Donald Trump has failed again and again as a businessman, and he has avoided losing his own money by shoving the losses onto the people who put their trust in him.
If Trump is the nominee, disaffected voters supporting Trump in the presidential campaign will be the ruthless billionaire's next victims.
Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party will make that abundantly clear once Trump is the nominee. It won't be hard — they will just set up a camera, sit down with Trump victims and let these ordinary Americans tell the tale of how Donald Trump is a charlatan who enriched himself at the expense of ordinary people.
Democratic super PACs are already lining up Trump's victims for such a purpose, you can be totally sure. That's why any poll numbers suggesting Trump can beat Hillary should be doubted — they don't take into account the brutal campaign Hillary will wage on Trump.
"There's a mountain of s**t the Democrats are going to dump on him if he is the nominee," says Liz Mair, a Republican operative running an anti-Trump super PAC called "Make America Awesome."
Democrats could begin with the Americans who believed Trump could fix their financial woes by teaching them the ins and outs of real estate, at "Trump University."
Trump University wasn't a university, and Donald Trump wasn't as involved as he claimed he would be, according to one federal lawsuit. Some of the students are suing Trump, calling the "university" a "fraudulent scheme" in a federal court filing.
"I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you," Trump said in the ads for Trump University. "We'll help you by teaching you how to profit from the $700 billion bailout that has opened the door for unprecedented investment opportunities," his ad said.
In a promotional video, Trump promised to handpick "professors and adjunct professors." People who paid five figures to attend these seminars are suing, claiming that Trump didn't really handpick any instructors and that none of his real estate secrets were imparted.
Trump is on the witness list for this case, meaning he will have to defend himself in court. The trial could begin in May, at the end of the GOP nominating process. Even if he's not legally liable — and so far he hasn't been found to have committed any fraud — it's hard to see Trump University as anything but a scam. Everyone who paid thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to attend this university is a potential Trump victim.
You can bet Hillary's people are reaching out to every one of them. They will be the stars of super PAC ads. And all the working-class voters who feel like Trump is fighting for them will realize that Trump is playing them like he's played so many before.
Trump has victims all over the country and from all walks of life.
Due to his serial business failures, Trump's companies have gone bankrupt four times. His bankruptcies all involve him not paying back the people who had trusted him to make good on his bets — and these victims aren't just banks and hedge funds.
Dixie-Narco is a vending-machine maker in South Carolina. It also makes bill-changing machines. Trump had ordered 1,350 machines from the company for the Taj Mahal. Dixie-Narco expected to get paid. When Trump sent the Taj Mahal into bankruptcy, he tried to shed some of his debts to bondholders by giving them an ownership stake in the resort. Part of his pitch to them: "Dixie-Marco's $6 million claim was worthless," as the New York Times reported it back then.
Dixie-Narco had to settle for less than half the $6 million and the return of some of its machines.
Americans who applied for jobs at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach were turned away, because Trump favored guest workers — foreigners brought in just to work for Trump before they are sent home. "We have hundreds of people in our database that would qualify for a lot of those hospitality jobs," one local recruiter told BuzzFeed News in December.
Trump's other victims include old widows whose land he tried to steal through eminent domain, and employees at casinos he built who lost their benefits in bankruptcy.
None of these stories of Trump victimizing the vulnerable are new. The media, left, right, and center, have reported them. The men who could put Trump's victims before the voters — Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, for two — have balked. Hillary won't pull any punches.
Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Tuesday and Thursday nights on washingtonexaminer.com.