Remember something called Trump University? It was characterized by none other than National Review as a ‘massive scam.’ The scam operated from 2005 until 2011, when it ceased operations following the initiation of lawsuits both by the New York State Attorney General for ‘illegal business practices’ and by students who were ripped off.
This so-called university wasn’t accredited by anyone. It didn’t offer any kind of educational degree or other professional certification. It didn’t employ any kind of faculty to deliver courses. It didn’t have a campus. It was nothing but a complete and total scam, about as educational and worthwhile as the ‘love and power’ seminars of Marianne Williamson or the EST meetings led by Werner Erhard. Remember them?
What you got if you registered for Trump University was a multi-day ‘retreat’ in which you were aggressively pushed to buy various products that you could use to make millions in real estate. Except the products had no value at all, and right after Trump was elected President, he settled all the lawsuits for $25 million bucks.
Guess what? He’s at it again. This time, it’s something called the American Freedom Tour, which kicked off a multi-city gig in Jacksonville and is headlined by Trump’s son. Along with the idiot Trump there’s Kayleigh McEnany, Sheriff David Clarke and a few other leftovers from the Trump Administration who get up and give spiels about faith, family, finances, and freedom.
You can get into these love-fests for $40 bucks, or you can pay ten grand for a VIP package which includes sit-downs with Dinesh D’Souza and Trump, along with photo ops, private meetings, the usual bit.
Over the course of two days, the Jacksonville attendees were given an opportunity to purchase tickets to a get-rich-quick-on Wall-Street class for $97 bucks. Sounds like Trump University? That’s exactly what it is. And I’m willing to bet you that some people who come to the American Freedom Tour will actually sign up.
The truth is that just about everyone likes to dream about how they wake up one day and a million shnazools falls into their lap. How else do you explain that in 2020, the Massachusetts state lottery pulled in $5.059 billion in a state with less than seven million residents, many of whom aren’t old enough to drive to the local mini-mart to buy a lottery ticket?
If you do the math like Bill Clinton says, that works out to $725 in lottery-ticket purchases for every man, woman, and child in the Baystate. Now I have never bought a lottery ticket so some neighbor of mine is forking out $1,500 bucks.
I have to give Trump some credit, when all is said and done. This is a guy who makes absolutely no distinction whatsoever between public life as a public servant and public life as a scam artist who’ll do whatever he thinks will work to help him make a buck. And given that his D.C. hotel is bankrupt and the Mayor of New York City just cancelled Trump’s golf course contract, I don’t blame Trump for trying out some new scam.
I’ll say something else about Trump. Here’s a guy who has absolutely no self-dignity at all. And much of what makes him attractive to the ever-dwindling MAGA base is that what he says is what many of that bunch are thinking but don’t want to say out loud. He’s never used the word ‘nig*er’ in public, as far as I know, but the phrase ‘sh*t-hole countries’ means the same thing.
Yesterday The Hill ran an interesting story about how ‘some’ Republican Senators don’t want Trump to announce a 2024 bid before the mid-terms next year because they’re afraid that he’ll drag the ticket down the tubes. Now understand that The Hill is something of an ‘establishment’ operation and no doubt wants to give some space to the ABT (anyone but Trump) crowd.
But isn’t it kind of interesting that all of a sudden, this narrative is beginning to appear at the same time that the GOP got together with all those Communist Democrats to make a deal on putting off any issue with the debt ceiling until the end of the year? And you know dollars to doughnuts that come December, they’ll vote to raise the debt ceiling again and then run home for some Holiday cheer.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The GOP is just beginning to search for a real, national leader who isn’t just another warmed-over Trumper like Abbott, DeSantis, or Ted Cruz. In the meantime, Trump will continue to go around hawking his MAGA brand and the liberal media can continue to pretend that he represents any kind of threat to Joe and Kammie in 2024.
But why shouldn’t CNN and MS-NBC try to sell the Trump brand? Isn’t selling (not reporting) about politics what the fake news is really in business to do?
And before I forget: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/kristof.