With Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, you elected one family member and got an able confidante and adviser. With Donald Trump, you elected one and got an entire friggin’ family, in-laws, ex-wives and enablers. The Trump family-value plan is not a great deal for America.
Consider favorite son Donald Trump Jr., the one with a resemblance to Eddie Munster. “I thought I was out of politics after Election Day and would get back to my regular life and my family,” Junior assured us, then went on to address the Dallas County GOP Reagan Dinner. Wait for it … “But I couldn’t.”
One might think Junior, who has lived in his father’s shadow for 42 years, enjoys suddenly being in demand. That’s why he’s on the campaign trail again this weekend, kicking off a two-day whistle stop with Republican Greg Gianforte in Montana. Gianforte, a New Jersey native, spent $6 million of his own money in a failed effort last year to win the Montana governor’s office, and is now trying to buy a House of Representatives seat. Sadly, Gianforte is the poster child of evangelical Christian intolerance and dysfunction. And Republicans.
There was a time, ha ha, when we believed all of Donald Trump’s children would go back to hawking hotels, wine and women’s clothing. Kind of like “Weekend at Bernie’s.” That was before they joined the presidential transition team. Or chose dad’s chief of staff and Interior secretary. Or listened in on dad’s phone calls to world leaders and sat in on meetings with Germany’s Angela Merkel and Japan’s Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping. And we swear, Ivanka Trump’s hot new trademark deal in China is just a coincidence.
What do we really know about No. 1 son, Trump Junior? All we’ve got to evaluate him are his appearances, business records, public statements and interviews. By generous standards, he’s an asshat.
He’s tone-deaf. On the day of the movie theater shootings in Colorado, Junior was appearing on a local shock-jock radio program. Twelve people were murdered at the midnight premiere of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” One witness called into the show, describing his anguish when a child just a few rows away was shot in the jaw. “Overall, I’d give the movie two thumbs up,” Junior interjected.
He’s another Russia connection. In the final weeks of the election, Junior gave a speech in Paris to the Center of Political and Foreign Affairs conference. It was hosted by a pro-Russia group representing Kremlin global interests. The Trump organization said the speech was OK, because he got at least $50,000 for it.
He’s a family man but likes to keep a little action going. Married with five children, Junior is a longtime fan and Twitter correspondent with @BristolSweets, a self-described blow job coach. In one exchange @BristolSweets tweeted, “My hands are small. They make things in them look so BIG.” To which Junior responded, “Great quote.” But he’s really a boob guy. He once tweeted “If ur a boob guy, this whole lactation thing is amazing the sports bra the wife is wearing is losing the containment battle!” Like his dad, Junior married a model, albeit a second-hand one — Vanessa Trump formerly dated Leonardo DiCaprio.
If Twitter is the window to the soul, it’s dark in there. Who can forget Junior’s classic tweet about Syrian refugees? Along with an image of a bowl of Skittles, he asked, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you three would kill you would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” On someone who disagreed with him: “YOU’RE the fricken moron. Graduate first grade or learn basic grammar before mocking others. Idiot!” On political opponent U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters: “Whats w bedazzled red cowboy hat Maxine Watters (sic) is wearing criticizing T party? Easier 2 take u seriously when u don’t look like a stripper.”
He may have a white sheet with a cone-shaped cap in his closet. People were surprised when Junior did a radio interview with white supremacist James Edwards in March 2016. More surprise when he retweeted a pic of a Trump supporter giving a Nazi salute and declared it to be Sen. Bernie Sanders. Asked at a Mississippi event what he thought about the Confederate flag he said, “I believe in tradition. I don’t see a lot of the nonsense that’s been created about that.” Salon reported Junior follows a number of white nationalists on Twitter and has retweeted several, including a psychologist who believes Jews manipulate society.
He may be No. 1 son, but he didn’t graduate at the top of his business class. Junior was touring ranches in the West, one to be a college graduation gift from dad, when he met a “dealmaker who dabbles in real estate” from Utah. The Columbia, South Carolina, The State reported soon Junior and the dealmaker were in business they claimed would revolutionize low-cost housing around the world. (Uh, didn’t Junior’s grandfathers have serious problems in low-income housing, namely federal racial discrimination charges?) They arranged millions in financing and started multiple spin-offs, leaving behind $2 million in debt, a trail of lawsuits, unpaid taxes and angry investors and lenders. Dear old dad bought the company and foreclosed on it, leaving South Carolina taxpayers to clean up the polluted site. The Trump sons may try to succeed in business, and are wealthy, but it all goes to show they just don’t have what dear old dad had: A lot of luck.
Junior tweets a lot. A lot. But he doesn’t yet understand the old saying, “You live by Twitter, you die by Twitter.” And once it’s said, it doesn’t go away. The Daily Mail had a roundup of tweets responding to a photo last month of Junior sitting on a stump. I did not make these up, but I wish I had. You can see them here.