August 14, 2015
I met Donald Trump during the late “90s, at a grand party thrown by Lord Black for his wife’s 60th birthday. It was in New York, Conrad Black was at the height of his power as a press lord, and his wife Barbara ditto, writing beautiful conservative stuff for major British and Canadian papers. I was seated next to Melania Trump, The Donald’s third and present wife, and we hit it off extremely well. Our bÃªte noir was that grotesque excuse for a secretary of state, Madeleine Albright. Melania is from the ex-Yugoslavia, and well aware that establishing a Muslim zone in the middle of the Balkans, as the Clinton administration had done, was a disaster in the making. So the two of us blasted away until a certain Richard Burt”former Times man and, I believe, ambassador to Germany”cut in on our conversation rather rudely. Although I pride myself on old-fashioned manners, this was not the time to exhibit them. I told Burt that one more word out of him and he would be sucking on his gums for the next month or so. End of discussion.
Afterward, The Donald came up to me and shook my hand. “You”re the greatest, that’s telling them, you”re the best…” Melania had obviously told him what had taken place at dinner, and The Donald liked what he had heard. We have exchanged a couple of notes since, but we never met again. Then, a few years after that, a certain Harry Theodoracopulos, playing golf in Palm Beach at Trump’s club, had an altercation with some other members trying to play through. I am not sure about the details as my brother Harry and I are not close. All I know is from newspaper clippings. Harry was kicked out of Trump’s club and sued The Donald. Many of my older brother’s friends advised him not to sue. No one wins against The Donald in his backyard, he was told. But Harry insisted and lost a very expensive lawsuit. End of story, as they say, Trump is a winner, with no ifs or buts about it.
What I particularly like about Trump is the way he’s hated by the media. He doesn”t take any of their crap, and when misquoted, which he is a lot, he calls them names not fit to print to their face. This is the way it should be. When Vicky Ward, a Vanity Fair writer who has an acid pen and uses her blond looks as an added attraction, did a hatchet job on him, Trump replied in kind. He called her a bitch, a liar, and ugly to boot. The great and the good were horrified. I thought he hit the nail right on the head. The other thing that has the hacks really peed off is the fact that The Donald tells it like it is when it comes to immigration and crime. Phony writers for the Times and other such tendentious organizations ignore blue-collar workers who have not graduated from Ivy League schools. The latter love Trump, and the less educated they are, the more sense they make in liking him. We can”t all live in ritzy suburbs and slick Park Avenue apartment buildings like Times people, whose only contact with immigrants is during the 6 o”clock news. At the same time, Trump’s outrageous shtick and his camera-hogging antics endear him to those uninvited to chic parties in New York and Washington. The Donald blew it with McCain”what’s a pilot supposed to do when shot down, act Japanese and go down in flames?”but otherwise he’s done a great job annoying the rest of the crowded Republican presidential field.
Needless to say, a debate between one of the world’s most accomplished liars”Hillary Clinton”and The Donald would be easily dubbed the greatest show on earth. Trump would make mincemeat of her. It takes a loose cannon like The Donald to put the phoniest woman on the planet in her place. Of course, it won”t happen. Trump has to do well in one of the first four early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. The media will help his opponents as much as possible, but Trump has done something very few have managed before: He’s developed a populism based on individuality, not on any distinctive bloc. Americans have always loved pirates and strong individuals. And Trump represents capitalism with a capital C. Love him or hate him, you”ve got to admire his”well, for lack of a better word”balls. Still, I”d give up a night with Ava Gardner to see him take on that bitch, the next American president.