I have been reading Mary L. Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man”. Mary L. Trump is the daughter of Fred Trump, known in the family as Freddy, who was the oldest son of Fred and Mary Trump and older brother to Donald. Mary L. Trump holds a master’s degree in English literature from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Adelphi University. She is President Trump’s niece and has known him her entire life.
The White House has described this book as nothing but lies and Donald Trump fought a losing court battle to prevent its publication. When compared with what we know about Trump, however, the book appears to be highly credible. While it initially discusses Trump’s personality defects from a psychological perspective, I would like to focus more on his history as a real estate developer and beyond.
A significant portion of the book deals with Trump Management, the highly successful company founded by Fred Trump, which developed apartment buildings and rented them out. It also paints Fred as a terrible father who fostered many of the traits we see today in Donald – bullying, lying and self-promotion. Donald joined the company in 1968 and was named its president by Fred in 1971. In the mid-’70s with a loan from his father believed to be $14 million, he began to develop in Manhattan while Fred had always stuck to Brooklyn and Queens.
Mary L. Trump describes Donald’s real estate development career as marked by failure, especially his Atlantic City casino/hotels. Much of this is supported by his six bankruptcies and an exposé published by the New York Times in October, 2018. While Donald has worked hard to keep his tax returns and financial records secret, a recent Supreme Court ruling will allow access by the Manhattan district attorney in his investigation into Trump’s business activities.
For a long time, Donald Trump worked with the big banks, but they grew tired of taking losses in his bankruptcies and cut him off. The only bank that was willing to work with him was Deutsche Bank; its history of financial wrongdoing was extensively documented in David Enrich’s book, “Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction”.
One can’t help but wonder how such an unsuccessful businessman could possibly become president of the United States. He does have a singular skill, which is described in Mary Trump’s book and which we have observed over Trump’s years as president – he is a highly skilled liar. Throughout all of his financial failures, he was able to maintain an image as a successful businessman/playboy. He cultivated the media to the point that banks wanted to loan him money just so they could say they were doing business with him. When almost every bank had given up, that image turned out to his benefit with Deutsche Bank.
As president, he began with a lie about the size of his inauguration crowd – a lie easily disproved by the photographs of his versus Obama’s inauguration. The obviousness of his lies never mattered; he just kept them coming, and Fox News commentators helped out by acting as if they were facts. Mary Trump also talks about Trump always coming up with someone to blame for his failures, a trait that has continued throughout his presidency.
Lying will not prevent Americans from understanding our 149,000 deaths from COVID-19. Kayleigh McEnany can talk about schools opening in Europe, but their cases are going down dramatically while ours have increased by an average of 2.6% per day since June 25, which amounts to an overall increase of 85.9%. This is not just about Florida and Texas; cases over the past week have increased by more than 20% in Idaho, Oklahoma and Alabama. We are out of control and Donald Trump is out of his league.