As the primaries roll into New York on April 19, I keep hearing the words "Trump Territory" being used in the media. Are they kidding? If there is one place in this country where we know what a buffoon, charlatan, fraud, and phony Donald Trump is, it is right here in his home state of New York. More specifically, in his hometown of New York City.
We know Donald Trump. We know him beyond his facade of the reality game show host he plays on television. We know Donald Trump because he has been making local news here and has been a staple and joke in the gossip columns for decades.
We know about the buildings with his name on them in bright gold letters -- that he doesn't even own. We have to look at them every day.
We know about how he went bankrupt in Atlantic City with the Taj Mahal hotel and casino, all flash and no cash, that left so many out of work. We know because they are our neighbors and friends.
We know about his multiple bankruptcies, and cheap ties that are made in China and Mexico, his two favorite places.
We know about his scam of a "university" that tricked and quite possibly defrauded, so many hard working folks out of their hard earned money.
"Trump University" wasn't a university. It wasn't even accredited; yet he still sold false hope to all who passed through its doors. Fake dreams. Promises of wealth, and the "good life" as his students stood next to a cardboard cutout of a one-dimensional photo of the cardboard man.
Trump is now essentially selling that same empty dream to the American public. Same one-dimensional cardboard man, on a national stage, selling the same false dreams and fraud... to you.
We know Donald Trump, the serial wife-cheater. The philanderer. The liar. The one who left his wife for a hotter, younger Hawaiian Tropic bikini contestant and aspiring model, on the ski slopes of Aspen, while Ivana was home with three small children.
We watched the headlines every day: "Best Sex I Ever Had" his mistress, Marla Maples shamelessly boasted on the front page of the New York Post, as he ran around with complete disregard for his wife and three children. He eventually left her too, with a baby -- for a bikini model from another country, Slovenian, who needed papers.
I guess immigrants are just fine if they are half-naked lingerie models, but not if they are hardworking housekeepers in the same boat.
Some of us in certain circles know him socially, from parties and events. He's always been one to never miss the party circuit rounds. I had the misfortune of speaking to him at a party once in the Hamptons. Bloviating and full of hot air, about I can't even remember what, as his wife silently stood there expressionless and emotionless for an entire half hour. I don't think she uttered a word the entire party. I'm guessing she probably wasn't allowed to speak. I left feeling sorry for her, she seemed kind.
Even the .00001 percenters here, who like him socially, find it absolutely astonishing that he has made it this far. They speak within their circles knowing that although it might be fun to have a friend as the next president, he has absolutely no idea what he is doing.
Then there's my personal experience with the version of Donald Trump who likes to pretend to be "the champion of all veterans, and our servicemen and women," -- although Trump never served a day in his life, and managed to dodge Vietnam with deferments.
Actually, neither have his two sons who are strong and capable young men. They like to declare their love of guns, shooting things, and country while up on stage campaigning, but apparently not quite enough to leave Park Avenue, lace up some boots, and head to Afghanistan. That just wasn't their style either. They would rather shoot elephants at a fancy resort in Africa.
Making America Great Again, keeping us all safe... one dead elephant at a time.
Neither of his sons, loved their country quite enough to actually enlist, serve, and sacrifice... like my little brother did, and neither did he. Donald Trump was a cowardly dodger, just like his boys.
So, back in 2008, while my brother was actually serving in Iraq, Trump was filming his reality show here in New York City. I received a call from a publicist, asking if I would be interested in speaking at an event that was to "help the soldiers." They were very vague about it. I would do anything for our servicemen and women, especially with my brother over there, so I decided reluctantly to do it, even though I wasn't given many details, such as "what organization is this for?" -- a question which was repeatedly dodged.
They asked me on the day of the event, and our lovely friend Carol Alt was involved, so I trusted that it was probably fine, and went to show my support.
When I arrived at Cipriani Wall Street, they had releases at the door to sign, cameras, and blinding lights -- because it was a taping of The Apprentice. It wasn't about soldiers. It was about hustling military families, and servicemen and women to stand there, under the guise of patriotism. To use us as set props, and to EXPLOIT us for ratings.
I walked out. It was disgraceful and disgusting. All just a big fake show.
This is who the real Donald Trump is, and we as New Yorkers have known this for a long time.
This isn't just about Trump as a failed businessman.
This is about the character of a man, or lack thereof.
He is an empty suit. He is a liar and a conman who cares only about furthering his brand. He is a sick, narcissistic, old man who will do or say anything to get publicity. He always has; and you know what? New Yorkers have his number. We've seen his shenanigans around town for decades; and everyone -- from the Halal cart guys, to the wealthiest of the wealthy, to the bodega owners here -- know that he is a fraud.
So, New York is "Trump Territory"?
I don't think so.
There isn't a town in this country where he is less respected and more of a joke than here. Simply because we know him, and you just can't fool a New Yorker.
Might he win anyway? I mean, the Republicans I suppose must vote for someone. I would imagine that people are also smarter than to choose Cruz, but that doesn't mean that Trump is coming home to beloved territory. Maybe he'll organize another fake event, like he did "for the soldiers."
So please, Mr. Trump, sell your snake oil somewhere else, pal. Your "schtick" is as tired and old as a hustler selling fake watches out of the lining of his coat on the street around here; and the tourists may buy and believe it, but we don't.