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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Billionaire confidence

No matter how much you agree with Donald Trump's policies, it's hard to escape the conclusion after listening to him for a while that as a billionaire, you're apt to end up thinking yourself a little better-looking, a little smarter, and a little funnier than you actually are, simply because people treat you a certain way.

The Miss Universe contestants who throw themselves at Trump must make him feel quite attractive. They must all say something along the lines of "Oh Donald, you're so sexy," even if what they really mean is, "I find the idea of a multibillionaire quite stimulating, and by the way, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to have you fix the contest in my favor, if that's possible."

(You can tell Trump thinks he's good-looking by the way he so freely insults others' looks.)

Trump also seems to equate dollars with IQ points. In his view, he's basically ten times as smart as a guy with only one billion.

Much of Trump's justification for running seem to be that he has written The Art of the Deal and has a net worth of (supposedly) ten billion, which makes him far more successful than the other candidates. Given which, one has to wonder how he will react if Michael Bloomberg, who's legitimately worth 37 billion dollars, decides to run as an independent.

In the most recent debate, Trump responded to a criticism from Governor Kasich with, "I’ve built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. I don’t have to hear from this man. Believe me, I don’t have to hear from him." Trump wouldn't really be able to use that line on Bloomberg.

The people who work for the Trump Organization undoubtedly laugh heartily at all of Trump's jokes, funny or not. Which has undoubtedly led Trump to see himself as quite the wit.

If I had a billion, I suspect people would treat me differently. And it would probably take more discipline than I've got to dismiss their blandishments as empty flattery.

Donald Trump doesn't seem to have that kind of discipline either. And he's a longtime billionaire, which only makes it worse.

Sometimes, when you look at the pictures of the nerdy young internet billionaires, they seem to have a deer-in-the-headlights look, as if they're uncomfortable in the spotlight and afraid of making fools of themselves. And while many look understandably happy, they don't have that practiced look of arrogance.


Give them a couple decades with yes-men (and "Yes!" women) and they'll see themselves differently.

As I've said before, I think Trump would actually be the best candidate for the middle class, unlikely as that seems. Of course, if he actually gets elected, it's always possible he will renege on some of his campaign promises.

One thing will not change, however, and that we can be sure of: his ego.


Anonymous said...

"Nothing so gives the illusion of intelligence as personal association with large sums of money."
J.K. Galbraith

Anonymous said...

Hi John--Great article. I think he would be better for the middle class as much as most of that class seems to despise him. Maybe 8 years of Hillary will have to be the cure, sad as that might seem. Thanks, Brian F

John Craig said...

Anon --
Great line, hadn't heard Galbraith quoted in quite a while.

John Craig said...

Brian F --
Thank you, long time no hear from!

I actually think a lot of the middle class is being won over to him by his refreshing lack of political correctness. Eight years of Hillary? If eight years of Obama didn't shock this country into its senses, there's no hope.

Steven said...

He does seem to hold himself like he thinks he's sexy.

Perhaps you could shed light on why Cumberbatch has such an intense cult female following, which spans several continents. He looks funny looking to me. The best explanation I can think of is that his deep set eyes, prominent cheekbones and such, are primeval masculine features which set off the primeval juices of women everywhere.

He's played bad guys too, and geek roles.

Still, he doesn't look tough and I stare at his face trying to re-interpret it as handsome and I can't.

John Craig said...

Steven --
My reaction is the same as yours: I'm mystified. I hadn't realized that Cumberbatch had such an intense cult, but I don't see him as particularly good-looking. He actually looks sort of gay to me, and I don't think I'm alone in that opinion, otherwise the producers of "The Imitation Game" would not have cast him as Alan Turing.

The only thing I can think of is that his female fans have all watched "Sherlock," and, in the manner of movie fans everywhere, mistook the actor for his character. (Some women DO find intelligence sexy.)

Runner Katy said...

I agree with the ways that Trump has won the middle class over and think he might actually do some good for the country, but what about if he makes a mistake? He would NEVER, ever own up to any mistake, it seems. Have you ever heard him admit he was wrong, or even better, apologize to anyone? That's a little scary. Luckily, he would have enough staff on hand to help refrain from any major mistakes.

John Craig said...

Runner Katy --
Agreed, Trump is definitely a narcissistic personality, but I think when it comes to the position of President we have to settle for a narcissist and just hope we don't get a sociopath. And yes, I think Trump would hire smart people. (He may be a narcissist, but he's OUR narcissist.)

Anonymous said...

Trump used to be a good looking guy. You can look this up yourself, but I saw him on the street about 20 years ago and he was very handsome. He's tall, about 6'2" and was a young looking 50 then. He's aged considerably.


John Craig said...

Ladybug --
I've seen pictures of him when he was young, and he was definitely better-looking then. To me, he was always a bit soft-looking though.

Anonymous said...

For a Christmas present, my oldest son gave me a book about Donald Trump. I'm looking forward to skimming it, then reading it. Hopefully, he becomes our next President. As it is now, this country is too far to the left. We need a leader who can balance things out in our country.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
Merry Christmas, thoughtful gift by your son.

I'm rooting for Trump too, though I'm not sure I like him all that much personally.

Anonymous said...

His personality doesn't move me either. It's what he can do for this country that matters. A commenter on another website recommends a Trump/Cruz ticket which could be doable. Merry Christmas to you and yours!