Make Trump's Racist Comments Unprofitable For Him.
Trump's behavior changes when he knows it will impact him positively or negatively financially. Instead of hoping he will suddenly care that Americans are endangered by his comments let's use our understanding of his psyche and focus on what he cares about--money--then come up with multiple legal methods to take it away from him. The goal:
Make Trump's businesses lose millions in revenue whenever he makes racist statements.
Why focus on just his racist comments? Because the people who will be hurt by Trump calling #COVID19 the Chinese Virus are an important audience who have unique power at this moment in time. To understand why Trump's doing this and how best to react read Kurt Eichenwald's great Twitter thread and Amanda Marcotte's excellent article at Salon. Here are my thoughts for activists on what we can do about it.
As Eichenwald points out, we know how Trump and the right plays the game of "trolling the Libs" then following it up with bad faith arguments and definitions.
2...the purpose was SPECIFICALLY (according to the political consultant's strategy") to lead non-scumbags to react "That's racist!" Then they would sneer to their rabid supporters "Democrats bringing out the racism card! They cant even call it its real name just for politics!...
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 18, 2020
So how do we take away Trump's money? The New York Times did a piece on how much this crisis is costing Trump. They point out that he is not personally invested as heavily in the stock market as others. "Trump Is Losing Money in the Markets, Too" March 14, 2020 by David Enrich.
Trump's Finances Must Be Impacted Personally
1) Tank the value of his real estate.
Trump's money is in real estate. Who buys over-priced real estate? Rich people and money launderers. When you make money for rich people they let you do what you want--but with the crash they are pissed at him. They can direct their anger at him by reducing his income in the area where his personal fortune lies--real estate.
2) Target Trump's Revenue Streams. Levy Fines and Penalties
Trump loves golf. He is invested heavily in golf courses. Do any rich Chinese-Americans golf? Might they cancel their memberships at his courses to send a message? What about that course in Scotland that he turned into a overpriced gas station and mandatory rest stop for the military? Is there a fine for this fraud? Can we claw back some of the previous over priced gas? Have we stopped current revenue from that? Ban future revenue?
3) Expose Who has Financial Leverage Over Trump
Are you a Chinese-American who has insider knowledge of Trump's finances or where his revenue comes from? You could go to the media as a whistleblower but that takes time. Or you could do what he does.
- Contact him directly and tell him what you know.
- Ask him to stop calling it the Chinese Virus. If he does, nobody needs to know. If he doesn't, well then you go the whistleblower route.
4) Commandeer His Properties
Are you a mayor in Miami who needs properties to house the sick? Commandeer the Trump National Doral golf resort! Trump should have already offered it, like he offered it for hosting the G7, but he didn't. Therefore it should be commandeered to help Americans and not Trump's bottom line. To be fair the state should pay him the same rate they pay any hotel they take over and not the inflated rates he charges the Secret Service.
On Friday The Hill Reported Mar-a-Lago closes, other Trump properties cut staff: Why build hospitals when you have those lovely bungalows ready? Those resorts would be perfect! States have emergency laws they can use, they don't have to evoke Eminent domain. The point is to find multiple methods in multiple areas to reduce his revenues.
5) Withhold Money
We know that Trump uses his properties to get cash from people who want favors from him. What if a wealthy Chinese person wants Trump to stop blaming the Chinese for his own mistakes? This person could just hint that a change in language would ensure Trump keeps getting millions in
bribes re-election contributions.
Worried this might be illegal? To quote Mick Mulvaney, "This happens all the time! Get over it!" Also, if Trump ends up getting the money he won't complain. It's not like congress allocated the rich person's money and by law couldn't hold it up.
Do It Publicly
I say do all this publicly. I say use all legal methods. But that's because I believe in the rule of law and I don't have an army of lawyers, daddy's money and my own personal AG to get me out of a jam.
However...rich and powerful people like to use their leverage privately. Prior to being President Trump did a LOT of private threatening of lawsuits and forced NDAs, so he knows how it works. But as we have seen smart phones record everything and he shouts on the phone. If Trump doesn't stop making racist statements those tapes are released.
Some of these suggestions are for rich and powerful people. Why? Because I pay attention to WHO my target listens to and WHAT makes them change their behavior. Trump listens to rich people who have financial leverage over him because he cares about money.
Financially Hurt Trump the Person, not Trump the President
If there is a move to reduce Trump's personal finances he will whine and respond as if America is being attacked. To counter this it should be made clear that the actions are focused on reducing Trump the individual's profits. Concurrently there should be humanitarian outreach to all Americans. We are already seeing acts like this from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma The message from them can be:
"Trump makes racist comments. We don't want to punish the American people for this, so here are some good things for all of you. However, the financial pain on Trump personally and his businesses will continue until he stops with his racist comments."
People are angry at Trump. This is an opportunity to do something while at home emailing friends. Share this with your friends. Do you know any rich Chinese-American golfers? Multi-millionaires who can use their real estate holdings to punish Trump?
Will rich supporters turn on Trump? They might. You never know when a Fox News watching mother will die because she listened to something Trump said. Those people need a perfectly legal outlet for their anger.
Be legal. Be polite. Be persistent
If you are successful expect to be attacked. Prepare for the threats coming back. He brags about hitting back and punching down. Note the violent words he uses. Record the threats. Bring them to the media when they happen. There are lots of smart people who will help you.
Also, I want to STRONGLY condemn any suggestions of violence toward Trump or any members of his family. No jokes about violence either. Those who know me know I've been fighting violent rhetoric from the right-wing media since 2005. De-funding them because of their violent rhetoric is a method that I have successfully used and it has made an impact on the entire industry. Act legally, non-violently and persistently. This is not Rwanda.
It will be hard to know if any of these financial pressures on Trump will stop him from making racist comments. The goal is to change his language because of the consequences to the rest of America. But even it they don't change his language, if our actions cost him money that is a success, because it will hurt him.
If you really want to hurt Trump take away what he cares about most, his money.
UPDATED MARCH 21, 2020 3:00 pm PDT White House Press Briefing
Trump is asked how the coronavirus is hurting his businesses. Part 1
Reporter asks: Do you expect your family companies to seek government assistance?
Trump: " I don’t know. I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have."
Cross posted to spockosbrain