The Trump card is no king, just joker

by | May 1, 2011 | Comment, Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

There are two ways you can walk with Donald Trump – toward him or away from him.

There are two ways you can hold a camera with Donald Trump – facing him or facing away.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why people don’t choose the second choice ALL THE TIME. Why does anyone care what Donald Trump has to say – unless he’s your landlord? The only question anyone should ask Trump is: “The hair – why?”

Instead, Trump is given credence in some circles as a presidential candidate. A presidential candidate? This only proves that as a nation, we are becoming so addicted to celebrity it is soon going to replace plasma in our bloodstream.

Donald Trump as president? Really? You are really going to make that argument? Based on what? His stellar business record?

Well, despite what he says, Trump’s finances have seen more hot water than a lobster. His Taj Mahal casino was in bankruptcy. His Trump Plaza Hotel was in bankruptcy. Two years ago, his Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy. He has been repeatedly forced to sell properties to pay his debts, and was only kept afloat because driving him into the ground would have left his backers worse off than dealing with him. Loans went unpaid. The Securities and Exchange Commission brought a case against him.

Why doesn’t everyone know all this? Because Trump has learned one thing very well – if you say something loudly enough and often enough, it’s what people remember. Regardless of the truth. So he tells you he’s a success, writes books like one, creates a show that suggests it – and you think it’s so.

A truly bizarre résumé

This is also why Trump can’t do an interview without saying, “I have the No.1 show on NBC.” Why he constantly tells people he is worth more than what others say. Why, after months of hounding President Barack Obama over his birth certificate (produced last week), Trump now claims he’s “very proud of myself” for forcing Obama’s hand, instead of facing the fact that he’d been wrong about it.

This is the guy you’d want for president? Great. And when they write his inauguration bio, they could say he once served as financial adviser for boxer Mike Tyson, was involved in such highbrow ventures as professional wrestling, beauty pageants and reality TV, married three women, and once said in a dispute with Rosie O’Donnell, “I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.”

What a wordsmith. Franklin D. Roosevelt gave us, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The next man for the White House offers us: “You’re fired!”

Shame on all of us

Now, understand, I don’t blame Trump for any of this. He is nothing more than a huckster in an expensive suit. What he wants most is attention, power and ratings for his TV show. And that is precisely what the media give him.

Consider this: If the TV cameras simply turned away from Trump – the way they do at “boring” subjects like education – what work would he be doing to build a presidential platform? Crafting laws? Working with grassroots organizations? No. He’d still be surrounded by the likes of Meat Loaf and La Toya Jackson in a reality show that, of course, has nothing to do with reality. He’d still be giving quotes like this one on China: “Listen, you (expletive); we’re going to tax you 25%.”

Trump’s blathering only makes him another loudmouth. What’s absurd is the attention he is given. And that blame must be leveled at networks and cable outlets and newspapers so desperate for numbers that they cast aside any standards of determining newsworthiness and simply go for the most outrageous guy in the room.

Trump has them figured out. And he’s using them for his own ambitions. But he shouldn’t be using you or me.

If we seriously think this guy is presidential material, despite the blistering mountain of his life’s evidence to the contrary, then we deserve the nation we’d get with him in charge, a circus clown behind a desk entertaining a populace that will forgive anything but boredom.

Contact Mitch Albom: 313-223-4581 or His new play, “Ernie,” runs through June at City Theatre in downtown Detroit. For information, go to Catch “The Mitch Albom Show” 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760).


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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