What They Voted For: That Most Special of Interests

#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Donald Trump speaks to South Carolina voters in North Charleston, 19 February 2016. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Who: Darren Samuelsohn (Politico)
What: “Trump’s kids to run businesses via ‘blind trust,’ Trump attorney says”
When: 10 November 2016

Politico offers the necessary context:

Donald Trump’s vast business holdings will be placed into a blind trust with his oldest three children in charge, according to the president-elect’s attorney.

Trump during his campaign faced questions about how he’d handle his business dealings and potential conflicts if he were to become president, saying repeatedly he’d separate himself from the company. And while his lawyer Thursday used the term “blind trust” when discussing the family’s upcoming financial arrangement, putting Trump’s children in charge of a set of assets that their father is aware of does not constitute a blind trust. Under the legal definition of a blind trust, a public official places his finances under the management of an independent party. The official would have no knowledge of what is in the trust or how it is managed. On CNN, Cohen conceded Trump would have a difficult time satisfying critics who continue to raise doubts about their plans.

(Samuelsohn; boldface accent added)

This is how Trump voters and supporters will work around the cognitive dissonance of cronyism and nepotism in their ostensibly anti-corruption, anti-cronyist, anti-Establishment, anti-institutional figurehead: Ego defense. Redefining terms like nepotism and cronyism in order to exclude what one desperately wishes to protect requires some manner of neurotic complex; there is no precise classification for cravenly making it up as you go, so denial and suppression cannot in themselves suffice, as it is not so straightforward. There is some pretense of intellectualization and rationalization, but scrambling to justify post hoc projection and displacement―while flailing into concomitant secondary denial about whatever prior sentiments and processes one is replacingα―is neither intellectual nor rational.

More directly: They will redefine the terms “cronyism” and “nepotism”.

Maybe the RNC can help out. The Republican Establishment, after all, have some experience redefining words like “unprecedented”, and have proven very capable of manipulating certain people, such as reporters and Trump voters.

The reason modern presidents put their investments in blind trusts is to avoid potential corruption and/or conflicts of interest. If the person in the Oval Office has literally no idea what he or she is invested in, that president won’t―and can’t―make policy decisions based on the potential effects on his or her personal finances ....

.... Americans have already seen Trump use his campaign to boost his business interests. By adopting a blind trust that isn’t blind, the president-elect is setting the stage for a controversy that’s likely to dog him for as long as he’s in office.



α … without necessarily repealing, which, in turn, leads to further neurotic conflict and distress.

Image note Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Benen, Steve. “Trump giving new meaning to ‘self-funded’ campaigning”. msnbc. 22 June 2016.

—————. “Why Trump’s confusion about what a ‘blind trust’ is matters”. msnbc. 11 November 2016.

Samuelsohn, Darren. “Trump’s kids to run businesses via ‘blind trust,’ Trump attorney says”. Politico. 10 November 2016.

Shear, Michael D., Maggie Haberman, and Alan Rappeport. “Donald Trump Picks Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon as Strategist”. The New York Times. 13 November 2016.

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