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Why we now praise Trump for playing vital role in GOP race

Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister

August 10, 2015 By Charles F. Otey, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
GOP contender Donald Trump. AP Photo/John Minchillo
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Could Trump’s Muckraking Be Undoing of Infamous Citizens United Case?

One month ago, this columnist called Donald Trump a “thoughtless, poorly informed bully,” whose rise in the polls was the result of superficial, irresponsible cable television as well as his incessant and ignorant “racist utterings.”

Since that time, I confess that I underestimated his most vital role in the campaign — not as a candidate, but as a muckraker.

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Never since the days of Teddy Roosevelt breaking up massive  trusts and monopolies have we been more in need of a true muckraker — a person or institution capable of stirring outrage by exposing how wealthy zealots and paid-for politicians protect their owners’ money and try to profit even more on the backs of our quickly vanishing middle class.

The one percent of the one percent have just about taken total control of our electoral process. It seems to this writer that the only guy around who can stir the muck that oozes from the likes of the Koches, Mellon-Scaifs and Edelsons is Trump. Remember the old phrase, “It takes one to know one?”

At first blush, it did indeed seem like Trump’s political misadventure was nothing more than a continuation of his angry and shallow television show, which hinged on his constant insults and disregard for the feelings of others.

Yet once he began trashing the “bought and paid-for” Congress and portrayed most of the other candidates as veritable money-beggars — heads bowed, hands stretched out in pitiful supplication — he hit a nerve (or a truth). It is distressing to all who have any respect for the rule of law.

There is practically no respect for Congress these days because voters know that politicians in Washington, D.C. bow to the wishes of their wealthy contributors whenever some financial patron pulls their string.

What was earlier a rampant disease — call it greed, the need to survive, or corruption — attacking the roots of our democracy has now become an epidemic. Thanks to various rulings of our current Supreme Court, money can be flushed without limit into the gaping maws of candidates whose desire for more and more money is a symptom of a disease that is out of control.

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Could Trump Expose Danger of ‘Selling Congress’ to Highest Bidders?

An unintended target of Trump’s fortuitous, blunderbuss attacks on the status quo has to be the infamous Citizens United case in which a 5-4 Supreme Court said that money is indeed “free speech.”

In effect, the Supreme Court was hanging out a “for sale” sign on Congress, signaling to ideologically driven billionaires that government is officially and legally available to the highest bidder.

Scary and Orwellian — thanks to that regrettable decision by the Roberts Court, it’s now the law that some voters are more equal than other voters.

Via this ruling, the Supreme Court is essentially taking us back to colonial times, when only landowners could vote. After all, they were more equal. Keep in mind also that, for more than 100 years, women were less equal as well, which makes one wonder why Supreme Court Justice John Scalia wants just about everything exactly — and literally — as it was 200 years ago.

Thanks to our top court, corporations are now people! This must have come as quite a shock to Brooklyn Law School professor emeritus Joe Crea, who taught us back in the day that “corporations are fictions created by the state” to insulate various businesses from wide-open liability for all kinds of misfortunes.

While rooting for Trump to continue his muckraking campaign, it’s clear that some of the other candidates would be much better suited — not now, though! — to take on Democrat Hillary Clinton in November 2016.

Of course, it’s disgusting when Trump demeans women and immigrants, but, for the time being, here’s hoping he continues to rant, rave and expose the ugliness of our current retail political system.

To most easily explain how one can urge Trump on while deploring most of what he says and does, we refer our readers to a piece that appeared in “Pro Bono Barrister” one month ago:

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Katy Tur Shows Trump as Ultimate Bully

(Reprinted from “Pro Bono Barrister,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 13, 2015)

Whoever doubted that Donald Trump is a poorly informed, thoughtless bully should go online to view the full half-hour one-on-one interview conducted by NBC’s Katy Tur.

While Tur — who just a few years back could be seen scurrying around Brooklyn carrying her own camera for Channel 12 to get stories — was polite, smiling, patient and, in truth, a bit flummoxed by the “Bully-In-Chief,” she held her ground despite the ravings, interruptions and (often repeated) misstatements of this intellectually challenged, self-proclaimed billionaire.

In truth, Trump never answered one question fully. He would rant, often at Tur and the media, at Hillary Clinton, the Chinese and even the Mexicans. (He still can’t let up on that, no matter how grossly miserable his infamous words were and still are being contradicted and stirring ire among Hispanics in particular and intelligent, sentient beings in general.)

Trump always claims he started out with practically nothing, willfully ignoring that he was trained and financed by a real estate mogul millionaire — his dad!

His rise in almost meaningless polls — which are driven by name recognition much more than acceptance of his ridiculous self-promotion and racist utterings — is cited and accepted, piecemeal, by the 24/7 cable television world, which fills its cycle largely with cheap talk. And Trump is the standard-bearer for cheap and usually misconceived talk.

What Trump is really doing is distracting voters, while Republican candidates want to focus on the likely Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. In this writer’s opinion, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush should have emulated the late, great Harry Truman, who publicly threatened to “punch in the face” a critic who panned his daughter’s piano playing skills.

Trump is also baring an ugly reality about modern-day politics: instead of speaking openly and honestly on critical issues, candidates play to various blocs at various times, which is why they all seem so mealy-mouthed when called upon to speak out clearly on a vital issue or to inveigh against demagogues like Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz.


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