Book Review: People vs. Donald Trump, by Mark Pomerantz

Pomerantz' book on Trump is a virtuoso summary of a complex, egocentric, clever and corrupt man who, to this time has escaped legal judgement. (At this writing this may change with his recent indictment for the first of many ongoing investigations.) Trump's assets are considerable, built by family wealth at the start, augmented by television fame and brash bravado, and based on loans supported by false estimates of value. While Trump has refused to honor many debts to small and medium-sized loaners, and all large American banks have declined to loan money to Trump, no losses to date have been taken by Deutsche Bank, his primary lender.

Trump's behavior in this admittedly unfavorable book is described as that of a ruthless bully - cunning, with absolute (one-way) loyalty required - in short similar to a crime boss and not unlike John Gotti in many ways. But unlike Gotti, Trump is not a common criminal, killer, or drug dealer. He has a legitimate business that augments operations with ongoing and repeated criminal activity through systematic over-valuation of real estate properties to secure more financing along with dramatic undervaluing for purposes of real-estate taxes. His mantra: no victims thus no fraud. Trump is described as an "inveterate liar, firmly established by long practice."

In terms of style, Pomerantz's habit of using only first-names of many people gets old fast and for one I lost the ability to remember the blizzard of who was who ... it's a bad writing technique. But on the whole, it's almost inconceivable that roughly half of the country voted for this man, who tried seriously to steal the election of 2020. Of that half, two-thirds of them are fervently loyal through thick and thin. Historians will ponder how such a man came to the Presidency and nearly repeated in office, never giving up his loss and still in the arena!


9 Responses

  1. JK James George
    From Anon-1: The problem with fundamentalist religious people is that they seem to want someone to follow. Someone to tell them what to think. Black vs White are the answers they desire. There is no shortage of applicants who want that job. People eager to tell us what God wants us to do. To be sure, life would be a lot simpler if that were the case. These same folks become dangerous if anyone thinks different or says anything that brings what they want to believe or were told to believe into question. The initial response is not " Gee, that is a different way to solve or look at a problem " . No, the response is," this person is attacking our beliefs and we must stop him." For the so called fundamental conservative , Truth is determined by the number of people who agree with their position. If you challenge those numbers , you put your life at risk. You can ask George Soros . Emoji
  2. JK James George
    From Anon-2: Well, you are braver than I am. I expect you'll get a lot of push-back on this, particularly from the two guys who used the name "TRUMP" in (I think) a radoio contest a few years ago.
  3. JK James George
    From Anon-3: Jim, you are a very courageous person to write this in a country which has become more divided than united thanks to that individual and to the great satisfaction of Mr Xi in China. I wonder how many hate mails you have received. Some time ago I commented on all those school shootings and, man, did I get hate mail (even from well-known FOC ham radio members). I have been in the US many times lecturing on contraception in medical departments of the greatest universities from East to West and I never felt safe in a country where any idiot is licensed to carry a handgun. In the meantime, Jim, keep well and enjoy every day.
  4. JK James George
    From Anon-4: People have an irrational reverence for this guy who inspires so much cognitive dissonance. Comments made by a Trump-voting relation of mine: “He’s a billionaire so he will be a great president because he cannot be bribed — he doesn’t need the money!” “I sent $500 to his legal defense fund.” The mind boggles.
  5. JK James George
    From Anon-5: It should be noted that John Gotti was at least loved in his neighborhood .Emoji Don Johnson of Mimi Vice fame tell a story of how the Donald approached him and went on and on about how impressed he was with Johnson efforts. Don Johnson races the big ocean race boats. Trump went on about how he wanted to be a sponsor of Johnson's race team. Johnson agreed but Trump added, he wanted the Trump name on the side of Johnson's race boat to be larger than all the other names. Eager to have a new sponsor, Johnson had the million-dollar boat repainted with a large Trump name taking up both sides of the boat. Trump never paid one dime in sponsorship. Every dog has its day.
  6. JK James George
    From Anon-6: I agree with you. Tough and scary times in our country.
  7. JK James George
    From Anon-7: Very well written, I don’t see any hot link to where I can leave a comment though. (It's at the bottom of my screen so it should work for you.)
  8. JK James George
    From Anon-8: I think I am scratching my head more than you. As a former Republican politician, I am surprised at how much the party has transitioned to Trump and how he has found new support. One one hand, he does articulate a message of concern and anger for the forgotten middle and lower classes of workers (of all ethnicities). No one else has tried to help with that. On the other hand there are many other issues that you nicely addressed which puzzle me as a devout Christian and mildly conservative American with regard to his base of support. I would never have predicted we would never see a Republican President not highly critical on Russia or espousing strong anti-communist/ anti-totalitarian views. Trump criticized and belittled a war hero (McCain) and was rewarded with more support. Please wake me up and tell me it has been a bad dream?
  9. JK James George
    From Anon-9: This person is a menace to democracy. It is amazing how many people support the jerk. For the first time, I have let him mess up relationships with friends. Last week I quit my “beer buddies” because they all are in support of him. And all they want to talk about is how wonderful he is. I am worried about the future of our country.

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