The Schmuck Of The Year Award

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Two thousand twenty-two has just a month to go, but it’s still not yet clear who will win the Schmuck of the Year Award. However, we do have two clear front-runners. Who are they?

You can have as many guesses as you want — but depending on your view of the world — two candidates may or may not stand out. Both reside in the United States. So, take your time to think about it, and when you’re ready, go on to the next paragraph in which I’ll provide a couple of hints.

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The Frontrunners For Schmuck Of The Year

One leading candidate is a very well-known and very controversial political leader. And the other is an extremely erratic and temperamental business leader. If you’re not yet sure who they are, just pick whoever comes to mind.

My own choices are Donald Trump and Elon Musk. Surely, they are the frontrunners for Schmuck of the Year. OK, I will concede that Vladimir Putin is a worthy contender. But then again, as the top contender for the highly coveted Hitler-Stalin Enemy of Humanity Award, he certainly will not go home empty-handed.

What, exactly, does the word “schmuck” mean? Fool or jerk? Of course! But any Yiddish-speaker would tell you that shmuck means putz.

One of the wonders of the Yiddish language is that you don’t need to be Jewish to sprinkle Yiddish words into your conversations. Indeed, even rabid anti-Semites have been known to occasionally lapse into Yiddish. Back in 1998, New York Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato referred to his campaign rival, Congressman Chuck Schumer, as a “putzhead.”

With just weeks to go, our two leading candidates for Schmuck of the Year have kicked their campaigns into high-gear. Musk captured the hearts and minds of some of the stupidest people in America with his clever takeover of Twitter.

Not to be outdone, former president Trump gave quite an interesting speech announcing his third presidential run – a speech that appealed to his hordes of moronic followers, since it was packed with easily refuted lies.

My personal favorite was that our sea levels will rise by just one-eighth of an inch over the next two or three hundred years. Surely, this stable genius knows a lot more than all the climate scientists.

A must for being crowned Schmuck of the Year is being a serial sexual harasser. Trump may have the edge here, because he has openly boasted about his prowess in this category.

Musk, apparently somewhat more gentlemanly, appears to have confined his efforts largely to his own employees. And he clearly loses points by being far too modest to openly boast of his sexual exploits.

Personal Wealth

Now we come to the most objective category – personal wealth. This is measurable – at least for Musk. He is the richest person in the United States, with a net of worth of about $190 billion. Trump’s wealth is just a tiny fraction of that.

But it’s unclear how rich he  is because he is constantly inflating and deflating the value of his real estate holdings, and even lobbying Forbes Magazine to raise his listed net worth. Neither man is a great philanthropist, but Trump clearly wins on points here for his penchant for setting up phony charities, and then pocketing most of the proceeds.

Business Ethics

That brings us to business ethics. Again, Trump wins hands down. The Trump Organization -- which holds nearly all of his family’s financial assets -- has often been compared to being run like a mob rganiation such as the Mafia.

Trump’s business model includes cheating his construction contractors out of one-quarter of what he contractually owes them. And many of his businesses – like Trump University – have bilked their customers out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Until this year, Musk was considered an extremely astute self-made businessman. But in just the last few weeks, he has not only made a great start in running his new forty-four-billion-dollar Twitter acquisition almost completely into the ground, but he has acted like a complete jerk towards his employees. – firing more than half of them.

By contrast, Trump, despite presiding over four monumental bankruptcies, would seem like a fairly decent employer. But that hurts him considerably in our contest. especially since Musk may have done more damage in four weeks than Trump did in four decades.

Tweeting Privileges Restored

Just days ago, Musk made what he considered a sportsman-like move, restoring Trump’s tweeting privileges despite his previous grossly inappropriate tweets. While there is no way of knowing how this might affect the opinions of the contest judges, it may well have been a game-changer since this was not the standard behavior of a total schmuck. Or was it?

The winner of The Schmuck of the Year Contest will be announced on New Year’s Day by a panel of highly respected judges. Their identities are closely guarded for obvious reasons. Indeed, both leading candidates have hired detectives to hunt them down, but without any apparent success.

Trump even tried to get Musk deported. But when he learned that Musk was white – and not from Africa, Mexico, Central America, or a Moslem country – he immediately backed off.

Who will win? Do I have an inside informer? Is the election rigged?  All I can tell you is this: No one – not even yours truly – knows who is actually voting in this election, or who will count the votes. We can only hope that it will be a fair election. But regardless of who wins, I think that he will be a man worthy of the title.