Class Warfare? It’s About Time

I have two wishes for our future understanding of this tragic period in our national history. The first is that, when we settle on a name for the scandal, it doesn’t end with “-gate”. We’ve really beaten that to death. Besides, the scope of this thing is already orders of magnitude larger than Nixon’s quaint little burglary.

The second, more significant wish is that people possess a widespread understanding that Donald Trump was only able to spend his life in the public eye pretending to be a successful businessman because his father was one of the richest men in the country. Fred Trump was worth over $200 million in the 1970’s — so he was a billionaire in 2017 dollars.

We don’t like to talk about class in this country, because it undermines our believe in the long-dead dream that anyone born here can work their way to the top. But Trump didn’t work his way to the top. In fact, he was never a very good businessman. His father had to step in and bail him out repeatedly over the years, often to the tune of several million dollars.

Then there were the indirect benefits, like the $35 million line of credit from JP Morgan that Donald didn’t even have to sign for, based on his father’s good name. A line of credit that Donald ran through and never repaid, for the record. So it is no coincidence that Wall Street banks stopped lending him money in the 90’s after his father passed away. This need for financing is how he wound up getting entangled with crooked Russian Oligarchs, but that’s a story for another day.

Donald Trump is nothing but Sarah Palin with a trust fund. And I sincerely hope that watching this idiot-prince drive the country over a cliff will wake people up to this reality. Discussions of class privilege in this country have for too long been summarily dismissed as “Class Warfare”.

The bulk of us have been on the receiving end of several decades of highly orchestrated class warfare at the hands of the super-wealthy. Frankly it is time to start returning the favor. And to stop running from the term. I think a little class warfare is order, don’t you?