Saturday, June 04, 2016

Poor Donald | Rich, with an Asterisk

Poor Donald.... He's kind've rich but, you know, with an asterisk. The asterisk reminds us he's not that rich - not compared to other Americans whose names we all know (and a bunch whose names most of us don't know).

This is an inconvenient truth for Poor Donald because the only card he has to play is his money, such as it is. If he were working class, would he would get a half percent of the vote? I don't think so. If he were working class - correct me if I'm wrong, but - would he be anything other than a verbally abusive, sexist, racist, prick?

As far as I can see, his only vaguely political asset is money ... and he has a mouth on him - so there's that.

Of course we're not talking Bill Gates money. Poor Donald doesn't have Bill Gates or Warren Buffet money ... or Michael Bloomberg money ... or Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Koch brothers, or George Soros money.... In fact, Poor Donald doesn't have the kind money that's in the hands of fifty, maybe a hundred, Americans you probably never heard of. But for some reason Poor Donald doesn't mind talking - a lot - about the money he has, and maybe it's not as much as he claims, and maybe it is, but, in any event he's mostly talking about his money to people who have a lot less of it than him. 

So, to recap, there are really wealthy people on one end, and the rest of us on the other end, and then there's Poor Donald - way above the median, yes, but somewhere in the broad middle if you average it out (which we don't do, of course, because averaging would statistically ridiculous here ... but people do it all the time to make a point, so I'm going to as well because it's my right as an American with a blog). 

The bottom line for a guy like Poor Donald, who appears to really care about this sort of posturing is straightforward: Yes, he has a lot of money compared to the rest us of us, but really not that much if we set him side by side with really rich people. 

About that mouth.... People who have done very well - don't talk much about their wealth the way Poor Donald talks about his money. Other people talk about the money really rich folks have - or, more often, they talk about what really rich folks do with their money - how they spread it around,  their visionary investments in the future, in science, technology, human rights, education, health care, ending extreme poverty.... 

Maybe people who have a lot more money than Poor Donald are motivated to pursue different ends. Observers who follow such things seem unsurprised that the really rich don't spend a lot of time calling in to talk on radio and cable tv shows. Not that there's anything wrong with that ... it's just, you know, interesting.

I will say I'm a little surprised Poor Donald hasn't seen fit - as someone aspiring to lead the government of the United States of America - to invest some of what he has to acquire more sophisticated insights in domains beyond his specialties in deal-making, real estate development, brand licensing, entertainment, celebrity....  You know, there's a lot of good, fact-based, information out there in domains like statecraft, macroeconomics, constitutional law, cultural anthropology, political geography, war studies, demographics, religion, ethics.... I suppose Poor Donald has the best people advising him on these matters - and maybe this is just me ... God knows I'm no genius, but - that doesn't seem like quite enough to qualify a candidate for what I think of as world class leadership.

So, yes, Poor Donald is rich*; but he doesn't appear particularly thoughtful about what money means; what relationships mean; what trust, integrity, character, and justice mean; what empathy, collaboration, community, and e pluribus unum, really and truly mean. Perhaps these are insights that money - at least the kind of money Poor Donald has - simply can't buy.

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