Trump, The Rentier Class Hero

For the conservatives in my life who can’t understand my antipathy to Trump.

5 min readApr 19, 2021


In my generation of my family, I am a bit of a loner as a liberal. I wasn’t always a liberal. I voted for Reagan on his re-election. I voted Republican even as a confused young union man. Without really fully understanding why, I was a fan of Paul Gann in California. At one point in my life, I became a hard anti-government conservative. I was “A Patriot”. And then I learned some hard lessons in life that made me softer.

I began to see the antipathy the wealthy have for the poor. I began to see that in conservative political discourse, public debts are bad, but hardly a word is said about private debts. I began to see how the wealthy made bank even during a recession. I began to read blogs, articles, and books that demonstrated that for all the virtues extolled by the conservatives in my life about the free market, it seemed to me that their heroes demonstrated little interest in keeping markets free.

When Trump declared his candidacy for president, I didn’t really know what to make of him. He’d never been in politics before. He was a billionaire made of the natural monopoly of land. And I really didn’t think he would win. At least, I didn’t think he would win until the progressive documentary producer and director, Michael Moore, predicted that Trump would win. And he was right. Trump won in 2016.

I have had a hard time understanding why the conservatives in my life see Trump as a good person. He’s had affairs with women outside of his marriages. He’s paid off a porn star. He’s lied to tax agencies and insurance agencies. Like the game of monopoly, he’s bought land, built hotels and apartments, and he has built an empire out of the real estate business of his father. He’s not even a self-made billionaire as the New York Times has documented the details of how his father gave him more than $400 million over the course of his life. And Trump Sr. made his money off of the monopoly rents of land.

I have been studying how monopolies distort the economy. I see how many Americans worship that kind of power. I’ve seen how people have come to worship Trump like he’s some kind of god, a savior, someone who will make all things right. For all his talk about free markets, Trump hasn’t said one word about reigning in the monopoly power of the landowners, or their partners in the game of monopoly, the bankers. Trump will…