Thursday, November 12, 2015
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.