strong and a formidable opponent.  If a woman behaves the same way, people will call her a “bitch”, say that she’s being overly emotional, and make remarks about PMS.  And yet, if a woman comes across as caring or too friendly in a male-dominated environment, she’s thought of as “weak”.   I’ve seen it happen time and time again.  Disturbingly, it isn’t only men who feel this way.  A white female supporter of Trump who was interviewed on television  said that when she thinks of a President, she thinks of a man because women have “hormones”.

So many women who are serious about their careers develop a professional persona.   They try to come to meetings more prepared than their male counterparts.  They  try to dress appropriately – not too sexy, not too “mannish”. ( I, too, began wearing pants suits when I heard a man murmur “Hmmm…sexy.” one day as I was passing by his office.  I wasn’t  wearing anything revealing but I was wearing a dress that revealed my legs so I began covering them up.)  They try to ignore stupid comments and even brush off compliments about their appearance.  They are wary about sharing personal information or gushing about a brand new baby or a pet.  At the same time, they need to be concerned about appearing too cold – an “ice queen” is what some men have labeled their female counterparts if they perceive her as not friendly enough.  Their guard is always up.  This may not be who they are in their personal lives, but it’s who they feel they have to be in their professional lives.

So what about Michelle Obama you may ask?  She’s an intelligent and attractive woman, an attorney, who is a dynamic speaker and yet appears approachable.  She dances with Ellen DeGeneres on stage.  She sings karaoke in a car with James Cordon.  People love her as do I.  But it’s unfair to compare these two women.  Michelle Obama has done great work in her private career and has been an exceptional First Lady, but she has never been and does not care to be involved in politics and was even reluctant about her husband’s involvement even though she committed to supporting him.  She seems almost relieved to be leaving the White House.

Hillary Clinton, however, has always been ambitious and politically inclined.  She even kept her own name for a while because she wanted to be a separate person from her husband and was involved in the political arena long before Bill Clinton became President.  Bill Clinton even said that if he was elected, the people would get “two for the price of one”.  And although there are women in high political offices, politics is still very much a male-dominated field where women hold slightly less than 20% of the seats in Congress.

So Hillary Clinton may not be likeable in the warm and cuddly sense – in the ways that you would like to envision a woman of her age to be.  What she is, however, is intelligent, a hard worker, and experienced in navigating the “good old boy” mentality that still pervades politics.  Whether she will be a great President, who knows?  I think that she would try her hardest to be since she has something to prove  and she cares about the kind of legacy that she would leave.  In any case, the worst that she would be is a so-so President.   We’ve had those before.  In fact, we’ve had really bad Presidents before.  Our nation has always managed to survive.  Our nation, however, may not survive if Donald Trump becomes President.

I would like Trump supporters, and those who are still undecided, to try, just for a minute, to put aside their hate and fear and blind faith and disappointment and ask themselves two simple questions:  What would I do if it was a Democratic candidate who had been on that Access Hollywood tape, whose lies were constantly being exposed, who made claims that he/she knew more about ISIS than the generals do, who refused to produce tax returns, who quoted an erroneous Russian propaganda statement as fact, who praised Putin, and who is now claiming that the entire voting system, run independently in 50 States, are all rigged?  Would I still ignore all of that or would I be calling that Democratic candidate unhinged and out of control?

Horrible and unreasonable behavior doesn’t suddenly become justifiable and reasonable because a person and you happen to belong to the same political party.  At football games (and all athletic games), we root for our team no matter what.  It doesn’t matter if we don’t like the coach or a particular player or their performance during the season.  The Presidential election, especially this election, is not a football game.  This is no longer about Republicans vs. Democrats.  I cannot forget the woman in Columbus, Ohio who was interviewed by MSNBC and who said:

“I am voting for the Conservative Party.  And if this jackass just happens to be leading this mule train, so be it.”  (MSNBC  – Sept. 26)

The problem with that is Donald Trump is neither a conservative nor a true Republican.  He has simply slapped a Republican label on his forehead, thereby ensuring himself the vote of people like that woman in Ohio.  But nothing justifies unleashing THIS particular “jackass” on the entire nation in the name of party politics.  I can say one thing without any hesitation:  If Trump was running as a Democrat, I’d be voting Republican.

(c) 2016

“17 Sweet Things Men Do That You Don’t Even Notice” – My Response

This is a response to an article that appeared in Woman’s Day online magazine, which originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. I tried to comment on the actual sites.  However, Woman’s Day and Cosmopolitan only allow those with a Facebook account to log in and comment.  I have news for you Woman’s Day and Cosmopolitan – not everyone has or wants a Facebook account.  So I decided to respond here, on my own blog site, even though I am certain that my readership pales in comparison to that of the magazine.  You can find the actual article here:  http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a39806/sweet-things-guys-do-that-you-dont-even-notice/

1. Putting the toilet seat down.   This isn’t a sweet gesture – it’s simple consideration.  And since you had to put it up, why is putting it back down something so hard to remember?  Is your attention span really that short?

2.  Walking on the outside of the street.   It used to be the norm and I don’t see it happening all that much today, but for the guys who still follow this “rule of etiquette”, one point for you.  And I, for one, would notice.

3. Staying up “way too late” talking to her and paying for it the next day. Are you saying that she’s the only one who wants to have a conversation and that you’re only humoring her?  And unless you’ve only been dating unemployed women, did it ever occur to you that she, too, has to get up early the next morning?  In fact, if she wears any makeup and styles her hair, she needs to get up a lot earlier than you.

4. Holding her after a bad dream.  Are you sure you aren’t just holding her in self defense since you found it necessary to mention that you only woke up after she elbowed you in the face?  And unless you sleep like you’re in a coma, I’ll bet there have been several occasions when you’ve nearly broken her nose with your flailing arm.  The only difference is, she was having a bad dream; you were simply shifting your position in bed.  So she didn’t have any reason to hold you and comfort you.    .

5. Trying to impress with feats of strength.  If you’re in need of exhibiting physical strength beyond  your capabilities in an effort to impress a woman, you deserve that sore back.

6. Volunteering to pay even when you’re broke. If you believe that you need to spend more money than you can afford in an effort to impress a woman, you deserve to eat ramen for a week. It always ticks me off when a man assumes that the way to any woman’s heart is through his wallet.

7. PDAIf you have “friends” who are going to make fun of you because you display affection towards a woman you care for, you need to start finding more mature friends to hang out with. Then again, how mature can you possibly be if you care about what they say?  By the way, some women don’t enjoy too much PDA – surprise!

8. Taking mental notes on things she likes. Really? I always thought that was something that came naturally when you truly care about someone, not something that required effort.

9. Joining her betting pool for “The Bachelor”.  I can’t comment on this since I have never watched that show. I hate “reality” shows. How real can anything be if there’s a camera present?

10. Not taking the blanket back after she hogs it allFirst, what makes you portray women as blanket hogs? Are you actually writing this article about a specific woman in your life?  Men, with their bigger bodies, are just as guilty of this if not more so. But here’s a thought – put an extra blanket within reach for whoever gets robbed during the night.

11. Carrying her purse. I suppose some women do that but I never would. Frankly, I find that to be a little demeaning to the guy.

around her when a sketchy guy approaches.  If you’re doing it to be protective, maybe that’s sweet.  But a lot of men do it if any guy approaches because they are territorial.

13.  Saving a plate of food or picking up takeout when she has to work lateYou consider saving a plate of food for someone you care about to be a sweet gesture?  Now you’ve got me wondering.  Would most men who aren’t trying to be sweet actually eat all of the food and leave nothing for her?  Perhaps you’ll think I’m out of my mind for asking this, but did it ever occur to you that you should wait and have dinner with her when she gets home so that she won’t have to eat alone?  That’s what I would do.

14.  Putting on the cologne you know that she likes but you don’t.  Okay, at this point, I’m really beginning to wonder – what kind of guy are you?  You can’t admit that a box is too heavy and that maybe you need a cart or that you can’t afford that pricey restaurant or that you feel stupid carrying her purse.  Now you can’t even speak up about your cologne?  Well, I suppose you’re right about one thing, you aren’t the one who’s smelling yourself.

15.  Setting her up with OnePassword.  Why do you make it seem as though women are incapable of understanding “this stuff”? I’ll let you in on a little secret: some women just pretend to be naive and unable to comprehend so that men can come to their rescue and feel so superior. I’m not favor of that either, but I have seen it happen SO many times. Sadly, my older sister happens to be an expert at this game. She has a Master’s Degree and yet has claimed to men that she can’t read a map or understand how to use a GPS and, predictably, those men have come to her rescue and ended up driving her to wherever she needs to go. She’s also been able to get men to pick up and set up her computer system, repair her car, run her errands – you name it. For the longest time, I believed that all men were stupid. Thankfully, I’ve met a few exceptions.

16.  Color-coding the remotes because she doesn’t know what they are for. See my response to number 15. By the way, if she REALLY can’t understand internet security or how to distinguish one remote from another, I’m guessing that intelligence isn’t on your list of traits that you look for in a mate.

17.  Cleaning up your beard stubble. Okay, but just don’t forget all the shaving that she has to do on more than one part of her body so that you won’t experience any scratchy surfaces either. Seriously, some guys just don’t have a clue.