December 1, 2014

In the course of an eight minute segment, Donald Trump and the Fox Friends managed to blame President Obama for inciting violence in Ferguson. That morphed into a discussion of another African American plagued with The Angry Black Man Syndrome, Ray Rice. Trump criticized Roger Goodell's handling of the elevator incident claiming, once again, it's all because of a shortage of leadership. If only Goodell was as gifted as the Donald at being a stellar C.E.O., everything would be better.

All that aside, the portion of the Trump-aggrandizing segment that really dings the irony-meter is how Trump claims the American Dream is alive and well for anyone who 1). believes it exists and 2). works hard. This is a man who has had way too many chances at unmerited upward mobility. Trump has declared bankruptcy a record four times and will most likely be the beneficiary of more bailout money. Without the slightest bit of shame, here he is, on national TV, claiming that any working-poor American could be a billionaire if they would just try harder. This is not a person who should be claiming that hard work alone, will get you to the top.
Alternet explains:

Many praise and analyze his “success” as if it were self-made, and they fail to attribute the proper credit to others in society where it is deserved. Despite what Trump may espouse, his success would have been in no way possible without his father, the general public, and the US government. Unfortunately, Trump decided to forget or selectively ignore these truths while forming his political philosophy, a sentiment made particularly clear during his brief bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

If you watch the Fox and Friends clip from the 5:17 mark, you will hear more malarkey than a Founding Fathers history lecture given by Michele Bachmann. Trump praises FBN's Making Money host, Charles Payne for refuting Professor Gregory Clark's commentary on upward mobility. Clark said that pretty much, the American Dream is dead.

It's very hard for groups in society to change their relative social mobility except in a very large number of generations.

Fox News knows that this crazy liberal professor is wrong, anyone can be rich in America. Their audience is comprised of people who want taxes low on the wealthy because they think they will be among them someday. The FBN host said that 23 million Americans quit their job because they think there's upward mobility and they're starting to see it, which proves his point exactly.(Did he mean to compliment the Obama economy?) Payne spoke about a Ukrainian immigrant who became a billionaire, as if that's a regular thing and then said,

...or you could go to regular people who are transitioning from the bottom to the top, but the American Dream is alive and well.

Without considering real world problems, like the insanely inadequate minimum wage, Trump parroted the nonsense that hard work is all it takes to make it big.

The fact is if you work hard, and you study hard, and you really get out there and do it, if you have the right ideas or whatever it is, look it takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of brain power and you have to be incentivized. The one negative and that was also brought up by Charles today, is that you have a welfare system that really is, it takes away the incentive, it takes away the incentive from a lot of good people, and great people that otherwise would be out there working, so you have that one problem. But the American dream is alive and well, you read about them all the time, you read about them every day.

All of us have read about that rare exception to the rule, when someone has a string of good fortune and catches a break, which hardly proves that the American dream is out there for everyone. Never mind a parent who has a child with born with a disability or who suffers through an illness that bankrupts the family; those people are just not trying hard enough. Kilmeade talks about the American dream being a mindset, and claims that if you don't think the American dream is there, you're not going to try to go get it. Brian clarifies for those who are still uncertain about the meaning of the Declaration of Independence " the pursuit of happiness, not guaranteed happiness." So Trump takes his final swipe at none other than one of the rarest upward mobility stories out there, President Obama, while trying to seem like the eternal optimist.

Despite what's happening with the country despite a lack of leadership and problems all over the place, the American dream is there and you see it every day, you see things happening every day that really virtually only happen here, it's a great place to be. And we're gonna fix it, we're gonna make it better, it's gonna get better and better, hopefully. But the American dream is alive and well and let's keep it that way.

"I love that message!" says Elisabeth. Steve Doocy happily proclaims, "you should know, you're living it!" Brian Kilmeade takes advantage of the spirited moment and says, "I hope I get him in the grab bag." Oh, too much funny this early in the morning, I just can't stand it. Just clap your hands and say I think I can, I think I can, over and over, and you can achieve the American dream, even with a black president. First things first, make sure you're born with a hefty inheritance.

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