The Art of Don the Con

Why Are We Still Talking About Donald Trump?

And why we must keep on; it’s a long road.

Martie Sirois
8 min readSep 21, 2021


“Donald Trump- Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“What we did, that was a scam. That was an entertainment.” — Bill Pruitt, producer, The Apprentice

The Confidence Man

It all feels like a highway mirage, this road trip we’ve been on for the past 5+ years. At least for the majority of us who’ve always known Donald Trump as a con man. We can clearly see the optical illusion playing out — the mingling of heat and sun rays, refracting light on the flat road before us. But other passengers on this trip seem to not understand how mirages work; they keep saying we’re the crazy ones for not seeing those huge pools of water up ahead (which somehow keep moving a few hundred meters further down the road.) Yes, our fellow passengers realize the “water” keeps moving the closer we get, but that just makes them double down harder: that water is real.

In 2018, Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney created a Netflix investigative anthology, “Dirty Money,” which exposed brazen acts of corporate greed, corruption, and abuse of power. As described in an article for The Atlantic, “Dirty Money” is a series that “tackles “capitalism run amok — portraits of people and companies whose greed was so extreme and so untroubled by ethical boundaries that they engaged in truly historic acts of grift.” Oscar-winning documentarian Fisher Stevens directed the final episode of season one, titled “The Confidence Man.” And the subject was Donald Trump.

According to Stevens:

“We wanted to show people that Donald Trump is not a good businessman when it comes to building a company and managing a company, and I wanted to say how scary it is that he is running the country because he doesn’t do due diligence on any of his deals.”

“The Confidence Man” exposes Trump for what he actually is: not the successful business titan or development mogul he’s been parading as for five decades. Indeed, not a man who’s even fit to have his name uttered alongside actual development moguls and philanthropists like Rockefeller, Ford, or Jobs. Stevens also appears in this episode, describing the many…



Martie Sirois

Covering the intersection of culture, politics & equality. Featured in Marker, HuffPost, PopSugar, Scary Mommy; heard on NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.