Guess who’s the biggest loser?
When my late brother-in-law, who was in the garment industry, encountered a person he believed untrustworthy or otherwise unreliable, he would describe him as “a marked-down guy.”
For Donald Trump, a man so shorn of any semblance of decency or morality or even fundamental knowledge of issues with which the presidency must deal on a regular basis, we know that he lives to diminish his foes by calling them “losers,” “heaters,” “dumb,” “idiots,” “morons,” “stupid,” “dummy,” and “disgusting.”
Even in my thesaurus, I cannot find adequate adjectives to describe Trump and so I have personally settled on either “human detritus” or “political pornography,” that is, pure filth that has no redeeming social value.
So I yield to the brilliant writer Philip Roth to describe Trump as he did year ago in correspondence with the New Yorker Magazine when he drew parallels between Trump and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who features prominently in Roth’s novel, “The Plot against America,” as an isolationist president during the 1940s.
Roth said, “It is easier to comprehend the election of an imaginary president like Charles Lindbergh than an actual president like Donald Trump. Lindbergh, despite his Nazi sympathies and racist proclivities, was a great aviation hero who had displayed tremendous physical courage and aeronautical genius in crossing the Atlantic in 1927. He had character and really had substance and, along with Henry Ford, was, worldwide, the most famous American of his day. Trump is just a con artist.”
Roth described Trump as “humanly impoverished, ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency and wielding a vocabulary of 77 words that is better called Jerkish that English.”
Roth was not alone in thinking that Trump’s limited vocabulary indicates a low intellect and a lack of education. When Trump’s speeches were run through the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Assessment, an American readability test, analysts found Trump’s vocabulary to be at the level of an average fourth-grader, or 9-year-old, in the educational system.
So it was unsurprising to me to learn from The New York Times that as a businessman, Trump was the biggest loser of them all. The emotionally twisted narcissist had created a phony myth of himself as a self-made billionaire who built an empire on what he portrayed as a relatively small million-dollar loan from his father when, in reality, Daddy had forked over more than $400 million to Donald, often to bail him out of financial jams.
An October New York Times exposé had showed how Donald and other members of the Trump family engaged in sham financial schemes during the 1990s, including what the newspaper described as “instances of outright fraud” to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes on the real estate fortunate Fred Trump passed on to his children.
Some of the same reporters obtained “printouts from Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service transcripts” that further undermine the self-promoted fiction of Trump as a highly successful self-made businessman. In reality, between 1985 and 1994, Trump’s core businesses lost money every single year, and his accumulated losses came to more than $1 billion. And year after year, Trump lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer based on comparing Trump’s results with detailed information the IRS compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners.
His core businesses lost in 1990 and 1991 more than $250 million each year, more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the IRS information for those years, according to the newspaper. In other words, this self-described financial genius and deal maker was the biggest loser in the country for two years in a row.
So it appears that among the 10,000 lies and misleading statements Trump has made since becoming president, a significant percentage represented lies about himself and his imagined achievements.