From the early days of Trump:
Trump: The response to my candidacy out here [in Los Angeles] has been incredible! Off the charts! The polls are unbelievable! Everybody loves me here — loves me! My hotel phone is ringing off the hoo from major actresses! Major!
Question shouted from the audience: Any of them voters?
Trump: Who cares? They’re huge! Not Pamela Lee, but that ballpark. A lot of people have been asking what this election is really about. Well, it’s not about the economy, stupid! And it’s not character, stupid! And it’s not authenticity, Stupid! It’s not even about the issues, stupid! You want to know what this election is about?
Trump: Exactly! People are begging me to run. Begging me! And when I’m elected, I’ll restore dignity to the tax act.
Sometimes I feel like Americans have just discovered Donald Trump. I grew up in New York (not The City, but not too far away) and Trump has been there all along. He was a widely known regional-level buffoon, famous for screwing up deals, stepping on people, treating people unfairly, and self aggrandizement. There was alway this ironic belief that he is always running for President, but no one ever took that seriously.
The disconnect between the then and the now with respect to the Donald is a gaping maw filled with the very term, “The Donald.” Did you know that he was known as “The Donald” by everybody for, like, 20 years? He was not “Donald,” “Donald Trump,” or “Trum.” He was “The Donald.”
Nobody calls him that any more. Indeed, the Washington Post had to run an item during the campaign explaining where “The Donald” came from, the term has become so obscure. It was, of course, his wife Ivana, who referred to him this way, as a matter of translation from the style of Czech to the style of English. (Ivana was an immigrant. Donald has a thing about immigrants.)
In so many way, for decades, Trump was easy material for the comedians and cartoonists. The dialog above is, in fact, from a couple of adjoining Doonesbury cartoons by Gary Trudeau. I know, right? Couldn’t tell the cartoon from the real thing!
Julia gave me, for Christmas, Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump
“Doonesbury is one of the most overrated strips out there. Mediocre at best.”
–Donald Trump, 1989
(not a fake quote)
From the publisher:
He tried to warn us. Ever since the release of the first Trump-for-President trial balloon in 1987, Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau has tirelessly tracked and highlighted the unsavory career of the most unqualified candidate to ever aspire to the White House. It’s all there–the hilarious narcissism, the schoolyard bullying, the loathsome misogyny, the breathtaking ignorance; and a good portion of the Doonesbury cast has been tangled up in it. Join Duke, Honey, Earl, J.J., Mike, Mark, Roland, Boopsie, B.D., Sal, Alice, Elmont, Sid, Zonker, Sam, Bernie, Rev. Sloan, and even the Red Rascal as they cross storylines with the big, orange airhorn who’s giving the GOP such fits.
Garry Trudeau is the “sleazeball” “third-rate talent” who draws the “overrated” comic strip Doonesbury, which “very few people read.” He lives in New York City with his wife Jane Pauley, who “has far more talent than he has.”
Get this book, it will make you laugh and cry.