We’d so love to end this article at “yes”, but in the spirit of journalism & making sure Donald Trump is never normalized, we’ll continue on.
According to a Business Insider article written by Kevin Loria there’s many reasons to truly believe that our president is a con. Con artists are motivated both by a desire to be the center of attention and the power that comes with that ability to manipulate others, psychologist Maria Konnikova, author of “The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It … Every Time,” explained to me earlier this year.
“[They’re] addicted to that sense of power, that rush of being able to pull one over on people and get away with it,” Konnikova explained.
Along the way, they’ll deceive people in order to get that attention and power.
As for deception, Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checking organization Politifact awarded Trump’s statements the 2015 “Lie of the Year” award. Of 298 Trump statements assessed at time of publication, Politifact rated only 4% as “true” and 11% as “mostly true;” 19% of Trump statements earned a “mostly false,” 35% a “false,” and 17% a “pants on fire.” (Of 272 Clinton statements assessed, 24% earned a “true,” 27% a “mostly true,” 15% a “mostly false,” 10% a “false,” and 3% a “pants on fire.”)
But being a con artist isn’t just about deception — it’s about intent. After all, many politicians deceive people. They’re not all practitioners of the confidence game; many truly believe what they are saying or believe it’s worth it to stretch the truth to accomplish their political goals.
being a con artist isn’t just about deception — it’s about intent
“If Trump were a con artist, he would be interested in politics only as a means to some other end,” Konnikova writes in The New Yorker. “He wouldn’t believe in his political opinions; instead, he would see those opinions as convenient tools for gaining what he actually desires.”
Power and being at the center of attention would fit as a con artist’s goal. “Trump, as a con artist, would give up on politics the moment it stopped serving his purposes, moving on to the next thing that gave him the same level of attention and adulation,” Konnikova wrote.
In a brilliant NewYork Times piece by Charles M. Blow called, “Disciples of a false Prophet” Charles writes: The con Donald Trump committed on his voters is slowly coming undone. He is not honest. He is not a brilliant deal maker. He is not even competent.
His entire life, Trump has sold shimmer and called it silver. It was and is all an illusion, a brand built on selling banality with braggadocio. He shaped vapors into dreams and delivered them to those hungry for a taste of the showy, hollow form of the high life he came to represent. He was successful at exploiting those with an ostentatious appetite for the air of success. Trump’s life story is a pyramid scheme of ambitions.
His entire life, Trump has sold shimmer and called it silver
He took that history to a people struggling through a drought of opportunity and he exploited their weaknesses: a shrinking sense of economic security and growing nativist tendencies.
But Trump doesn’t speak so much from facts as from feelings. For him, the truth is malleable and a lie is valuable. He creates his own reality rather than living in the reality of others. Deception is just a tool; betrayal is just an inconvenience.
We’ll keep you posted if his con ever becomes honest work for the American people. (Don’t hold your breath)