Last night, NPR, either on “Ted Talk” or “All things Considered,” interviewed Tony Schwartz, the author of The Art of the Deal. That’s right, the Donald did not even write his own autobiography! He probably has not even read his own autobiography! The most that can be said for it is that Schwartz tried to write it as if it were written by Trump, with a few glosses to make him less brutal and more saleable. Schwartz says he did it for the money. He listened to Trump make deals, and in place of any theory or experience, the Donald promises to make us a better deal. He says not hat he means or thinks to be best or true, but what ever will get him what he wants. I am still somehow convinced, though, that most of his speech was written by him, and there is some improvisation off the text, like that thing about his new American credo. I am also still convinced that he has not read the Constitution and does not know the law, nor does he intend to make “the law” obey the law. He is indeed nothing more than a salesman, and the content of effects, the political and ethical effects, are irrelevant. We might even profit, to the extent that other nations, too, can be snowed, were it not that his policies and executive actions might lead quickly to foreign and civil war. The businessman does not see or appreciate the context of political liberty necessary to secure the free market in which they swim. Nor does he know that it is secured not by deals, but by ethics and politics.
Hillary finally has picked up on Brian Balke’s characterization of Trump as the traveling scientific peddler in The Wizard of Oz who turn out to be the wizard behind the curtain- a salesman who can fly in a balloon, and so impresses all the munchkins of Oz. And let her be our Dorothy, for the truth is that the American people are like Dorothy. We have to overcome the appearance of the shyster salesman, that is the American myth, our challenge. And watch this guy, he does not care, he will send you to get the broom of the Western witch for him, expecting that you will not return, and does not care about your dog either. We have always had the power to return to Kansas with three clicks of our heels. We need, though, first to have the courage to look behind the curtain.