The Real Donald Trumpf Has Indeed Stood Up-- And It's President Gas!
In the music business there were people just as inherently dishonest, narcissistic and predatory Trumpf. I managed to avoid them. Because of the damn media's lust for ratings, Trump is impossible to avoid. I'm glad when he exposes and attacks them I remember how much they deserve it for imposing him on the rest of us. Yesterday, writing for the Daily Beast, Michael D'Antonio examined the origins of the exaggerations and the unverifiable boasts. In fact, he pins it on a NY Times reporter, long-forgotten Iowan Judy Klemesrud, who died, prematurely, 30 years and one month ago. She wrote in her Trumpf fawning puff piece in 1976 that "he looks ever so much like Robert Redford" and quoted his spurious claim that he was "worth $200 million" and possessed, more importantly, the mysterious quality he called "flair." A man with flair, said Trump, is "bound to be successful in New York." Thus began, writes D'Antonio, what might be called the longest-running publicity con of our time, highlighted by "his lifelong effort to exploit reporters who were happy to collude in promoting him as an exciting and important person on the flimsiest of evidence." D'Antonio wasn't impressed with Klemesrud's approach. I guess he would have liked to have had her say "hey everybody, the emperor has no clothes."
What wasn’t gold in Donald’s life she presented as glittery and glamorous. He had “dazzling white teeth.” He dated “slinky fashion models,” frequented the fanciest clubs, and dashed around the city in a Cadillac driven by a “gun-toting, laid-off New York City policeman who doubles as a body guard.” Why would a 30-year-old real estate promoter need an armed chauffer? Why would the driver reveal he was carrying a gun? Klemesrud never said, but the detail added a frisson of exciting danger to the portrait.
Reporting on a day in the life of Donald Trump, Klemesrud noted that he spent time on his car phone-- a true rarity of the day-- and earned commission of $140,000 (equivalent to $585,000 today) by helping a friend sell some property. The job required all of 20 minutes of his time. Donald claimed to be shy about publicity and personally conservative. But he dressed in a mod burgundy suit and a white shirt with his initials-- DJT-- sewn into his cuff in matching colored thread. He wore patent leather shoes, also dyed burgundy, and invited the reporter and a photographer to tour his posh apartment. [Today his creepy, smarmy son Eric is exactly like him.]
As a foundational document, the first newspaper account of Donald Trump’s life is a classic example of the showmanship and hype that would keep him in the public eye for decades to come. Most of the grand projects trumpeted in the article never came to pass. The $200 million fortune Trump claimed was actually built by his father. The slinky fashion models were never named. Klemesrud let Trump say he was of Swedish descent, when his family actually came from Germany and Scotland. And Trump’s connections to powerful politicians, observed as he dined at the swanky restaurant 21, were in fact the product of his father’s efforts.
A masterpiece of shading, atmospherics, and unverified suggestions of greatness, the article gave Trump the Times’ imprimatur. He was, by virtue of gracing the paper’s pages, important. It led to a TV appearance where the host declared the unaccomplished Trump a rising young “mogul.” A torrent of articles and broadcast reports followed and became, as they accumulated, proof that Donald was a very important person. Along the way Trump began to achieve some real successes, including the renovation of the old Commodore Hotel and the construction of his garish Trump Tower. However most of his grandiose proposals including plans for the world’s tallest building, a huge convention center, and a football stadium, never got off the drawing board.
Remarkably, Trump got away with some obvious whoppers. He presented his first wife Ivana as an athlete who had competed in the Sapporo Olympics as a member of the Czech ski team. Apparently no one in the press discovered that Czechoslovakia hadn’t sent a team to the games. The deception remains on the public record to this day. Next came Trump’s use of fake personas—John Baron and John Miller—who told reporters things he couldn’t say himself. It was Baron who defended Trump against complaints over the destruction of artwork when he demolished an old department store. It was Miller who shared the news that a great many famous and beautiful women were interested in dating him.
If much of what Trump offered to reporters and TV presenters was manipulative and deceptive, they were often willing participants in the dance. His claims of stupendous wealth were impossible to verify but they gave Robin Leach something to offer viewers of his program, which was called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. When Trump claimed that members of the British family were inquiring about buying property from him, it didn’t matter that Buckingham Palace would never address such a statement. What mattered was the excitement tabloid readers might feel as they imagined seeing Princes Diana coming and going in Manhattan.
...Besides fake personas and gutter-brawling, Trump’s tricks include making brash assertions that cannot be fact checked, and brazen claims larded with so many caveats that their dissolve under examination. His claim that the Mexican government is “sending” rapists and murders to cross the border into the United States was not offered as a statement that can be supported by fact. It was a play for attention and it worked. The same dynamic applied when he brayed about President Obama’s birth certificate, implying that the president might not have a legitimate claim to the office. The president’s birth status was never in doubt, but birtherism won Trump lots of publicity. Trump said he had backed an investigator who turned up important information. Was this true? Who knows? But it was a good story.
...In the end, Donald Trump has always been about the stories he tells and that the press repeats with limited fact checking. He is a self promoter devoted to the long game. At many moments reporters and the public at large have seemed to enjoy being fooled by the showman, appreciating his con artist gifts, especially when they cause no apparent harm. People loved P.T. Barnum for the same reason. The process seems less entertaining when Trump seeks to delegitimize a president or appeals to the fears people harbor about immigrants. But the polls suggest that Trump may yet talk his way into the GOP nomination for president. It all depends on how long the voters remain amused.
After eating New York City real estate, media and society for lunch, the Republican Party was as formidable as... an olive in a Martini. He's danced circles around them with his eyes closed. The Establishment never believed an easy-to-see through buffoon like Trumpf could ever capture their party. And now they suddenly realize he has-- thanks in great part to their own role in carefully creating a base built on anger, frustration and sheer stupidity. They claim, via magic-thinking, that Cruz is beating him in Iowa but that he's got South Carolina and New Hampshire in the bag. And by even more bizarre magic-thinking they are convincing themselves that Marco Rubio, who used to be a Mormon, can beat him in Nevada.
Roughly three-in-four GOP insiders in New Hampshire and South Carolina, many of whom have been repeatedly and consistently skeptical of Trump’s chances, now say he would win their states if their primaries were held today.The Wall Street Journal, in accessing the state of Hate Talk Radio's role in the Republican Party talks about how the tables have turned on the party's establishment. 98% of Hate Talk Radio listeners (i.e., everyone but the people who listen for the comedy value) "think the country is headed in the wrong direction, a view regularly reinforced on the airwaves by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and other talk-radio hosts who don’t have much nice to say about GOP leaders in Washington" and who are professional malcontents, who have become multimillionaires through a business model bemoaning the state of the world.
“For the first time, I think the Trump phenomenon is becoming real,” a South Carolina Republican said.
“I do not think the media or the party establishment have a real grasp on how deep the anger and frustration is around the country,” that insider said when most recently surveyed last week. “After what have been ‘missteps’ by Trump in comparison of previous elections, he seems to have only strengthened. I still do not know if he can sustain it into the New Year-- but after the Paris attacks, his stance on illegal immigration and unverified people coming into our nation has real impact.”
Those views are informing the race for the Republican presidential nomination.If that last documentary left you for more information about how as truly a disgusting human being as Trumpf is, could be riding so high in the race for the presidency... well, take a look at a documentary that Trumpf has worked very hard it keep people from seeing:
The most avid conservative talk-radio listeners ranked retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as their top pick, followed by celebrity businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Just 3% gave the nod to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the heir to the party’s longest-standing political dynasty, and only a third of these voters said they were even open to voting for Mr. Bush, down from half in September.
Republican presidential contenders would be unwise to write off this bloc; roughly a third of Republican primary voters strongly identify with conservative talk radio, about 10 percentage points higher than the share of GOP primary voters who consider themselves moderate or liberal, according to the survey conducted by the Democrats at Hart Research Associates and the Republicans at Public Opinion Research.
It’s hardly a surprise that these anti-establishment views have upended the GOP-- and made compromise in Washington that much harder-- but the extent of shift will continue to reverberate for years to come in how Republicans deal with issues including foreign policy, taxes and regulation.
A narrow 52% majority of Republican primary voters disagreed with the statement that “the economic and political systems in the country are stacked against people like” them, compared with the 45% who agreed. But the numbers flipped for the 52% of GOP primary voters who named Messrs. Carson or Trump as their top pick for the nomination.
That deep distrust of big institutions could present major headwinds for the next commander in chief, even if he or she is a Republican.