Saturday, February 27, 2016

Taunting The Subway Pitchman

Nope.  I’m not talking about the spokesman for the sandwich joint who got arrested on child pornography charges, but the guy that came under a blitzkrieg of fire at the last GOP debate for being a purveyor of the bargain to be had on a shady deal—“the Manhattan street corner watch salesman.”

Donald Trump is proud of his “brand” but even the richest of brands are robbed by poor character.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tag teamed The Donald and never relented.  In debates past, Trump has successfully absorbed the mockery from his rivals on stage, but Thursday’s debate was a different animal altogether.  It started earlier in the day with failed 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s incendiary charge of a possible “bombshell” in Trump’s tax returns.

That opened the door to Rubio reminding debate viewers of Trump’s hiring of undocumented Polish workers to build his signature skyscraper in New York City, his fake Trump University and his clothing line and ties made in Mexico.

The con man is a dark triad of psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism.  (Ever notice how Trump always refers to himself in the third person?)

Con artists surround us:  Bernie Madoff.  Nigerian princes.  Psychics. But we never think we’ll fall prey to their wiles. We damn sure can spot a gimmick a mile away.  Right?

Beware the Ides of March.  There’s a little trick from the con artists’ handbook—Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People—called the Mark Anthony Gambit.  The premise comes from Shakespeare in which Mark Anthony begins a funeral oration for Julius Caesar, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”  Anthony’s rhetoric exudes the art of persuasion and an artifice used to veil intent.

Behold “the art of the deal.”

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