I met with Donald Trump in his office years ago — in the early 90’s when I was living in New York. I was actively involved in trying to save  dolphins from the gill nets commonly used in tuna fishing. There was a boycott on tuna, and Starkist had pledged to stop using the nets, but other companies had not. Knowing that Mr. Trump had contributed to President Clinton’s campaign, I had the idea that if he wrote to Al Gore — the very public environmentalist — perhaps someone from the administration (hopefully Al Gore) would speak out on behalf of the thousands of dolphins that were being ruthlessly and brutally killed when they were rounded up in these nets. At the very least, the letter could get more media attention for the issue.

It was a morning meeting and I was right on time, armed with the material I wanted leave with Mr. Trump. He was about 15 minutes late and when he walked in, I thought he looked tired. Then he took off his overcoat, handed it to an assistant, sat down behind his desk, and I swear that he suddenly looked taller, more energetic and more commanding than he had just seconds earlier. I was there for about 20 minutes; he was gracious and interested, and he did end up writing a letter to Al Gore about the unnecessary slaughter of sentient mammals who should be protected, not killed. I’ve searched for the letter both in my files and on line, and can’t find it. But trust me, it was a good letter. Al Gore, however, did not speak out on the issue, which was disappointing.

I get the appeal of Donald Trump, even though I disagree with his politics. As many have said, it’s refreshing to see someone enter the political field who isn’t talking in circles and pre-ordained soundbites, who is unfiltered and sometimes shockingly direct. It is true that we as a country are tired of politics as usual. And there is nothing usual about Donald Trump.

But I think he also appeals to people on a very individual basis. We have all wished that we could say what’s really on our minds. We’ve all walked away from an encounter with someone who has offended us and thought, “Damn, if I had only said…”

I had an experience recently that made me think of Donald Trump. A woman who I was regularly meeting for dog walks 5 days a week called me before the 4th of July and asked me to keep her dog for a day. She knows I have a cat, who her dog would chase, so I was a bit shocked at the request. I said no — because of my cat — and then sent her the names of 2 dog-sitters who I know and have used. I never heard from her again. Well, except for a curt and semi-rude response when, about a week later, I texted her about meeting for a dog walk. It was inevitable that we would run into each other, and one morning we did. She gave me a painted on smile and said, “Oh hi! I haven’t seen you in a while.” I said something non-confrontational and went the opposite way…and that’s when I thought of Donald Trump.

If I were more like Trump, I thought, I’d have said, “Of course you haven’t seen me, you dumped me, you idiot!” (He uses the word idiot a lot, as you’ve probably noticed.) He might have also called her out on her hypocrisy and her phoniness, probably used the word stupid, which he also seems quite fond of.

Anyway, the point is, he has infiltrated our collective psyche, not only when it comes to politics, but also in our personal lives. Not many of us behave the way he does, nor do we know many people who do. We’re polite when we really want to slap someone upside the head with the truth. We’re demure when we want to be direct. That’s why we can’t seem to get enough of Donald Trump — he’s thrown out the rules, made up his own, and they appear to be working for him.

I have no idea how this would play on the world stage if he actually became President of the United States. A shouting match between him and Putin might be amusing for about 30 seconds, but probably wouldn’t end well. And bombing the oil fields in the Middle East isn’t exactly going to make the world a safer place. Mr. Trump does have a way of keeping us in the present moment — as in, what is he going to say next? But we might want to look a little bit into the future and ask ourselves what a Trump presidency would look like. Is there a Russian translation for words like stupid and idiot, I wonder?

5 Responses to DONALD TRUMP

  1. David Marks says:

    I’ll say it again, Patti, the intimacy of your writing moves me, and really, there is good in all of us. The fact that Trump sent off a letter to Gore, spoke to a last vestige of humanity that he must have held dear. In the current world of Trump, the reality show candidate, he simply doesn’t permit himself one iota of compassionate expression, and that may be a cloaked visage, but then again, it may be reflective of the man he truly is today. Good for you, for having the courage to meet with him about such a vital issue, and bravo to him for trying to do the right thing. These are the very experiences he should be touting as a candidate, alas, he won’t allow himself the dignity to do so.

  2. Michael Anketell says:

    In the late 80’s thru the mid 90’s I produced a
    series of fashion/entertainment events
    in LA to raise money an awareness for
    people living with HIV/AIDS. In 1992 I
    produced a Thierry Mugler Retrospective
    at the Century Plaza Hotel. Ivana Trump
    was invited to model by Thierry Mugler
    as she was a client of his. These were celebrity
    driven events with some big names participating.
    Some of the other models in that show
    included: Diana Ross, Sharon Stone,
    Daryl Hannah, Naomi Campbell, etc. All
    of the proceeds went to people living with
    the disease. Each celebrity not only donated
    their time but made some significant
    dollar contributions.
    A few days after the show, to my surprise
    I received a ‘bill’ from the Trumps asking
    that they be reimbursed for First Class
    airfare for not only Ivana but for her hair
    dresser and a make-up person, PLUS
    accommodations at the Hotel Bel Air!!
    I wrote them a kind but firm letter explaining
    that ‘we didn’t do that’. The fact is she
    knew we didn’t when she accepted Thierry’s
    Invitation. Long story short, I received a
    letter from the Trump’s attorney
    threating legal action. I responded with
    a threat of my own that I would take
    the matter public. In the end, the AIDS
    organization I was raising money for decided to
    pay her extravagant and excessive
    bills to the tune of $19,000.00! This to
    avoid legal action by Donald.
    This is not a nice family, please mark
    my words!

  3. Jack Kregas says:

    Very good article. Sometimes I think the guy is a bozo and at others he has a plan. In any case he is amusing. How is it possible in a country of +/- 350mil there is Trump and Sanders as the only ones speaking in a voice that many understand?

  4. About 16 years ago or so, I was at a dinner for eight in an East Hampton restaurant.Donald Trump and his very tall model, of undetermined ethnicity sat at our table. The young model , whose name I can’t recall, was quiet. Trump ruled the table. We got through appetizers and our main courses. Before dessert came, Trump stated ‘ I have never made a mistake.’ This was after he asked who my plastic surgeon was as he thought my large breasts were the result of surgery rather than having birthed 6 children. I told my friend I’d had enough of Donald Trump. Funny, he has very well mannered brothers and sisters. He’s the outlier in every way.

  5. John W Smart says:

    I love this piece. Spot on. I found my way here because Trump (who i would never vote for but I do find him refreshing.) reminded me this week of a vague pop “media memory” from 1980 – a flash of anger that – I am convinced – changed history. Things are courser now and “flashes of anger” are now usually tweets and change nothing. . Anyway I wound up here trying to find out if my memory was any good.

    Good read, Ms. Davis. Thanks for the stuff about Cecil especially.

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