Could Happen To Anyone…

Look, I get it. I really do. If you’ve been around for any length of time (and if you’re anywhere near my age, you have), you’ve been snookered by some politician you really believed in. In my case, it was Bill Clinton. I really believed he was going to focus on my pain like a laser beam. Like so many Americans, I became a bit complacent after the turbulence of Reagan/Bush 41 for twelve years. I confess, I looked away. I allowed myself to enjoy distractions. I trusted Bill to do the right thing. My bad.

As evidence mounted that one event after another of the early 21st century traced it’s roots back to the Clinton administration, I did what ALL loyal supporters do: I made excuses. I called them “explanations.” I did NOT engage in the con trick of just ignoring the bits I didn’t like, though. I accepted the information as it came out. I STILL excused what I could but over time, that became harder and harder. The excuses didn’t hold up very well. “Maybe Bill didn’t realize the long-term consequences of that decision at the time” lost out to “smartest man in most rooms.” If he IS the smartest man, he can’t simultaneously claim to not understand implications.

Maybe he thought Al Gore would get to serve the presidential term he won and Al could address the problems then. (Who would have counted on the Supremely Kangaroo Court to step in the way they did?) Even THAT didn’t hold up. Leaving potential problems – one of them likely to lead to an economic crash – to the next guy is kind of irresponsible, at best. My best excuse was that he was horse trading. I give this, you give that. He DID end his administration with a balanced budget. But, again, he ran into “smartest man” problems. Even if he was horse trading, the damage he did to get the gains was a Pyrrhic victory.

The longer the evidence mounted, the more I realized that a very charismatic person had deceived the American people (me, included) and then helped the GOP do as much damage to the country as they could get away with – and it was a LOT. Back then, we didn’t HAVE a network of bullpucky out there working diligently every day trying to convince people that false things are true and true things are false. (In fact, we can thank Bill, at least in part, for that development.)

So I get it and I don’t sit in judgement of rank and file cons for believing a world-class con man. After all, we day-to-day Americans aren’t schooled in the ways of the criminal mind. It’s the very thing that makes us vulnerable to those who are. They know all the tips and tricks that makes thievery profitable and we don’t know the defenses to those tricks until we’ve been exposed to them. In short, honest people are unprepared to make good judgements about dishonest people.

There’s an old saying. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” It’s a good saying. Basically, it means there’s no shame in being deceived by a con man. It’s what they do. It’s NOT what you do. But if the same con man comes back and offers to sell you the same bridge (or whatever), and you hand over another $20,000.00 thinking you’re about to get rich…again…well, you kind of deserve what you get, right?

Are you a con who happily offered up some of your hard earned money to help the faux “Billionaire” defend his election claims? I applaud your loyalty. I’m sorry to say, it seems you got snookered. As it happens, the dumbass used ‘The Big Lie’ to commit ‘The Big Fraud.’ His story about voter fraud was used heavily to raise money. It was a grift. He SAID the money was for his defense fund. There WAS no defense fund. He said it would support his preferred candidates. To date, there is precious little evidence he has financially supported the vast majority of them. He just kept theyour money.

I’ll tell you this: there’s no shame in having believed in trump. Continuing to believe in him even after knowing he lies, he cheats, and he steals – from YOU? There’s going to be shame and it’s going to be plentiful…