Saturday, July 13, 2024

Donald Trump for Sale.

November 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Money/Business, News, Politics, Weekly Columns

( In a suburb near my mid-sized city, there is a commercial building on a corner. Across the street is a grocery store, a discount store and a Burger King. Next door is a car dealer. There’s a liquor store on the other side and a convenience store right across the street. In short, it’s a neighborhood that can sustain life all by itself, and it’ll stay that way as long as the frayed supply chain doesn’t break.

For a while, this little commercial building was a coffee shop. For a while, it was a place where you could buy vape juice.

The building was probably most famous (at least locally) during the couple of years when it was what the locals called “The Trump Store.”

Some feverish entrepreneur owned several of these stores in Massachusetts, and he filled all of them with a tastefully chosen collection of MAGA gear and T-shirts extolling guns, Jesus and the more robust forms of patriotism. Almost all of his merchandise was made in China, but the “America First” crowd doesn’t care any more about human rights in China than they do about voting rights in Alabama.

It was a merry little spot, a gathering place for oppressed white people of all shades, from typing paper to cream-colored, and the parking lot was filled with pick-up trucks sporting “Not A Liberal” bumper stickers.

The store’s parking lot was also the sign of several mini-Trump rallies during which the American flag, sometimes butchered with a slogan among the stripes, was displayed next to the Confederate flag. Signs were held, and horns were honked, and the American middle finger was lavishly displayed by the demonstrators and those driving by the demonstrators. Invariably, there was a small knot of long-haired freaky people just a little down the street singing songs of peace, robustly supporting gay rights, and because this is America, lavishly displaying their middle fingers. In addition, there were three bored cops, grateful for the overtime, but tired of the noise and politically inclined at least a little toward the Trump people.

When the second coming of Christ got creamed trying for a second term, the Trump Store hung on long enough to sell St. Patrick’s Day merchandise, then, it held what I called a “closed due to Democracy sale” and vanished. The building remains vacant. The owner, I’m hoping, went off to some pleasant resort where you can meet Stormy Daniels and write your name in a very thick history book.

Rumor has it that the store is soon to reopen, selling the same merchandise it sold the first time, but with the addition of some T-shirts featuring clever puns about President Joe Biden’s supposed lack of bowel control and maybe some shirts showing Kyle Rittenhouse brandishing his weapon, his pudgy body outlined against the stripes of the American flag.

If the rumor is true (and aren’t all rumors true in 2021?), then the owner is taking the kind of gamble that makes you love the sheer gutsiness of capitalism.

Sure, the store’s gonna go big at first. The town’s been without hate merchandise for quite a while now, and the citizens have had to subsist on a diet of continual oppression at the hands of blacks, gays, non-Christians and people who went to college. Some of the MAGA hats have been lost. Some of the T-shirts have been worn out or were ruined by tears and beer on the night Trump was soundly rejected by the American voter.

But what if Trump doesn’t run? The store’s owner could be left with yet another backroom full of T-shirts he’ll have to sell at half price, which is still more than he paid the owner of the Chinese sweatshop where they were made.

My father was a bartender when I was young, and he knew more than a little about playing the ponies. He used to say that there was no group of people so poor that somebody couldn’t make a living cheating them. If the Trump store reopens, people who make $20 an hour will pay $35 for a T-shirt proclaiming that they are too smart to be fooled. The hustle is so beautiful it takes your breath away.

Columnist; Marc Dion

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