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Trump this: Donald sends handwritten notes to magazines that have hurt his feelings.

April 12, 2011

Donald Trump

I was going to write an eat-your-vegetables blog today about how it’s National Library Week, or perhaps how it’s also National Poetry Month, which I’ve ignored thus far, but I am compelled to address a more edifying topic: Donald Trump and his contributions to literature.

First, I confess I’ve never watched a single second of The Apprentice, celebrity or otherwise, so if you think that disqualifies me from commenting on Trump then you can stop reading now. Likewise, I’ve not read a single word of any of his bestselling books, each and every one of which, let us note, features a co-author.

My inspiration comes most directly from Carolyn Kellogg, and her blog posting “Donald Trump likes to send notes to editors, compare bestseller stacks,” which, uh, pretty much tells the whole story right there, except for the details.

But ever since I saw Trump interviewed on one of the cable news stations this weekend, I’ve been unable to get him out of my mind, kind of like the dead squirrel rotting next to the curb.

This was, of course, at the gym. I never, ever subject myself to television news except when I’m working out and have no access to the channel changer. As a result I don’t know what netlet it was or the identity of the interviewer — a heavyset middle-aged woman.

Reading the closed captioning while huffing away on the elliptical machine, I learned that Trump is really wound up about the question of whether President Barack Obama might have been born somewhere other than American soil — say, Kenya! — and therefore ineligible to serve as chief executive.

Trump went on and on about this, as though it were not already a settled issue, as though it did not pale in comparison to such real challenges as the economy, the budget fight in Congress, rising oil prices, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the revolutions sweeping the Arab world, or why I can’t lose the weight I gained when I got laid off.

To her everlasting credit, the interviewer pushed aside the waves of pomposity rolling off of Trump like body heat off a resting sum wrestler to ask pointed questions — up to and including this one: Are you actually taking part in a conspiracy to re-elect Obama by making his opponents look laughable and silly?

It would be delicious to think something like that could be true in our dreary little world — Trump harrumphed and denied it — but I think the explanation is both more obvious and more tiresome: Trump is an attention hog, willing to say or do most anything as long as he can get people to look in his direction.

One of the enduring mysteries of the American experience is why we, as a people, are entranced by bumptious bully boy fat cats like Donald Trump. What is remotely interesting about this man? He lacks the Palpatine air of galactic evil that lends Rupert Murdoch a certain fascination. He has nothing of the Southern jock sex appeal or do-gooding of Ted Turner. The cool-Zen charisma of Steve Jobs? Not a chance.

Of course, all these men are motivated primarily by ego, but in Trump it’s so graceless and naked, like accidentally seeing your

Benny Hinn: Still the comb-over champ.

uncle get out of the shower. Yikes! It was bad enough when he was all over the business pages and the society section, with occasional forays to A1.

But now he’s a TV star with political aspirations. I propose that his real aspiration is to be on every newspaper page, to top the page-rank list of every Google search.

Thank God he’s a developer and not a media mogul, or he might become our own Silvio Berlusconi.

Alas, his quest to take up all the space in the mediaverse is doomed to failure. Sooner or later his show will be canceled, and he’ll go back to slapping his name on really ugly buildings. He’s never going to be the best at anything, not even in the comb-over categroy.

Benny Hinn still has that one sewn up. On the other hand, though, like the boorish uncle flaunting his too-young girlfriend at the family renunion, Trump’s not going away anytime soon. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with drinking or prerscription drugs –hey, has anyone got an office pool on Charlie Sheen? –so I guess I’ll have to just grit my teeth and ignore him as best I can.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Clare MacQueen permalink
    April 12, 2011 12:43 pm

    Oh mercy! — as my Aunt Mabel would say — butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I cannot stop laughing, Chauncey. Though my guffaws are tinged with foreboding. I saw part of a similar interview of Trump, by Meredith Vieira, and the man sounded so reasonable and logical, ironically, that I knew right there and then: if he does run for president, he’ll get elected. I had the same terrible feeling when I learned that George Dubya was running…

    Rotting squirrel indeed.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      April 12, 2011 3:55 pm

      Thnanks, Clare, though I must disagree on one point: I think Trump has less than no chance of winning the White House.

      • Clare MacQueen permalink
        April 12, 2011 6:35 pm

        I sure do hope you’re right. But that sick fluttery feeling in my stomach keeps on gettin’ worse. Right here in Seattle, liberal latte land itself, I have been point-blank accosted several times by petitioners asking my help with getting rid of Obama — “Aren’t you sick of him yet?” — and I say as politely as possible, “Hell no,” and walk on. But they scare me, those encounters!

  2. PJ Parrish permalink
    April 12, 2011 3:40 pm

    I’m rooting for him to throw his rug in the ring! I mean, come on…aren’t you just foaming at the mouth waiting for the Republican debates? Palin! The Donald! T-Paw! Newt! Haley-ah-say-Haley! Mitt! (you’d call yourself Mitt, too, if your real name was Willard).

    And now Donald’s threatening to run as an independent if they don’t nominate him. Ha! Perot got 19% of the popular vote and Bush the Elder lost.

    This is gonna be fun.

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      April 12, 2011 3:54 pm

      Didn’t Willard have a pet rat? That’s very funny, especially the Haley Barbar (the Elephant) thing. Trump’s candidacy best thing that could happen for Obama, who won’t even have to run that hard to win. He can just keep governing….

  3. Candice Simmons permalink
    April 12, 2011 4:14 pm

    Unlike you, I do watch the news and saw every bit of that tripe….every little bit….every single solitary bit…..

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      April 13, 2011 8:55 am

      I do not condemn those who enjoy (is that the right word?) cable news, I merely do not share the enthusiasm. And in your comment here, you confirm me in my decision to avoid it.

      • Candice Simmons permalink
        April 13, 2011 9:17 am

        Yes, it is best avoided.

  4. Clare MacQueen permalink
    April 12, 2011 6:37 pm

    Excuse me, I should have written “getting rid of Obama,” to quote their term. I meant no disrespect to the office of President, or the man himself!

    • Chauncey Mabe permalink*
      April 13, 2011 8:56 am

      Yes, Obama’s ascension to the White House gives me hope we may someday actually have a liberal president.

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