! was prompted to write this by recent posts by George Romney and Koshersalami on Donald Trump which appeared here recently and by an article by a Canadian journalist which was sent to me by an acquaintance of mine.
I agree with these articles in some ways and disagree In others, which is why I write.
My major disagreement with these authors is that I see Mr. Trump’s appeal to voters and the factors that made people susceptible to that appeal as being separate but related.
What I am writing is my personal opinion and not the opinion of any law firm of which I was an associate or a member or any military service to which I belonged or was attached or any of my clients.
Donald John Trump
If you do business or practice law in the City, on Long Island or in the Northern Suburbs, in fact, in the Tri-State area generally, Trump and the Trump Organization are a known quantity.
My personal impression (note the disclaimer above) of him and of his Organization generally (which seems to reflect him) is that he often conducts himself as a bully, even where it is detrimental to his objectives, and that he has (and employs others who have) deep knowledge of (and a genuine feeling for) commercial real estate in the Tri-State area.
That knowledge, especially early in his career, has let him do very impressive (and unlikely) things. He built or renovated major properties, like Trump Towers, when New York commercial real estate was considered a risky proposition in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the days of ”Fear City” and the Escape from New York meme. He was able to refurbish Wollman Rink, on time and under budget, when New York City could not.
On the other hand, it seems that Mr. Trump has appeared to feel that having that skill means that he has similar knowledge of other endeavors. There is a long list of events over the last 40 years or so, the Jersey Generals, Trump University, a venture in legal gambling casinos, Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks, Trump Ties, etc., that tend to disprove Mr. Trump’s opinion,
In addition to his deep knowledge and instincts for commercial realty in the Tri-State area, Trump is a master salesman and like most such people, his best product is himself. The Apprentice is prima facie evidence of this. Trump is a huckster, which is an attribute of successful people and is a part of having a chance to be a successful politician.
So far, I would suggest, Mr. Trump performance as President has tended to conform to these observations.
In addition, Mr. Trump’s background of being a developer in the Tri-State area in general (and New York City in particular) probably has required Mr. Trump to cut corners in some areas to attain results. That background has possibly meant that Mr. Trump has been required to deal with people in the underground economy and related demimondes. That one of Mr. Trump’s mentors was the able (but infamous) lawyer and influencer Roy Cohn, also indicates he has been able to navigate these demimondes adroitly.
Given that, it should not be a surprise that there are investigations, part of which concern untoward ties.
Some Trends in Society
The obvious trend, which Koshersalami and the Canadian Journalist’s articles key on, is demographic change. However, there are a two other trends which I think are less apparent but which may be more important: 1) the divergence between the coasts (and the major cities) and “flyover country;” and 2) a general hemorrhaging of legitimacy at all levels of Government.
I will address the later points in separate posts.