Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Resistance: the selling of the inauguration

In the midst of all the other ways our con man president-elect plans to profit from his new position, the selling of the inauguration festivities can almost seem a minor misdemeanor. After all, Obama's second inauguration, a $53 million dollar party, also ran on corporate donations.

But our gilded Cheeto aims to surpass previous shindigs.

Tiers of V.I.P. donors have been created, aiming to raise up to $75 million from special interests, which won’t be forgotten when the new administration gets down to governing.

The money tree is topped by a million-dollar-plus bracket promising donors a “candlelight dinner,” where Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania, will drop by; a lunch with cabinet appointees and Republican congressional leaders; and special entree to inaugural balls and parties. The tiers bottom out at $25,000, the cheapest ticket in a kind of garage sale for plutocrats.

NY Times

Since the Bigly Loser of the popular vote squeaked into victory on November 8, there have been calls for a boycott of his -- and his children's -- properties. The buyers of the inaugural festivities may prove better targets. Do consumer brands like Coke and Pepsi want 62.5 million of us mad at them? Probably not.

Boycotts take organization and focus or they are just empty gestures -- but boycotts are also perfectly suited to the internet era. You don't have to wave signs in front of offending groceries for months as we did in the 1960s and 70s for the union grape boycott in order to get the word out. A focused boycott of Trump's corporate enablers could create a healthy democratic friction. After all, in the GOPer worldview where the unfettered market is the supreme god, consumer choice is among the highest of values.

Wayne Barrett, investigative reporter for the Village Voice, wrote the book on the Donald's early misadventures in 1992. A current interview with this experienced observer is worth reading in full. But on today's subject, his conclusion is succinct:

Is greed what motivates Trump?

I think greed has been the driving force of his life, but now he can be a passive investor. So much money is going to come to him over the course of the next four years that he can be as greedy as he wants to be, and not actually have to do much to enhance his financial interests. I think he will step over the line here and there. He already seems willing to do that. But it’s going to be easy money. The easiest money he has ever earned.

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