P.T. Barnum wasn’t just the founder of Barnum & Bailey Circus. He was a man who celebrated hoaxes and he had goofy hair. He had a museum for a while and once displayed the Fiji Mermaid, which was actually the head of a monkey sewn onto the body of a fish. As crazy as that sounds I doubt he could have ever imagined a Donald Trump presidency.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending production after 146 years. It seems nobody goes to circuses anymore. And while I’m sad for unemployed clowns who now have to spice up their resumes, I’m not really that concerned. I never did like circuses. My grandfather was a Shriner and my grandparents would drag me and my older sister to the Shriner circuses in Louisiana. They always bored me.
While a lot of people compare Trump’s operation to Barnum’s circus, I was more intrigued by the “sucker” aspect.
P.T. Barnum is famous for saying “there’s a sucker born every minute” though there’s no documentation he ever actually said that. But I’ll use it here the same way people will use George Washington chopping down the cherry tree or throwing a coin across a river.
Whoever said it was right. There were especially a lot of suckers born in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Now they’re scared of losing their health insurance. I’m sure there will be a lot more surprises the next four years.
Barnum was a fan of hype, which he referred to as “humbug.” He wasn’t about ripping people off and viewed it as entertainment and wanted people to get their money worth. He actually testified against a ghost photographer in a fraud trial. He enjoyed exposing frauds.
The current fraud who’ll be sworn in as president this Friday has been exposed repeatedly. Unfortunately for the rest of us the suckers are still buying it.
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