Donald Trump: A Pre-Election Ethics Alarms Character and Trustworthiness Review: 2005-2016 [UPDATED]

trump-mocks-disabled-reporter-cnn-usa-today

Donald Trump has no character or trustworthiness. Next question?

Oh, all right, in the interests of equity and fairness, I’ll submit The Donald to the same process as I did with Hillary Clinton, though in his case the verdict is res ipsa loquitur. Trump’s lack of ethics and his unfitness to fill the shoes of Washington, Lincoln, Teddy, FDR, or Millard Fillmore is, or should be, self-evident. Those for whom it isn’t self-evident are either ignorant, devoid of values themselves, or intentionally seeking to harm the United States.

I’ve been writing about the awfulness that is Donald Trump since 2005. He was noted for his dishonesty on my Ethics Scoreboard when I called foul on his marketing “various ‘get rich’ products, including tapes, seminars, and “Trump U,” an on-line delivery system for more of the same.” I wrote in part

There are thousands upon thousands of Americans who started with meager resources and made themselves rich through talent, hard work, creativity, inventiveness, and some luck. …Not Trump. The success of his pitch to the desperate wannabes and clueless is based on their erroneous assumption, nurtured by Trump but not explicitly supported by him, that he can teach them to do what they think he did…make himself rich through hard work and a business savvy. But what Trump is best qualified to teach is how to make yourself richer when you inherit an established business and have millions of dollars plunked into your waiting hands after your Dad has sent you to Wharton.

The fact that Trump doesn’t lie outright about his background but simply allows his marks to jump to the wrong conclusions puts his “get rich like me” marketing efforts in the category of deceit…but deceit is still dishonesty. Trump undoubtedly has useful wisdom to impart about building a successful career; it’s not as easy to stay rich as some people think. Ask most state lottery winners. Still, the most vivid lesson of Donald Trump’s successful campaign to sell himself as a self-made billionaire is the lesson that 19th Century con-man Joe Bessimer pronounced more than a century ago: There’s a sucker born every minute.

So we knew, or should have known, that this was a con artist at least back eleven years. In 2006, I posted on Trump’s misogyny and incivility, writing about the first outbreak of his feud with the equally vile Rosie O’Donnell, and their public name-calling…

Rosie set off the exchange by suggesting on ABC’s “The View” that Trump’s recent assumption of the role of moral exemplar by chastising and threatening to fire the reigning Miss USA for being a party-girl was more than a little ridiculous, given his own well-documented penchant for fast women and extra-marital affairs. Sometimes Rosie’s full of beans, and sometimes she gets it right; this time she was right, but spoiled it by concluding her commentary with some unflattering name-calling. Trump, no girly-man he, immediately said he would sue O’Donnell, and then launched into an extended riff on how unattractive and fat she was, including the charming phrase, “pig-face.” Classy as always, Donald…. Yes, anyone who admires either of these two annoying characters already has a problem, but there is no escaping the fact that both are celebrities, and as celebrities they contribute to establishing cultural norms of civility and conduct. This is especially true of Trump, who despite his low-life proclivities is a successful business executive. Resorting to personal attacks on an adversary’s weight or appearance is disrespectful, unfair, cruel and indefensible. Doing so on national media is like firing a shotgun into a crowd. There are a lot of fat or unattractive women out there, Mr. Trump, who are smart, generous, productive, loving, intelligent people… Golden Rule, anyone? How are we to convince our children not to ridicule the personal traits of others, when those they see as rich, famous and successful do the same openly, shamelessly, and even gleefully?

You can imagine my continued amazement that ten years after writing this rather obvious assessment, without Trump having undergone a complete transformation, and indeed with his conduct and public statements becoming worse rather than better, we are on the eve of a day that may live in infamy as the moment democracy  completely failed the United States of America, inflicting on it, and the world,  as unstable and unqualified a leader of a great power as history has ever witnessed. Continue reading

Republicans Leaders Are Shocked…Shocked!…That Donald Trump Is Donald Trump

Cynical, principle-free morons, every single one.

Everyone knew that Donald Trump was a low-life, belonging in the political genus containing human leaches and anthropomorphic pond scum, long before he even announced his candidacy. They knew or should have known, to apply a common legal standard. I’m no genius, but the millisecond his joke candidacy for President began smelling viable back in August 0f 2015, I wrote here what GOP leaders with any sense or integrity should have known without me having to write a word. They needed to tell Trump to go haunt a casino somewhere, because he wasn’t fit to represent the Republican party as a candidate—not as President, not as dogcatcher, not as a gag on a Saturday Night Live skit.

Nahh! GOP Chair Reince Priebus —Fun Fact: Did you know that “Reince” means “spineless tool”? Well, it does now!-–apparently thought Trump would bring a little pizzazz, publicity and new voters to the GOP primary campaign. Well, it sure did that, didn’t it, Reince, you pathetic failure as a leader, manager, Republican and an American? Continue reading

Observations On The Obscene Trump Audio Scandal

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A leaked audio  obtained and released by the Washington Post has Donald Trump commenting to media personality Billy Bush about his attempts to bed a married woman, a few months months after he married Melania Trump, his third wife. When he sees a beautiful woman, the GOP standard-bearer said, he  kisses her without consent.  “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he explains. He describes a married woman who wouldn’t sleep with him by making fun of her as having“phony tits.” Then he advises Bush, “Grab them by the pussy.”

Nice.

But not surprising. Not even a little bit.

Observations:

1. CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta believes this may finish Trump’s presidential campaign. Utter incompetence and confirmation bias: why does anyone listen to “experts” this dense? Acosta, and I’m sure he has lots of company, apparently has learned nothing over the past year. What kind of person who currently supports Trump despite his constant vulgarity, misogyny, meanness, dishonesty, irresponsible statements and foolishness would regard this unremarkable male jerkishness as a last straw? Of course he talks like that. I never had any doubt that he talked like that, just as I never doubted that Hillary Clinton regarded Bernie’s supporters as gullible children, as a recent leak of her candid comments revealed. Did you think Trump talked about women differently than this when he was with other guys? Continue reading

Observations On The ‘Ole Miss’ Sigma Chi Derby Days Controversy

Derby DaysNews Item:

The University of Mississippi’s Title IX office has launched an investigation after allegations surfaced on social media that men of the Sigma Chi fraternity asked sorority members questions tainted with sexual innuendo on a loud speaker system in front of hundreds of students at the closing festivities of Derby Days, the fraternity’s annual philanthropic initiative.

Those “allegations” came in the form of an emotional Facebook post by student Abby Bruce, who began,

“Tonight, my eyes watered up as I watched women be humiliated in the name of “philanthropy.” After a week long process of all the sororities on campus competing to raise money for Sigma Chi’s philanthropy, the guys proceeded to ask the contestants for their Derby Days queen over the mic at the dance competition where hundreds of women were gathered “which sigma chi they would go down on,” “what type of sausage would they prefer: linked or sigma chi,” and other questions of the like.”

Observations:

1. I’m sure Ole Miss administrators are shocked, shocked (I know this “Casablanca” reference is an over-used cliché, but it perfectly fits this episode) that fraternity members would use sexual innuendo at an event like this. In truth, this is undoubtedly been going on for decades, but the combination of the sexual assault posse culture that the Education Department’s “Dear Colleague” letter inflicted on campuses combined with social media shaming prompted the college to act as if it had no idea such vulgarity was going on.

The University of Mississippi has allowed and by its passivity endorsed such piggish conduct in its fraternities, and it is now grandstanding.

2. A Title IX investigation, in this case to see if frat boys making sexual innuendos about sorority girls during an extra-curricular event, is an abuse of the law and free speech intimidation, and is unwarranted, except, I suppose, to make Old Miss  immune from government harassment. The test in Title IX is whether conduct with sexual content and intent rises to the level of non-consensual and unwelcome sexual harassment in which students are “deprived of equal and free access to an education.”  Being subjected to rude comments on Derby Day when in all likelihood the women participating knew what was coming isn’t going to deprive anyone of anything. Continue reading

No, Washington Post, The Republican Party Has No Obligation To Condemn Donald Trump, But Nice Try Anyway.

"Hey Republicans! Step HERE! It's your DUTY!"

“Hey Republicans! Step HERE! It’s your DUTY!”

I’m sure the paper’s editors will get a holiday gift basket from the Democratic National Committee for their nakedly partisan trap.

Erupting with indignation over Trump’s recent “let’s make fun of the disabled reporter” performer and his subsequent lie that he wasn’t doing what video shows he did, the Washington Post editors concluded with a demand that Republicans condemn Trump, or else:

[I]t is time for Republican Party leaders to make clear that they do not approve of Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration. If they do not, their party will be seen as complicit in his hatefulness, and deservedly so.

There are two reasons this is partisan and hypocritical.

  • First, an official or coordinated Republican Party attack on Trump would violate the terms of Trump’s deal with the party that if he was treated fairly, Trump wouldn’t run as a third party candidate should he fail to get the GOP nomination. Since I have never heard of either party ever specifically reprimanding one of its own candidates for the nomination—I don’t think it’s happened—doing so would surely be regarded as “unfair” by Trump, and I’d agree with him. Of course, an independent Trump candidacy would guarantee the election of a Democrat. Fiendishly clever, Post!

The party could have and, I wrote here, should have scratched Trump from the nomination hunt and the debates early on, before it had given him a platform and he had become, for the nonce, a front-runner in the polls. His third party threat would have been more bluster than reality then, and without a national TV audience, Trump would have probably been content to file a lawsuit and throw a few tantrums. But it’s not called “the stupid party” for nothing. The GOP missed its window of escape. Turning on Trump now would undermine the party’s primary mission, not that the Post cares, and that is electing a Republican President. Continue reading

Wow! Trump Tries a JUMBO!

Elephants from the Ringling Bro. and Barnum and Bailey Circus perform a nine-trunk salute.

Donald Trump is apparently testing yet another piece of political conventional wisdom. Having already conquered such long standings assumptions as “A Presidential candidate shouldn’t talk and act like a sixth grader” and  “A candidate shouldn’t embarrass his party every time he opens his mouth,” Trump is now setting his sights on the classic, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up,” but with an impressive extra challenge.

He is now trying to cover up the fact that he grotesquely mocked the disability of a New York Times reporter in a public appearance that was videotaped.

Trump actually is denying that he did what he was obviously doing. Very bold, very intrepid. It will be fascinating to see if he can pull it off.

Here’s Trump, after the Times excoriated him for ridiculing reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a malady that  limits flexibility in his arms:

“Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did. He should stop using his disability to grandstand and get back to reporting for a paper that is rapidly going down the tubes.”

Odd that Trump didn’t remember him, since before doing his “man with weird arm movements” bit he said quite clearly, “Now, the poor guy — you’ve got to see this guy…” One doesn’t normally call a reporter “a poor guy” for no reason, nor does one say, “You’ve got to see this guy” if you aren’t going to show the crowd what it is they have to see.”

Never mind, Trump is going for it: the full “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”, or as Jimmy Durante put it, in the show that gave the Ethics Alarms category it’s name, “Elephant? What elephant?” Continue reading

And Speaking Of Turkeys, Here Are Random Observations On Donald Trump’s Handicapped Times Reporter Impression

1. Stay classy, Donald.

2. Yes, I agree, it is refreshing to have a politician on the scene who does not hide his true self, does not calibrate his words and opinions to what people want to hear or what journalists and pundits will approve, does not suddenly speak in a Southern accent in front of crowds south of the Mason-Dixon line or pose as a lifetime Yankee fan in the Big Apple. Okay, it’s a novelty to have an asshole who has the integrity to openly behave like the asshole he is.

BUT HE’S STILL AN ASSHOLE.

How are people missing this?

3. One theory is that Trump has chosen this week to go all out to see if there is anything he can say or do so beneath the dignity of the office he is seeking and so repugnant to core American values that the idiots supporting him will finally wake up and say, “What was I thinking?”

If so, his experiment is working well.

And yes, it is fair to identify anyone who supports Donald Trump at this point as an idiot.

4. Please ask the Donald Trump fans at  your Thanksgiving dinner whether this is really how they want to see their President behaving in public. If #2 above is correct, I assume that he’ll eventually don a Hillary mask, glue a herring to his forehead, and recite dirty limericks while riding on the Spinning Teacups ride in Disneyland nude.  Hell, why not?

5. Imagine:Democrats decided that they didn’t want Howard Dean to be President based on this…

Donald Trump makes Howard Dean look like Henry Higgins. Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: Cleveland Browns Rookie Johnny Manziel

“I should have been smarter.It was a Monday Night football game so the cameras were probably solidly on me so you need to be smarter about that.”

—Rookie Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka “Johnny Football,” brushing off his raised middle finger flashed at the Washington Redskins bench during their exhibition game.

Johnny's Number One!

Johnny’s Number One!

Good luck to the Cleveland Browns, who drafted a player that earned a reputation for being a a hard partying, rules-defying jerk in college, and then watched him get his first publicity as a pro by, surprise, being a jerk. Then, true to form, Manziel chastised himself, not for behaving in an uncivil, unsportsmanlike, unprofessional fashion, but for being caught at it. And he’s supposed to be the field leader of the team.

Great role model, that kid. If he does well, I think Cleveland may have a real juvenile delinquent problem in a few years.

Stay classy, Johnny.

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Source: The Blaze

 

Ethics Dunce (and Unethical Tweet of the Month): Donald Trump

Stay classy, Donald.

Well, I’m still trying to get that Todd Akin post up, but greater stupidity keeps intervening. Speaking of greater stupidity: here’s the Donald!

Everyone, even Mitt Romney, must know that Trump is a boor, an ass, and an Ethics Dunce Extraordinaire, an embarrassment to such already embarrassing fields as casinos, real estate development, politics and even reality TV. Still, one would think that he would be shrewd enough—and Trump is often shrewd—to avoid rearing his ugliest side during the Republican National Convention and reminding the media, undecided voters and lurking blog-snipers that Mitt hasn’t shown the sense, courage and integrity to separate this slimy birther from his campaign. But no. Trump is, after all, only interested in Trump, so he had to send out this despicable tweet insulting Adrianna Huffington, who must have said or written something critical of him, Whatever it was, it couldn’t have been critical enough. Here is the tweet:

Trump is no gentleman, no statesman, and no fit ally for a man running for President. I assumed everyone knew that already, but this is another reminder. Let’s see if Mitt Romney has standards that go beyond dollar signs.

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Pointer: Hypervocal

Graphic: Brooklyn Mutt

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.

Ethics Dunces: LGTB White House Guests

“While the White House does not control the conduct of guests at receptions, we certainly expect that all attendees conduct themselves in a respectful manner. Most all do. These individuals clearly did not. Behavior like this doesn’t belong anywhere, least of all in the White House.”

Thus did a White House spokesman properly rebuke the crude LGTB activists who reciprocated the hospitality of the President in inviting them to a LGTB pride reception at his home by taking photos of themselves flipping their middle finger to the portrait of Ronald Reagan and posting them on Facebook with such clever captions as “FUCK YOU!”

This is one more marker in the continuing degradation of American manners, etiquette and respect for institutions, but it also displays such a void of gratitude and common sense that one is led to despair. “These photographs have hurt our community and make advocating for inclusion and equality more difficult. The participants should be ashamed,” the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay GOP supporters, said in their response. Correct on both counts. It is hard to see anything positive that could come from such a juvenile display of raw vulgarity and self-indulgence, either for the activists’ social agenda or anyone else. They embarrassed the White House, breached basic standards of guest conduct, displayed wonton incivility and rudeness, showed disrespect for an American landmark and the institution of the Presidency, insulted the memory of a past leader, and crowed about it on Facebook like the ill-bred teenagers.

How proud of them the Lesbian Gay Transgendered Bi-sexual community must be!

Actually, I doubt it. There isn’t a single person in the country, not one, beginning with the President, through Nancy Reagan, to every patriotic American and every member of the LBTB community that these boors don’t owe an apology to.

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Sources:

Graphic: The Blaze

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at  jamproethics@verizon.net.