Donald Trump is 100 percent a con man, and he’s succeeded in bamboozling a large segment of the American population. Set aside, for a moment, his diatribes against women, Mexicans, Muslims, African-Americans, the handicapped, the media and anyone else who doesn’t fall in line. And set aside his inane tweets at all hours of the day or night. And set aside his laudatory comments about Vladimir Putin.

Trump has gotten away with bashing the “other” (that is, all but white American men) and other countries because he thinks voters want a “strong leader” who doesn’t worry about being politically correct. Say something loud enough and often enough and people will believe it. Lost in the bravado is Trump’s total lack of ethics in business dealings and personal relationships. The guy is out for himself. Period. End of story.

Consider the evidence.

Why won’t Trump share his tax returns? Do you really believe he isn’t trying to hide something? Come on; don’t be so gullible. Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy?

Trump pretends that he’s a generous donor to charitable causes, but he’s not. A June 20 New York magazine article called him out on that claim. “Trump boasts about giving $102 million to charitable donations over the last five years. But when the Washington Post examined the candidate’s 96-page list of charitable contributions, they couldn’t find a single cash gift taken from Trump’s own pocket.”

Don’t forget the thousands of poor souls, mainly senior citizens and the uneducated, duped in the Trump University scam. The highest legal officer in New York state has described Trump University as a classic bait-and-switch scheme.

The class action lawsuit filed by people who have been swindled by Trump University is standard operating procedure for this incorrigible con man. USA Today’s analysis of legal filings across the U.S. finds that the Republican presidential candidate and his businesses have been involved in at least 3,500 legal actions in federal and state courts during the last three decades. Is that typical for his line of work? Er, no. The USA Today analysis revealed that Trump has been involved in more legal actions than five other major real-estate executives — combined.

Trump, who bills himself as a successful business executive, has filed for bankruptcy six times: Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Castle, Trump Castle and Casino, Plaza Hotel, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts and Trump Entertainment Resort.

I imagine some readers are now muttering: “But what about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi and emails. She lies just as much as Trump.” Not exactly. PolitiFact has rated 53 percent of Trump’s statements as false or mostly false, while the comparable figure for Clinton is 27 percent.

Now ask yourself this question: Can you imagine a female candidate for president who has been married three times; declared bankruptcy six times; trashes everyone but white females; refuses to release her tax returns; lies about her charitable contributions; sends obnoxious tweets day and night; and brags about her breast size being a serious candidate for the presidency of the United States? While we’re at it, can you imagine an African-American with the same list of drawbacks being a viable candidate? Hmm … I wonder if possibly, just possibly, sexism and racism come into play.

Am I being unfair? Well, if you think so, consider the thoughts of Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who actually wrote ” The Art of the Deal,” the book Trump claims to have written himself.

Schwartz spent 18 months with Trump starting in 1985. Here are some of Schwartz’s thoughts today on the matter, according to an article in the July 25 issue of The New Yorker. “I put lipstick on a pig.” If he were to write the book today, Schwartz says he’d call it “The Sociopath.”

“I seriously doubt that Trump has read a book straight through in his life.” The article notes that “often, after spending the day with Trump and watching him pile one hugely expensive project atop the next, like a circus performer spinning plates, Schwartz would go home and tell his wife, ‘It’s like living in a black hole.’”

The concluding paragraph in The New Yorker article offers a sober warning to Trump voters. “If Trump is elected president, he warned, ‘the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows — that he couldn’t care less about them.’”

People who are still considering voting for Donald Trump would do well to consider the words of author Tom Robbins: “Those who willingly accept being conned are as corrupt as those who con them.”

David Treadwell is a Brunswick writer.