As the weather is utterly unpleasant in Marbella today, again, the combination of all the worst things possible: cold, heavy rain, windy and gloomy, and you are probably sitting on a sofa with a cup of hot chocolate … or a glass of wine, binge watching TV shows. Well done, soon we will recommend you some of the best series you will easily get hooked on. Stay tuned!
In case you get tired of watching, we are recommending you a captivating article about …. surprise surprise … Donald Trump. As much as we are not into politics here, this article tells a story of a man who is the definition of the famous American success story. “President Unprecedented” by KJ Elsdon featured in the February issue of SOCIETY Marbella Magazine is an absorbing description of an extraordinary person who is currently shaping not only his presidency and the USA but also influencing the world.
Quite early last year I happened to make a comment about Donald Trump's campaign on Facebook which ...
... might, I admit, have been a little unfavourable. A like-minded American friend advised caution: “Don't worry too much about The Donald,” she said. “He won't be chosen as the Republican candidate, never mind President! Cool it, girl. Allow us our little bit of fun.” Fortunately my refined British manners prevent me from reminding her of this now that The Donald's famous victory means that the world is about to see what life is like under the billionaire star of a reality show.
Born on June the 14th 1946 in Jamaica, a part of Queens, New York in a two-storey, mock-Tudor mansion, Donald John Trump was fortunate to have been born into a family where lack of money hadn't been an issue for some time. His father, Fred, had enjoyed success as a property developer in NYC, although he had gained an unenviable reputation as an unscrupulous, exploitative figure who was investigated by a US Senate Committee for profiteering from public contracts and was also on the US Civil Rights Justice Department's 'wanted' list for civil rights violations. One of Fred's tenants, folk singer Woody Guthrie, also sharply criticised him for his actions.
However, there is no doubt that Fred Trump knew a thing or two about how to make a buck, since his company built and managed many domestic properties in Queens, as well as barracks and garden apartments for US navy personnel on various stretches of the East Coast. He also owned more than 27,000 apartments in New York City.
Young Donald was something of a troublesome child, so the decision was made to send him away to New York Military Academy (or NYMA) where it was hoped that his “energetic” personality would be better controlled. Fred and his Scottish mother, Mary trusted that the academy would allow Donald to channel his rebelliousness and energy in a more positive manner than he had managed in a traditional school. During his time in the NYMA Donald wore quasi-military uniform, participated in marching drills and was eventually promoted to captain, although his time as a cadet wasn't entirely without incident. A certain amount of mystery surrounds his involvement in a so-called hazing incident (the institutionalised bullying used to toughen would-be soldiers), which resulted in him being transferred, a move that the adult Donald would describe as a “promotion”. Fred would later reveal in a 1983 interview that Donald was “a pretty rough fellow when he was small.”
For all his military training, Trump somehow contrived to miss out on the testing experience of the Vietnam War, gaining four student deferments to complete his BSc in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, to which he had transferred from the University of Fordham in the Bronx. He was declared 'fit for service' in 1966 but, in 1968, was awarded a medical deferment, a decision that Trump claimed was for heel spurs. In any case, in 1969 he won a number in the draft lottery which was sufficiently high to keep him out of harm's way.
Freed from obligations to his country, The Donald was free to continue working for the family company, named Elizabeth Trump & Son after his paternal grandmother, something that he had been doing even during his time at university. In 1971 The Donald was deemed fit to inherit the business, which he quickly renamed The Trump Organization. This change of reins was duly commented on by the NYC property community, but the attention ramped up a couple of gears in 1973, when The Trump Organization was accused by the Justice Department of discriminating against African-Americans who wished to rent apartments in the city, rather than the low income families that Fred and Donald freely admitted trying to filter out.
Despite displaying a degree of ruthlessness, rule-bending and arrogance unusual even by the low standards of New York property developers, Trump's hotel and casino businesses have been declared bankrupt on no fewer than six occasions between 1991 and 2009. Trump himself has had the foresight never to suffer any personal financial difficulties and ensured that his companies applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning that he could continue to trade throughout the process. “I do play with the bankruptcy laws - they're very good for me," he admitted at the time, adding “I've used the laws of this country to pare debt ...We'll have the company. We'll throw it into a chapter. We'll negotiate with the banks. We'll make a fantastic deal. You know, it's like on The Apprentice. It's not personal. It's just business.”
Famous as the man who teaches eager acolytes how to be back-stabbingly efficient business leaders on the US version of The Apprentice, it came as no surprise when The Donald stated that it was his intention, if elected President, to run America as if it were some giant corporation, a notion that gained traction with some of that vast country's dispossessed. Feeling ignored by Washington's elite they clearly felt that they had more chance with a man who inherited several billion dollars and had the elevator doors of his eyrie in Trump Towers encrusted with diamonds for no better reason than to display his staggering wealth and lack of aesthetic restraint. The only thing that he wanted, it seemed, was any experience of politics whatsoever, a slightly worrying deficiency, given The Donald's vituperative personality, his famous tactlessness on Twitter and his hair-trigger temper. In these small hands, Hillary Clinton and his myriad detractors reminded voters, would be invested the power to start a nuclear war.
After a punishing campaign which was more evil-tempered than any in living memory, The Donald was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America and already his tenure in the White House has been marked by a bitter fight with the American press, who were quick to point out that more people attended the anti-Trump marches that took place on the day after the inauguration than turned up for the main event itself. It didn't take Trump and his clearly exercised Press Secretary, Sean Spicer long to envisage some kind of Orwellian future in which 'alternative facts' (so apparent during his campaign) would hold sway and the press would be bypassed in favour of The World According to The Donald. Following Spicer's outburst an equally exasperated Jonathan Freedland reminded Guardian readers of Groucho Marx's comment in the 1933 film comedy, Duck Soup: “Who are you going to believe – me or your own eyes?”
What will Trump's presidency be like? At this stage nobody knows, although his inability to process clear visual information is a worry. And, if some commentators are already comparing him to North Korea's Kim Jong-un, it is not at all surprising.
Ecce homo. Behold the man. Behind the gold and diamond lift doors is this the “rough beast, its hour come round at last” that W.B. Yeats envisaged in 'The Second Coming'?
The age of President Unprecedented seems to have arrived. Whether the world will survive him is, at present, a moot point.
If you got engrossed, please follow up our story on Melania Trump here