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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Are the Trump children spoiled?

After Friday's post about Trump's possibly having seduced the wives of his friends, commenter LBD pointed out:

All his children are mentally and physically healthy, productive people. None of them smoke cigarettes, they aren’t big drinkers (although Eric owns a winery) and all have chosen decent spouses (boyfriend in Tiffany’s case, and Barron is only twelve).

Also, even though Ivana despises Marla to this day, she has always treated Tiffany kindly and sought to include her in family events. The older kids don’t take it out on their half sister either, although her mom wrecked their childhood home. Lots of decency going on in that clan despite the dad’s egocentrism.

I replied:

True, it doesn't seem to be a dysfunctional family, even as the kids do seem a little spoiled.

LBD then replied:

Spoiled? Despite the family wealth they have all worked full time throughout their adult lives. Not trustafarians by any means. No drugs, no rowdy behavior, no extended adolescense. Opposite of spoiled by my reckoning.

LBD is right, of course. But I then explained what I meant:

I don't mean spoiled in the sense that they're club kids, or wastrels, but spoiled in the sense that they had it easy because they were the boss's kid. After college, Donald Trump Jr. spent one year bartending in Aspen before joining the Trump Organization. Ivanka spent one year at Forest City Enterprises before joining the Trump Organization. And Eric actually joined it while he was in high school. When you're the boss's son -- or daughter -- your career is going to be different. Not only do you not have to be concerned about being fired -- a constant, lurking threat for most people -- but other people kiss your ass for no other reason than who your father is. And with all that comes a certain sense of entitlement. Trust me, I've known people like this, and their experience of life is far different than yours or mine. They never had to kiss ass, never had to worry about their jobs, never even had to worry about being promoted. In my book, that's spoiled. Maybe not spoiled rotten, but spoiled.

I'd put Steve Mnuchin in this category too. He started at Goldman around the same time I did, but there was never any doubt that -- as long as he was passably competent -- he would make partner, since his father, Robert Mnuchin, was on the management committee of Goldman at the time. (John Weinstein, the former managing partner, also had two sons who joined the firm, and there was never much question about their eventual ascendancy either.) 

Frankly, Donald Trump himself falls into this category as well, having essentially taken over his father's real estate company.

But while I don't admire the Trump children, I have nothing against them, either. Ivanka, whose nose job and breast implants have made her look a little like a Russian stripper --

-- has always been a dutiful daughter. (And Russian strippers can look awfully good.)

I don't see Javanka championing the populism that propelled Trump into office, but I also suspect that their political influence may be overestimated. (This may change over the course of the next few years, though.)

Donald Trump Jr., too, is devoted to defending his father, though he tends to do so with the same hotheaded impetuousness that characterize his father's Tweets. This could eventually get Junior in trouble. He reminds me little of George W. Bush during his father's Presidency.

Eric Trump, while a little colorless, is also loyal. He's the kind of guy who, if not for his last name, you'd never have taken notice of in high school. But you can't hold that against him.

One group of people you almost never hear about -- and have to give credit to for that reason -- are Donald Trump's surviving siblings. Can you recall hearing a single interview with a single one of them since he first announced his run?

None have sought to capitalize on their connection. (And there is a long list of black sheep from Presidential families who have: think Billy Carter, Neil Bush, Hugh Rodham, and Roger Clinton.)

For that, we should probably be grateful.


Bryce Walat said...

I don’t get out much, but I can’t say that I’ve heard Chelsea Clinton referred to as “spoiled,” or any of the Kennedy family, for that matter.

Martin Black said...

Hi John,

This is unrelated but didn't know how else to share it. Here's a video that shows how far some whites go as to not seem racist:

I believe you have written about this before. The video is really funny and just happens to be in sync with what you've mentioned in the past.

I've also wondered what your MBTI profile is, I suspect INTP/J.

Martin Black

John Craig said...

Bryce --
Now that you mention it, I can't recall having heard that particular word applied to them, but there's no question that they are. In fact I'd say Chelsea Clinton, who reportedly used Clinton Foundation funds to pay for her wedding, is worse. And a lot of the Kennedy kids, especially those from the RFK branch of the family, were pretty rotten.

John Craig said...

Martin --
Funny video. My personal theory is, the more white people try to "prove" that they're not racist, the more naturally uncomfortable they are among blacks.

I didn't even know what MBTI was, but looked it up and took the test. It says I'm an INTJ, -A/-T, an "architect." But I'd take that with a huge grain of salt, on almost all of those questions I found myself thinking, I could put down either extreme as an answer, and in certain situations, it would be accurate.

Bryce Walat said...

John, I’d say that it’s because the media likes the Clintons and Kennedys and hates Trump. Notice how the media went ballistic over Trump’s remarks about “grab ‘em by the pussy”...not so much over the Lewinsky affair and Slick Willie’s dozens of “bimbo eruptions,” or Ted Kennedy’s late night swim, not to mention the misbehavior of so many other Kennedys.

John Craig said...

Bryce Walat --
Absolutely no question about that bias. And it wasn't just the Lewinsky affair, which was at least consensual. There were a number of women whom Clinton had actually raped: Juanita Broaddrick, the woman he allegedly raped while at Oxford (Eileen Wellstone?), the woman who called the police on him when he was at Yale Law School, Kathleen Willey, whom he groped against her will, and Paula Jones, who he exposed himself to. And I'm guessing those represented just the tip of a pretty large iceberg.

And look at those fulsome encomiums Teddy Kennedy got when he died. As if he had saved Mary Jo Koopechne's life, rather than taken it.

Anonymous said...

It stands to reason if you're born into wealth, you're going to be spoiled, especially if your family has a lucrative business. I knew a family growing up whose father was the head of his family business (a textile mill in either Rhode Island or Massachusetts). In the 1980's the family business went under. The father and his children had to then get jobs on their own. It wasn't easy, but all the children managed to find careers for themselves.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
I've always thought the process of getting "unspoiled" must be very difficult. easer to be poor if that's all you've ever known than if you were once rich.

Anonymous said...

My guess is, the father had the hardest time of it. Fortunately, his wife (a really great lady) was a nurse, so she returned to the workforce, working until she retired. They still had assets (a vacation home) which they could sell, using the money for their retirement years.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Good for them. I've liked practically every nurse I've ever met. (Haven't yet met one of those nurse/serial killers whom I've written about on this blog, however.)

Anonymous said...

One of his biggest blessings in this man's life was his wife. You couldn't ask for a finer person. She was just an all around nice, smart woman.