OK, quick update.
While all of this is largely true, eight months later and I can no longer say I could live with a Trump Presidency.
He is being revealed to have engaged in more fraudulent and exploitative activity than I had realized. His taking advantage of the poor and gullible simply to line his pockets and enhance his outsized ego is unacceptable behavior in anyone, much less a POTUS. He is also an unhinged narcissist whose only concern is aggrandizing himself, saying despicable things about anyone who dares to question his superiority. Please read my post Ashleep for more on this kind of unconsciousness. He is completely unfit for any office, much less the Presidency.
My cousin Deanna and Ivanka Trump were friends growing up in Manhattan. Just a few weeks apart in age, both attended the Swiss, Dalcroze School of Music after school, where they met and immediately bonded. Deanna went to the Waldorf school on 79th and 5th and Ivanka went to Chapin several blocks away. They had a lot in common being affluent kids in Manhattan, attending private schools and Ivy League college-bound.
I learned a lot about the Trumps from Ivanka. For one thing, Ivanka was a lovely, kind, sweet girl. Not a bit spoiled or uppity at all. Whereas Deanna’s mom drove her to Dalcroze in her older model Mercedes, Ivanka arrived with her Czech nanny in a stretch limo that idled for the two hours outside the Dalcroze townhouse. Ivanka was very complimentary of Deanna’s clothes and accessories. She never once made Deanna feel there was anything different about them. On the other hand, whereas Deanna’s middle class parents contributed to the upkeep of Dalcroze, run by aging Swiss maestros on a shoe-string, the Trumps apparently did not.
So, you might find it surprising that I am not a big Trump detractor. For one thing, I think everything that comes out of his mouth is spontaneous and sincere. I take him at his word that the political positions he is espousing right now are either what he truly believes (America can be great again) or what he feels the American people believe (rightly or wrongly).
There is something else about Trump that gets people all pumped up: he’s lively, glib and smart. A lot of these politicians are either energyless, tongue-tied or dull. I find listening to him to be entertaining, enjoyable and frankly, educational as to the power of positivity. We should all be so quick on our feet.
Is he a multi-billionaire? Who knows. He doesn’t need to be in my book. He has perfected the art of self-promotion and that is something all of us could learn from, whether we want to bluster and brag or simply be sufficiently confident to achieve our goals by persuading others that we are the best person for whatever role to which we aspire.
Do I think Trump has shaded or twisted or tweaked the truth here and there? Yes. Has he verged on outright bigotry? Absolutely. Has he got deep experience governing? No! Clearly not. Does he really understand the plight of the average man and woman in the average middle-class household in America? Probably not. But, in all that regard he is no worse than every other conservative on those two stages right now.
I think the key to understanding Trump’s appeal is, as someone said on the news tonight, that it is not his message that is unique, it is the messenger. There is no one else like him. And, you Conservatives need not fear — if Trump is President, the Republican power brokerage will dictate the policies. Just like the Democratic machine dictates what Obama is doing. Each President merely enacts the dictates of their overlords, who operate behind the scenes and adapt to the desires of the times, on each side.
The one place where Donald Trump is absolutely dominating everyone else is in his ability to get people juiced and inspire those who have almost nothing to believe they can achieve the American Dream. In this regard, being a Debbie-downer (and telling the truth, which is, it is virtually impossible to rise out of your slot any more, given the gross policy errors that have been committed, post WWII) isn’t working. People are living a declining lifestyle and they know it, swallowed up sometimes by despair. I probably disagree with Trump and many Republicans about how we got into this sorry mess, but we all agree things are not wonderful for the majority of Americans right now.
I have often compared Geoffrey and my lifestyle to that of my two successful, upper middle class parents. They had two new luxury vehicles in the driveway every year. My dad got every gimcrack and gizmo and shiny new tech toy he wanted any time he fancied one, including state of the art sound systems, pro golf clubs, an enormous farm-level tractor to ride (even though he had gardeners and a landscaping service). They had a housekeeper/maid who came in five days a week. They took vacations at the drop of a hat. They belonged to one of the best country clubs in New Jersey. They had a co-op in Manhattan. I never heard either of them lament about a bill. Oh, and my dad bought each of their homes, cash, yup, that’s right, cash — no mortgages ever. They each had one credit card: AmEx and paid it off each month. My mom along with my dad, as a professional woman, had her clothing custom made for her, and bought all her other accessories at Lord & Taylor, Bonwits, Saks and Bergdorfs. I was able to shop at Bendels to my heart’s content. They funded trips for me all over the world. They sent me through eight years of private Ivy League universities for my undergrad and grad work. I got my first Volvo my freshman year at Cornell and two more down the road. All on modest, middle class incomes. Geoffrey and I can’t do half of that today.
People love Donald Trump because they want to be the Donald. They want to wake up every day, next to sloe-eyed Melania of the long golden tresses; they want to walk out into their marble-clad apartment with the gilt appointments and rococo Italianate 17th century furnishings (I was in their apartment briefly once); they want to be ushered to their lush 5th Avenue penthouse in a private elevator that has seating and drinks; they want to descend to 57th street and the waiting stretch limo each morning, with its big screen tv, bath, and kitchenette; they want to work while looking out over Manhattan in every direction from river to shining river and take long slow epicurean repasts at any of the City’s private dining clubs, for Knickerbockers only; they want to ski in Gstaad and golf in Scotland. The American people would die to be Donald Trump.
That is his appeal. No one else on any stage during this election cycle can even come close. Trump has it all, in the eyes of the American people. Make no mistake, no matter what happens on that stage in a few hours, on Fox Noise, Trump climbs into his silken sheets at the close of his day, knowing that he is an absolute, utter winner. Every single day, all his life. That is why people are clamoring for him. The shine of his gilt, whether it is fool’s gold or not, has blinded the public to every thing else. And you know what? Other than John Kasich, there is no Republican I would rather have for President. To my mind, Trump is the NYer to end all NYers. Growing up as he did just a few blocks from where my folks in did in Queens, I get this guy. I can deal with him, because I see past the dazzle to the ingenious mind that always gets what it wants and I would be just fine if we put that confidence to work for America right now.
Let me be clear: I will not be voting for Trump if he is a nominee. I am a Hillary supporter because I want a no-nonsense, hard-working woman in that chair for once in history.
But, I could live with John Kasich, and believe it or not, Donald Trump.
Aren’t we all sick of being discouraged?
The parallels between Ivanka and Deanna continue to amaze me. They both married brilliant Jewish men and both had little girls with remarkably similar names: Arabella and Annabelle, even though they are no longer in touch.
I cannot wait to see the outcome of this election. No matter who wins, it has been the most entertaining run-up of my lifetime. And who knows, maybe Deanna can wangle an invite to the WH if King Donald and Queen Melania become the next POTUS and FLOTUS. What a gas that would be.