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The Problem with Politics in 2016

The problem with Politics in 2016 in a nutshell? Donald Trump was right (at least about this.)

Facts: In January of 2016, Iran released multiple American hostages which may or may not have been related to a cash ransom. Donald Trump claims he saw the video of a US payment to Iran to release the hostages.

August 4, 2016

Donald Trump, while speaking at a rally in Portland, Maine, claims he has seen video of the transfer of $400 million from the US to Iran at the same time as Tehran released US hostages.

President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed suggestions a $400 million payment to Iran amounted to a ransom paid in return for the release of American hostages.

August 5, 2016

Donald Trump backed off a false claim, admitting that he had not seen a video of a $400 million payment being unloaded from a US plane in Iran.

August 18, 2016

The US used a plane filled with $400 million in cash intended for Iran as "leverage" to ensure that American prisoners were released by Tehran, a State Department spokesman said Thursday.

The call was an attempt to help explain the way a $400 million cash payment -- part of a settlement in another dispute -- was handled as leverage for the prisoners. The payment has been criticized as ransom for the prisoners, a charge the administration sought to debunk Friday.

(All Italicized headlines directly from CNN)

So now we’re arguing semantics? Donald Trump is a liar because he didn’t see the video of the real hostage payment, which did take place, and the Administration admits took place? But now we’re arguing whether that was a separate, unrelated $400 million payment? So Donald Trump was right that the payment took place, just not the manner in which he stated.

Which is why we are now in the Shoot-the-Messenger age in America. The facts don't matter: Did you follow the rules when revealing the truth? (See Edward Snowden)

Am I going to vote for Donald now? No, I stand by my statement from 2015 below straight from my movie promotion page…

August 2, 2015 on the Blasphemers Facebook Page

This is off topic, but I just want to throw this out there. I’m probably personally voting for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president in 2016. Probably. But the only candidate I implore you not to vote for is Donald Trump. As an independent filmmaker who made a movie about a fictional amateur soccer team, I have to say one of my favorite sports movies is Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? The movie is about a scrappy bunch of owners and players who tried to make professional spring football work in 1983.

The concept was that football was so popular that there was room for a “fun” spring league and the NFL in the fall. The USFL had a business plan, it had its own niche, and it had a little bit of traction. The problem was, the owner of the New Jersey Generals put his own personal agenda ahead of the leagues and convinced many of the other owned to switch to fall football for the 1986 season. The movie was clear that, in the end, it was a lot of guys looking to cash checks in an NFL merger as opposed to growing this entity called the USFL. And, if you haven’t guessed yet, Donald Trump was the ringleader. His goal was to make a small investment in the USFL and then force a merger, then collect a huge return on his investment by being an owner in the NFL. He had no interest whatsoever in growing something new.

Trump is clearly the bad guy in the movie Who Killed the USFL? But some of his business acumen did show through. The moral of the story isn’t that he won the anti-trust suit (for $3), it isn’t that the NFL did eventually co-opt some of the USFL’s business practices, or even his team that was pretty good when he owned it. It’s that (Trump) did not care one iota for an entity bigger than himself. What happens when he’s the president? For a foreshadowing of the future, watch the scene where Trump pulls the Mic off of his suit in the documentary.

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