The 2016 presidential election could be the most scandal-plagued match-up since 1884 when James Blaine’s allegedly corrupt business deals squared off against Grover Cleveland’s alleged illegitimate child. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is the nominee, bringing with her a train-car’s worth of baggage. But the Republican candidate is at least as saddled with controversy as Clinton is—and while many of the Clinton cases involve suspicion and shadowy links, many of Trump’s are fully documented in court cases and legal proceedings.It is hard to wake up every morning to the hard fact that we are living in a country where nearly half of the voters are willing and ready to vote for a con artist, that the US military prefers this member of the Putin fan club to Clinton more than 2-1,* that late night tv hosts goof around with him the way they would with any celebrity guest. But we have to deal with these hard facts, and try to square them with the unending list of cons, harms, lies, crimes that trails Trump like used toilet paper clinging to his Ferragamo's. His voters know he is a liar, thief and bully, but really would rather install a known sleazy rip-off artist and serial bankrupt in the white house than vote for a spectacularly credentialed if admittedly politically conventional woman, and they will do this in part because of misogyny and in part because they are so angry they would rather push the US off a cliff in order to stick it to the establishment.
The breadth of Trump’s controversies is truly yuge, ranging from allegations of mafia ties to unscrupulous business dealings, and from racial discrimination to alleged marital rape. They stretch over more than four decades, from the mid-1970s to the present day. To catalogue the full sweep of allegations would require thousands of words and lump together the trivial with the truly scandalous. Including business deals that have simply failed, without any hint of impropriety, would require thousands more. This is a snapshot of some of the most interesting and largest of those scandals.
*[though his edge over Clinton is much much less than that of the GOP candidates over Obama in prior elections; that "What's A Leppo" Johnson is virtually tied with Trump (38-37) in this poll shows the unease that the military feels about Trump, even as it pisses all over Clinton (at 16% in this poll)]