Trump's the Worst

[Content Note: Harassment.]

I know saying "Trump's the worst" is like saying water is wet at this point, but still. He really, really is.

I've got a new piece at BNR about a particularly odious chapter in Donald Trump's history: The time he orchestrated a campaign of harassment against tenants of a rent-stabilized building he'd purchased for the purpose of tearing it down and erecting luxury condos in its place.
For five years, Donald mercilessly harassed the residents of the 14-story building near New York City's Central Park, whose only "fault" was calling home a place that Donald wanted to demolish for his own profit.

Lawsuits brought by the tenants report that Donald engaged in the typical scurrilous behavior of profiteering landlords trying to oust tenants—instituting absurd and onerous rules, attempting to find reasons to break leases, refusing to do necessary repairs—but Donald went above and beyond even the usual contemptible tactics.
Just a few months later, on New Year's Eve, several tenants received identical "lease violation" warning letters. The previous building owner had given renters permission to knock down walls and renovate their apartment units. But Trump was reversing that exception, and renters had only 12 days to rebuild the walls — or face eviction.
Tenants, many of whom were elderly, also alleged that Donald cut off both their hot water and heat during the winter. He took out a newspaper ad inviting homeless people to take up residence in the building. Work crews kicked up dust into the apartment of a tenant with emphysema.

One of the tenants, Dr. Michael Richman, said bluntly that Donald was "willing to resort to any device or tactic to drive out the tenants from the building."

From their homes.
Click on through to read the whole thing.

In other Trump news, Josh Marshall writes about Trump just bald-faced lying in order to stir up racial resentments and foment division (emphases original):
Everybody took note when Donald Trump repeatedly claimed that American Muslims across the river in New Jersey celebrated and cheered as the Twin Towers fell on 9/11—an entirely fabricated claim. Last night on Bill O'Reilly's show and then separately at a rally in Westfield, Indiana he did something very similar and in so doing cemented his status an impulsive propagator of race-hatred and violence.

The details of the rapid-fire fulmination are important. So let's look at them closely.

Trump claimed that people—"some people"—called for a moment of silence for mass killer Micah Johnson, the now deceased mass shooter who killed five police officers in Dallas on Thursday night. There is no evidence this ever happened. Searches of the web and social media showed no evidence. Even Trump's campaign co-chair said today that he can't come up with any evidence that it happened. As in the case of the celebrations over the fall of the twin towers, even to say there's 'no evidence' understates the matter. This didn't happen. Trump made it up.

The language is important: "When somebody called for a moment of silence to this maniac that shot the five police, you just see what's going on. It's a very, very sad situation."

Then later at the Indiana rally: "The other night you had 11 cities potentially in a blow-up stage. Marches all over the United States—and tough marches. Anger. Hatred. Hatred! Started by a maniac! And some people ask for a moment of silence for him. For the killer!"

A would-be strong man, an authoritarian personality, isn't just against disorder and violence. They need disorder and violence. That is their raison d'etre, it is the problem that they are purportedly there to solve. The point bears repeating: authoritarian figures require violence and disorder.
And let's be clear: This is a direct response to President Obama having given a much-publicized address at the memorial service for the Dallas police officers in which he said: "I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem."

The President reassures the country that our divisions are not as deep as they appear; Hillary Clinton urges the country to listen to one another to work toward meaningful unity; and Trump responds by making shit up out of whole cloth in order to undermine those messages, because he is empowered by exploiting fear.

This man is dangerous. He will gleefully rip the country apart in service to his own ego.

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