Presidential Miscalculations

Serious ways Trump has miscalculated of late:
a. Thinking that parents would appreciate appealing to their Boy Scout sons’ pre-pubescent and adolescent natures by regaling them on the topic of masculine ‘success’ in terms of sexual predation, sexual license, and depravity on a yacht by a racist and anti-Semitic Jew (Like St. Paul), whom he held up as Scout model, ‘success’ and exemplar. Still more mystifying, Trump’s chosen example was no true exemplar at all, but ended up as a resounding failure and disgrace, in no way modelling success on any level, at all.

From Wikepedia: “Levitt refused to integrate his developments. The Jewish Levitt barred Jews from Strathmore, his first pre-Levittown development on Long Island in New York, and he refused to sell his homes to blacks. His sales contracts also forbade the resale of properties to blacks through restrictive covenants, although in 1957 a white couple resold their house to the first black family to live in a Levitt home. Levitt’s all-white policies also led to civil rights protests in Bowie, Maryland in 1963. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union opposed Levitt’s racist policies, and the Federal Housing Administration prepared to refuse mortgages on his next Levittown.

“Nevertheless, Levitt would not back down and continued planning another whites-only Levittown in Willingboro Township, New Jersey. He fought legal challenges in New Jersey courts until the United States Supreme Court refused to hear his case. The 2003 PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion, by California Newsreel, featured Levittown and nearby Roosevelt in documenting systemic racism in the development of the early suburbs.”

Moreover, the man was a stunning intellectual, personal, and business failure. From Your Dictionary: “While he was married, Levitt had an ongoing love affair with his secretary, Alice Kenny. He married her in 1959, divorcing his wife after 29 years of marriage. In 1969, Levitt divorced his second wife and married Simone Korchin, an art dealer from France.

“Levitt bought a 237-foot yacht, a 30-room mansion in Mill Neck, New York, $3 million in jewelry, paintings by Renoir, Monet, Degas, and Chagall, and a Rolls Royce. To avoid paying taxes, he had not converted his ITT stock to cash. Instead, he borrowed against it to build subdivisions in places like Iran, Venezuela, and Nigeria. When the ITT shares crashed, Levitt’s holdings lost about 90 percent of their original value. Chase Manhattan Bank seized Levitt’s stock as collateral. When the foreign projects floundered, he was millions of dollars in debt.

“Regulators forbade Levitt from doing business in New York. They said he took homeowners’ deposits for Florida homes and money that should have been used for repairs and maintenance. Investigators claimed that Levitt also looted at least $17 million from his family’s charities to cover personal expenses. He was forced to sell his mansion.

“Levitt died in Manhasset, New York on January 28, 1994, on the verge of bankruptcy and unable to pay his bills. In an interview shortly before his death, Levitt said he would like to be remembered as “a guy that, I suppose, gave value for low-cost housing. Not somebody that gave value for half-million-dollar houses. Anybody can do that.” Levitt saw himself as more than a real estate developer. He sold people the American Dream, in its cold war guise. “No man who owns his own house and lot can be a communist,” Levitt once said. “He has too much to do.”

My point: Even a rudimentary Google search would turn up the fact that, among a tsunami of offensive inappropriateness, Trump’s selection of male exemplar was fucked. But Trump had even more than that — he had personal knowledge of the man:

“And he went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life. I won’t go on any more than that because you’re Boy Scouts, so I’m not going to tell you what he did.”

[Audience boos.]

“Should I tell you? Should I tell you?”

[Audience shouts, “Yes!”]

“Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life. So — look at you. Who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?”

“So, he had a very, very interesting life, and the company that bought his company was a big conglomerate …” [Trump explains that years later Levitt bought his company back.]

“He so badly wanted it, he got bored with this life of yachts and sailing and all of the things he did in the south of France and other places. You won’t get bored, right? You know, truthfully, you’re workers. You’ll get bored, too. Believe me. Of course, having a few good years like that isn’t so bad.”

“In the end he failed, and he failed badly. Lost all of his money. He went personally bankrupt, and he was now much older. And I saw him at a cocktail party, and it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party. It was the party of Steve Ross who was one of the great people — he came up and discovered — really founded — Time Warner and he was a great guy.”

“He had a lot of successful people at the party. And I was doing well so I got invited to the party. I was very young, and I go in — but I’m in the real-estate business — and I see 100 people, some of whom I recognize and they’re big in the entertainment business …”

[Trump recognizes Levitt.] “So I went over and talked to him, and I said, Mr. Levitt, ‘I’m Donald Trump.’ He said ‘I know.’”

“But I’ll tell you, it was very sad, and I never forgot that moment. And I thought about it, and it’s exactly true. He lost his momentum. Meaning, he took this period of time off long — years — and then when he got back, he didn’t have the same momentum. In life, I always tell this to people, you have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum, and if you don’t have it that’s okay. Because you’re going to go on and you’re going to learn and you’re going to do things that are great. But you have to know about the word momentum.”

So… After all of that, Trump thought that the problem with Levitt, that the reason for all his problems, was MOMENTUM?

To Be Continued (with b and c, with T’s miscalculation as to whether his base would appreciate the banning of transgendered service personnel in the armed forces, his cretinous plan to send Scaramucci out to act as his uncensored Id and say the sorts of things about close-in advisors who are crowding him (Bannon) or not serving him well enough (Priebus) that should only be said in his late night private ravings, and his similarly misguided notion that his oft-stated aim to let Obama Care fail, after his bullshit has destroyed the Health Care profession and the Health Insurance market, would go down well with… anyone.



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Yvonne Owens, PhD

Yvonne Owens, PhD


I'm a writer/researcher/arts educator on Vancouver Island and all round global citizen who loves humans even though we're such a phenomenal pain-in-the-ass.