FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Real Donald Trump

Nobody was happier, on listening to his daughter Ivanka, than Donald Trump the night of his coronation at the Republican Convention. Listening to Ivanka, he couldn’t repress a smile of pride, as if a squirrel, by a strange fate of Nature, had given birth to a lion. And he was right to be proud. The portrait Ivanka painted of him was that of a man so kind and full of love for his fellow human beings that he could easily be nominated to replace Pope Francis, should that be possible.

Alas, reality, as in all of our lives, always interferes. And from some unlikely quarters. In the last issue of The New Yorker Jane Mayer, in an article entitle “Trump’s Boswell Speaks” describes an interview with Tony Schwartz. Together with Trump -and by his own opinion only himself- Schwartz wrote The Art of the Deal, a book that –as if it were necessary- catapulted Trump’s fame among the general public.

The article describes how, when facing a crowd gathered in the lobby of Trump Tower, Trump laid out his qualifications to become the U.S. next President he said, “We need a leader that wrote The Art f the Deal.” Since Schwartz thought that he, not Trump, was the book’s author and therefore he should be the one running for President he tweeted: “Many thanks Donald Trump for suggesting I run for President, based on the fact that I wrote The Art of the Deal.

By his own account, starting in late 1985, Schwartz spent 18 months with Trump, following him almost everywhere, attending meetings and even listening to Trump’s business phone conversations. Because of this almost unlimited access to Trump, Schwartz felt that he knew him better than anybody else outside his family. And the painting he draws of him is not precisely flattering.

Schwartz had a tremendous sense of responsibility in having helped Trump’s popularity with his book and wanted to set the record straight, given the increasing chances that Trump could become President. In June, he decided to break his silence and give his first interview about the person whom he had known while writing The Art of the Deal. He told Jane Mayer that if he were writing that book now he would give it quite a different title. Now he would call it The Sociopath, Schwartz said.

“I put lipstick on a pig. I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is. I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization,” Schwartz added.

The Art of the Deal is not the first time Schwartz wrote about Trump. In 1985 he wrote a widely read piece entitled “A Different Kind of Donald Trump Story,” for New York Magazine. In that article, Schwartz describes the heavy handed tactics that Trump used to get rid of rent-controlled and rent-stabilized tenants from a building that he had bought on a prime location on Central Park South, with a magnificent look to the park.

Trump’s tactics included a plan to house homeless people in the building in order to scare the tenants. This conveys an image of Trump as a ruthless man, at odds with the portrait of a compassionate and kind man drawn by Trump’s sons and daughter at the Republican convention.

Why is it, then, that a man with his characteristics can have such a strong popular appeal in the electorate? One explanation is that Trump plays with people’s prejudices and fears: fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims or fear of anybody whom people feel threatens their lives. There is something frightening in Trump’s tactics, which one feels could lead to an extreme polarization in society.

In characterizing him, one may feel tempted to apply to Trump what Mailer’s wife said about Mailer. When Sam Donaldson interviewed Norris Church, Norman Mailer’s sixth wife, he asked her how it was to live with a person like Mailer. She responded, “Well, Sam, it is like living in a zoo. One day Norman is a lion; the next he’s a monkey. Occasionally he is a lamb, and a large part of the time he’s a jackass.”

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail