Now I read there is a new book about Donald Trump, exploring his boasts and threats and exaggerations. He was a rich boy screw-up sent to military school, which he compares to actual service.
Right. And listening to sergeants at ROTC in the late 50's, describing combat in Korea, was the same as being there.
For New Yorkers, this arrogant bombast from Trump is familiar stuff -- because we know him. (See Jim Dwyer's column in the NYT recently.)
In my home town, Trump has long been a punch line, accompanied by eloquent shrugs and the word "Echhh."
I still regard Trump as a bad leftover from the 70's, when the city was plagued by vandalized payphones, graffiti in the subways, the reek of urine everywhere, Yankee fans chanting "Boston Sucks!" and disco. Don't forget disco.
Whom do I blame for the civic vulgarization in the '70's?
In 1973, an auslander, George Steinbrenner, bought the Yankees, bullying people and winning championships.
In 1976, Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-speaking media mogul, purchased the once haimish New York Post and filled it with sniggerings and inaccuraciies.
And in the late '70's, a builder's son, Donald Trump, bought the Commodore Hotel and remodeled it as the Grand Hyatt. Everything is grand with him. Later, he tried to build Brasilia on the west side of Manhattan and blabbed about his sex life and the tactical bankruptcies he had taken. What a guy.
Now he makes fun of Carly Fiorina's face. (I'm not a fan, but I will say she carries herself better than any of the schlubs in the GOP primaries.) My wife pointed out an article on Salon.com, claiming that Trump's constituency is based on angry white males who feel, well, "emasculated." Okay.
Ultimately, it appears that some people Out There on the Steinberg Map have been watching reality television so long they cannot tell a TV celebrity from a simplistic racist.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.