The best (i.e. worst) con artists know that it’s not about getting the victim to trust them, it’s about convincing the victim that the con artist trusts them.
We’re now one year into the longest con ever perpetrated on the American (and in essence, the global) public, and slowly, surely, some of the hapless fools who find themselves holding a jar of repugnant snake oil are waking up to the fraud they’ve played a part in. They’re realizing that their ego and desire for recognition is what put Donald J. Trump in the White House. They didn’t vote for him because they trusted him, but rather because the world’s greatest con man convinced them that they could be trusted to “do the right thing”.
The grifted are waking up to the reality they’ve been had, but it’s fruitless to think that they will ever publicly acknowledge it. Who in their right mind ever wants to admit they’ve been had by an orange-haired orangutan (with all due respect to orangutans around the world); who wants to admit they let their own inferiority and conflated sense of self-importance outweigh common sense and human decency?
We’ll never see a mass mea culpa from those who fell for the ultimate con. The closest we’ll get is Timber Timbre’s “Grifting”, a message from the future or a parallel reality: “Building trust through kindness / To exploit the finest / Walls and bridges burning / Time and table turning”. Uncomfortable and unnerving, the track saunters with a Young Americans-like neo-soul strut through grimy Station To Station back alleys. Like grifters who can’t believe the suckers fell for the long con, Timber Timbre wryly narrate the game: “Pulling off a fast one / Riffing off the last one / Reeling in the big one”.
Brewing underneath all this insanity is the reminder that in politics as in life, what’s done can always be undone. “Fool me once, shame on you,” the old proverb goes. Here’s hoping America won’t get fooled again.