Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The Long Con letter to the editor

I wrote this letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press. I'll update this post if/when it's published.

It was published on Sunday, January 5, 2020.

To the editor:

Remember the movie "The Sting," with Newman and Redford, as "grifters," swindling their "mark," gangster Doyle Lonnegan, out of a half million dollars? It wasn't a quick job: It was a "long con," involving a hook, a bite, a switch and, pertinent to this letter, the mark's ignorance he'd been swindled.

As presently relevant, the hook was Trump's 2016 campaign promises and television appearances, spewed ceaselessly by an uncritical media to a feckless public. The bite was the electoral college count. The switch has been three years of trickery and lies, presidentially tweeted, spewed by faithful Internet sources and broadcast daily by an allied television channel.

Some of Trump's most egregious switches: (1) Tax reform. Did middle-class Americans see a break? Not one whit and certainly nothing near the $4,000 tax reduction Trump promised. Meanwhile, stock market investors and major corporations got rich and richer. (2) Withdrawal of US forces. Not one whit, with forces still in Iraq and Afghanistan and being attacked there daily; with new involvements in Africa and elsewhere; and – fueled by huge increases in Pentagon spending – with a new theater, a Space Force. (3) A great again America. Not at all. Indeed, Trump's made us a rogue nation, alienating traditional allies, with its president a laughing-stock, viewed globally as a charlatan, a swindler – which, at base, he is.

By November, will enough voters have awakened to the swindle or will our grifter president succeed with his long con?   

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