The Original Donald Trump

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?

Question: You?

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.

More like this

Update 2017.01.31: First post-inauguration chronology post is done, covering the first week of the Trump administration. From the point of view of someone sitting North of the Canadian/US border, the results of this week's US Federal election are somewhat terrifying. And honestly and truly as a…
After Garry Trudeau swallowed the apocryphal story about Grand Canyon park rangers' inability to tell the truth about the age of their charge, one would do well to be skeptical about any future strips based on alleged true stories. Fortunately, yesterday's color Doonesbury is on safer ground. It…
Garry Trudeau has been on a roll lately—the BD story line has been affecting and sympathetic, and now and then, he comes out and slams unreason. There have been long stretches where it feels like he's phoning it in, but not so much recently.
... until you have cleaned house and stopped embarrassing yourselves. And by clean house, I mean, take are of this deeply offensive bullshit your people are now spewing out. You have turned a very bad situation into something ten times worse. As background, this comes from a meeting of national…

Scary man imo.

By Marge Cullen (not verified) on 09 Mar 2017 #permalink

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.

Ahhh. I never knew that... But it clicks into place. Not just a Czech thing either. A Hungarian acquaintance uses the definite article when speaking of her husband: "the Gabor".

I read it last fall. My mother pre-ordered it for me as a birthday gift. I can second the recommendation.

I think I first heard of Trump when he was involved with the United States Football League back in the mid-1980s. He owned one of the teams, and he is credited/blamed with bankrupting the league. His business acumen has not improved since.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 10 Mar 2017 #permalink

Calling trumpkin an incompetent buffoon is an insult to incompetent buffoons!!!

his wife Ivana, who referred to him this way, as a matter of translation from the style of Czech to the style of English.

Perhaps she claimed so, but Czech (as most Slavic languages) has no grammatical articles at all - which sometimes causes a lot of trouble especially to someone who learns English later in his life, as it makes a bit difficult to wrap one's mind around the very concept.

Nevertheless, not using any article with someone's personal name is the most easiest thing to do for a Czech when speaking English. (Of course, some Czechs resort to just random "peppering" their English with articles, in hope that the statistical probability alone would secure some level of grammatical correctness.:-) )