By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 31, 2015
Confidence in America can impact the strength of the U.S. dollar, the willingness of foreigners to invest their capital here in our markets and real estate, and our diplomatic relations with other nations.
With each passing day of his candidacy, Donald Trump drags his country – the one he claims to want to make great again – deeper into the embarrassing caricature of a land where billionaires are unfettered to run wild with both their money and their mouths.
For example, it’s not every day that a major U.S. ally is set to debate whether it will ban a U.S. Presidential candidate from entering their country. That ignominious milestone now goes to Donald Trump, courtesy of the United Kingdom. According to a report out this morning from the BBC, following more than 500,000 people signing a Parliamentary e-petition, a Parliamentary committee will decide next week whether to open debate on banning Trump from the U.K. over his recommendation to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
Trump’s vitriolic attacks have led the Los Angeles Times to publish an article calling for “white people” to “take responsibility for Donald Trump.” Writing for the Washington Post in August, conservative columnist George Will said that Trump is an “unprecedentedly and incorrigibly vulgar presidential candidate,” adding that his “squalid performance and its coarsening of civic life are costs of freedom that an open society must be prepared to pay.”
Just how big that price tag will be to the reputation of the United States by the time Trump leaves the campaign trail is hard to calculate at this point. The danger to America’s standing among nations that demand civil discourse from its political leaders is that Trump finds it increasingly necessary to feed red meat to his fan base to keep them on board and turning out for his gladiator-like rallies.
This past week Donald-the-Gladiator has set new lows in his rhetoric, calling Joe McQuaid, publisher of the widely read Union Leader newspaper in New Hampshire, a “low life,” a “sleaze bag,” a “loser” while labeling the newspaper itself a “pile of garbage.” The over-the-top vitriol from Trump came in response to a scathing front page editorial in the Union Leader against Trump by McQuaid this week. McQuaid held little back, writing:
“According to Trump: John McCain accepted years of torture by the North Vietnamese but is not Trump’s type of ‘war hero.’ Not that Trump ever served in the military. Carly Fiorina, meanwhile, doesn’t have the ‘face’ Trump would want in the White House; and a reporter who questions a Trump falsehood is to be mimicked and mocked for his physical disability.
“Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds.
“He reminds us of the grownup bully ‘Biff’ in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie series. Lo and behold, the screenwriter says that he based Biff on Trump. On Feb. 9, we trust New Hampshire Republicans will send ‘Biff Trump’ back to somewhere — anywhere but on the road to the most important elective office in the United States at a most crucial time for this nation.”
After Trump assailed the publisher and newspaper in Tweets and campaign stops, the newspaper responded with another editorial, headlined “Biff strikes back: Trump sees the enemy, and it is us.” The editorial took on Trump’s suggestion that its endorsement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie might be behind its negative editorial on Trump, calling that assertion “bonkers.” The paper said: “Trump just can’t believe that anyone would reject his insulting, sophomoric campaign. We declined to endorse him because he is unqualified and unsuited for the job he seeks.”
The critical New Hampshire primary will take place on February 9, just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Trump’s war with a major New Hampshire newspaper this close to the state’s primary flies in the face of the old adage that one should never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel – particularly in a state that could make or break his campaign momentum.
Trump faces another threat as well. His boastful billionaire persona, his monster corporate jet on which he travels to campaign stops, his name blazoned egotistically across his real estate empire at a time of unprecedented wealth inequality in America, may inspire entrenched non-voters to turn out simply to defeat a Trump-America brand. Under the Union Leader’s second editorial against Trump was the following insightful message:
“CHRIS HERBERT said Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 5:04 am: The Republican Party is stuck. All those phony promises that tax cuts for the wealthy ‘trickle down’ are mocked by the electorate. They now know this is a con. Known cons don’t work. Yet there’s the same ‘ol same ‘ol ‘trickle down’ embedded in every single one of the GOP candidates platforms. Democrats, on the other hand, have proposed remedies that poll very well with the general electorate. From infrastructure spending, to full employment, to raising wages for working men and women, to climate change, the Dems are discussing what is truly important while the GOP flounders from one irrelevant headline to the next. The last time we elected a social democrat (FDR) he was so popular he won four consecutive elections and the conservatives had to impose term limits! Not much has changed these past 70 years or so. Conservatives have nothing of value to offer.”
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is today’s Social Democrat running for President on a platform that seeks to reform the stranglehold the billionaire class has on our democracy. In typical fashion, Trump tweeted this week that Sanders is a “wacko.”