O, where is thy comic relief? Oh yeah, I forgot about the big orange clownfish that is running for president of the United States.
In May, the Trump campaign paid more than $1 million to companies connected to its candidate, Donald Trump, on top of travel expenses for his kids. It's behavior that no one would expect from a man who informed America last year in a statement that his net worth now exceeds TEN BILLION DOLLARS (caps are his, of course). It's almost like this dude is actually broke and pulling the most elaborate scam in the 240-year history of the United States. That would be hard to believe from the man who gave us such classy companies as Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, and whatever that casino was in Atlantic City that went bankrupt.
But wait...there's more!!! Reporters combing through Trump's finance reports also found $35,000 in payments to a web advertising firm with almost no track record, based at an obscure New Hampshire residence but with an eye-catching name: Draper Sterling. As in, the names of the two lead fictional characters in TV's advertising-in-the-1960s drama Mad Men, Don Draper and Roger Sterling. At least someone connected to the Trump fiasco has a sense of humor, and good taste in television!
Fans of this blog (both of you, right?) know that I'd love to create a neologism or some buzzphrase, especially after my brilliant idea for a "norg" didn't exactly work out. In 2010, when I was writing about the Tea Party, I came up with this phrase "high-def hucksters" to describe a modern breed of political schlockmeister like Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin and the overlap between using fear to peddle useless junk (like "survival seeds") and using fear to peddle a useless ideology.
Little did I know then that the messiah of high-def hucksterism wasn't coming to save us until 2016. It seems like anyone who's ever watched "The Sting" late one night on TMC should be able to see through this grifter, yet maybe the art of the con is stronger than we realize. A poll today showed Trump essentially tied with Hillary Clinton in the key states of Ohio and (sigh) Pennsylvania. I think Don Draper had something to say about the fate of the American Empire in Mad Men's very first episode.