Trump Name Change Is the Least of It
There are many things wrong with Donald Trump. Many things. But whether his family name was changed is not one of them.
Every day something bad comes out about Trump – his faux “university,” his ludicrous litany of products real and discontinued, and worst of all, the public events where Trump’s people sucker-punch protestors who just happen to have dark skin. Apparently, he lied about consulting police before cancelling his rally in Chicago Friday night.
Trump is, to use his own fourth-grade word selection, a nasty, nasty guy. (When he says “dude” it's a code word for blacks.)
I was calling some of Trump’s sucker-punch supporters Brown Shirts long before I heard that his family name may have been altered a generation or three ago. Brown Shirts do not depend on a discarded name from the other side.
Now it turns out that the Trump family from a posh section of Jamaica Estates, Queens, may have been named Drumpf back in Germany. Trump, typically, has been known to claim he had Swedish origins. Well, who believes him on anything?
Into the mix comes a British comedian selling ball caps (at cost) that say “Make Donald Drumpf Again” – a twist on Trump’s subliminally racist slogan. The first lot of ball caps sold out.
I don’t find John Oliver funny. I came upon him in 2014 when he was goofing on the American interest in the soccer World Cup, those silly people. This was after a quarter century of American involvement in the great event, with pubs and television ratings flourishing during the World Cup in Brazil.
But Oliver yukked it up, giving me the impression he has a tin ear about the country where he makes a considerable living. (I gather, to his credit, he is also having fun with the scandals of FIFA, the world soccer body.)
Fact is, the basic act of changing a name, legally or otherwise, is part of the American experience, part of assimilation. Changing names is as American as apple strudel.
Some people changed their names to make them sound more American. But I grew up a yooge half mile away from Trump’s posh enclave, and I knew German-Americans up the block who kept their name – and their vestigial accents, harder to shed – shortly after the War, with no need to hide their life’s journey. My soccer captain at Jamaica High spoke German before he spoke English, he told me the other day.
Nowadays, the newer waves, the Garcias and the Patels, do not change their names; we have moved on. We also change pronunciations. The Hungarian-American family that adopted my father had long since anglicized their pronunciation to VES-see, but as a tour guide in Budapest once lectured me, my surname is quite familiar there, and is pronounced VAY-chay. (Bud Collins was the only person who called me VAY-chay. Bud knew that stuff.)
What’s in a name? Donald Trump is a creep, a dangerous creep. If his family changed its name, a comedian sniggering about it on the tube does not help the dialogue.
3/12/2016 10:11:31 am
I and millions who watched that video thought it was great. I think Oliver was just making fun of the name. Besides the Donald wasn't the one who changed it. You are sounding a little like Goose Gossage.
3/12/2016 02:18:13 pm
You may be right. Rich Gossage is a longtime friend. We used to listen to Willie Nelson together. So I am glad to be in his company. Thanks for the comment. GV
Thor A. Larsen
3/12/2016 11:07:27 am
3/12/2016 01:38:12 pm
George—I had commented in an earlier post that I did not see anything humorous about Trump. There is not enough time in a day to list all the reasons why he is unfit to be the President of the United States.
3/12/2016 05:32:18 pm
It may be wishful thinking, but I have been predicting for some time the Republican pros were going to keep him, somehow, from the nomination. The Chicago events brought criticism from KASICH as well as from the nut cousins. If he gathers enough primary delegates that convention efforts are doomed, he will lose the election, but with his solid 40-45 percent. (See analysis in NYT today of Trump Counties for demographics.).
3/12/2016 07:42:09 pm
Hm, interesting that you know a redneck like Goose Gossage, because maybe it helps to give perspective on a Donald Trump who professes to represent rednecks. What does Gossage think of Trump? Trump and all, I suppose the larger issue is that Trump has allowed the mask of the Republican Party to come off, Nixon's Southern Strategy run amok. I mean whether Trump were to lose the nomination by the general margin of states of the recent elections, or a Goldwater like landslide, how do the Party elders come to terms with his tearing off of their masks which they have been very careful to hide behind for almost two generations now? Do they imitate the blandness of the "New Nixon" of 1968? Do they try to move the party to a more respectable middle? Do they move further to the Left al la Teddy Roosevelt, and decide they can no longer survive without a domestic agenda? Or do they just do nothing? I suppose in an era of undisciplined parties they can continue to coast along with an odd collection of monied Wall Streeters, lower middle class malcontents, and outright racists. Do you think the party fathers will try to do something?
3/13/2016 11:27:40 am
Correction: I meant if Trump were to lose the election, not nomination, above.
3/24/2016 03:32:20 pm
My father used to claim that our surname, Finucane, was not bog-Irish ( which of course it is) but Spanish. The proper pronunciation he said was Fin -u- carne, with the accent on the E. Why? Because when most of the Spanish Armada was wrecked on the coast of Ireland in 1588, survivors settled where they had landed and, over time, the Spanish name became Irish. Right!
Alan D. Levine
4/2/2016 03:27:01 pm
George--Didn't our junior high school music teacher, Mr. Berger, pronounce your last name almost like 'Vaychee"? As I recall, he used to say "Vehchee."
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.