FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

President Trump: the Hustler 2.0

On September 15, 2016, in an essay titled “The Hustler: Trump and the Mean Streets of East Los Angeles,” I argued that then-presidential candidate Donald J. Trump was hustling the American public. Now, thanks to the support of the FBI’s James Comey, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, Trump—as President of the United States—has continued to hustle the American public. Given his mastery, his next book should be titled “The Art of the American Hustle.”

In a nutshell, a hustler represents an individual who will say and do anything—without remorse or guilt—to serve his or her self-interest. While critics have labeled Trump many applicable terms, such as liar, erratic, narcissistic and thin-skinned, etc., I find that “hustler” best describes his twisted rhetoric and immoral actions.

When they speak or act, hustlers can’t be believed or trusted. I should know, since I grew up in the mean streets of East Los Angeles, where I encountered many of them. Also, as a long time political activist and analyst, I’ve observed and studied hustlers at the local, state and national level. This includes politicians (Republicans and Democrats alike), government officials, private developers, cops and other powerful individuals who hustle the American public to serve themselves.

Apart from Trump, Congressman D. Ryan (R-Wis.) is an excellent example of a hustler. While Ryan portrays himself as a “sensible” policy wonk who “cares” about the American people, his sinister obsession to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare represents an atrocious and inhumane political agenda. For example, as House Speaker, Ryan led the GOP’s successful efforts to rush a so-called health plan that will wreak havoc on millions of Americans.

While Ryan’s previously failed “health plan” would’ve left 24 million Americans without healthcare, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the negative impacts of his recently passed “health plan,” named the American Health Care Act (AHCA), appears to have similar catastrophic results for millions of Americans.

If this is such a “great plan,” as Trump claims, why not allow for the CBO to conduct a thorough analysis and provide a score?

Speaking of the orange elephant in the room, as “The Hustler 2.0,” Trump has argued that pre-existing conditions will be covered in the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. However, according to many analysts and reporters, like Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times (05/04/17), AHCA “allows states to opt out of ACA rules prohibiting insurers from charging sick people higher premiums.” This is like the GOP passing a law that allows states to opt out of federal minimum wage standards, child labor protections and anti-racist measures in public and private spheres (e.g., “whites only” lunch counters in the South). That is, according to the GOP, the federal government shouldn’t interfere if states want to deprive their residents from basic services and protections that all people deserve as rights, not privileges.

Also, let’s not forget about the border wall. First, Trump told us that Mexico was going to pay for it. Now, as the leader of the most powerful country in the world, he wants American taxpayers to pay for it, where Mexico will magically reimburse us in the future.

In terms of NAFTA (or the North American North American Free Trade Agreement), originally, Trump called it “the worst trade deal in the history of this country” (speech in Pennsylvania, 06/28/17) and vowed to reverse it. Now, after phone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, Trump will negotiate NAFTA with his trading partners. If that’s not a huuuge hustle, I don’t know what is?

I can go on and on about China, Russia, NATO and North Korea, but what’s the point?

Trying to keep up with “The Hustler 2.0” will only make “your head spin,” as Trump says when he’s boasting about something that he’s clearly clueless about!

Actually, apart from “The Hustler 2.0,” there’s a term that Mexicans—on both sides of the border—use for shameless individuals (or those who lack shame) that applies to Trump: sinvergüenza.

Sinvergüenza also applies to Ryan and the Republicans who publicly rejoiced about taking away healthcare from millions of Americans, if successful in the Senate.

More articles by:

Dr. Alvaro Huerta is an assistant professor of urban and regional planning and ethnic and women’s studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of “Reframing the Latino Immigration Debate: Towards a Humanistic Paradigm,” published by San Diego State University Press (2013).

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Justin Anderson
Don’t Count the Left Out Just Yet
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail