Many of us keep looking for positive signs that the present POTUS is not crazy, and that he really is trying to do right by this country. We keep trying to be optimistic…looking for the bright side. That, however, may be a big mistake. More and more it seems to be evident that as bad as it has been, it’s going to get even worse and we’re all heading towards a crumbling cliff in purgatory.

Number 45 is at heart a salesman. There are ethical salesmen and unethical salesmen. The former certainly wants to make the sale, but will tell you the good and bad about the product he/she is trying to sell you. The latter—the unethical one—will try to convince you that a jalopy is a Cadillac, that everything about the product being sold is great and that there are no flaws. The unethical one will tell you that this is the very best deal that one can make. Guaranteed. The unethical one will even lie, crazily embellish and misdirect the customer away from contrary information.

Think about Number 45. What kind of salesman is he? He’s sold himself to us as a smart and successful businessman. However, the facts show that while he has been successful at selling his name to be put on products, what he is very good at in business is bankruptcies. He has even called himself the “king of debt.” He’s borrowed much, paid back little, defaulted on much and stiffed workers and contractors. He has driven at least 6 companies into bankruptcy, eviscerated several employee pension funds, cost thousands of employees their jobs, signed agreements not to pay back anyone, and been barred from obtaining any more loans from American banks. Out of the ashes of many folks’ miseries he has caused, he has usually found a way to get himself paid. He regularly profits from the chaos he has authored.

That is what Number 45 is good at. Expecting more from him is a problem we have stuck on ourselves. So, the current government shutdown Number 45 has caused is no big deal to him—just another episode of being the “king of debt.” Regardless of him saying that ‘he can relate’ to those federal workers who will not receive paychecks this month because of the shutdown, he can only do so as a destroyer who looks out at the wreckage he has just caused. Number 45 still intends to get paid handsomely as others writhe in the economic pain he has caused.

He has also repeatedly said that a lot, even most, of the federal workers who will be impacted by the shutdown agree with his position on getting the border wall built. They, he said, have encouraged him to stick to his guns. Of course, he never provides any evidence to support this claim, and, in any case it isn’t true, based on the information regularly reported by news sources like the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Remember, the unethical salesman has no problem lying to the customer and trying to get the customer to believe that the pee splashing on him/her is simply golden rain that the customer needs. Number 45 has made a whole career out of doing that.

It’s time for us to walk away, reject the spiel, and try and find a better deal. Otherwise, we will just keep being punked by a grandiose showman.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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