At last. In an article in the London Review, “A Short History of the Trump Family,” Sidney Blumenthal spills the real info on Donald Trump. To quote Blumenthal, “Reckoning with Trump means descending into the place that made him. What he represents, above all, is the triumph of an underworld of predators, hustlers, mobsters, clubhouse politicians and tabloid sleaze that festered in a corner of New York City, a vindication of his mentor, the Mafia lawyer Roy Cohn, a figure unknown to the vast majority of enthusiasts who jammed Trump’s rallies and hailed him as the authentic voice of the people.” Blumenthal lays it out in detail and if you care about what is going on, you can’t miss it. Blumenthal’s article is filled with pertinent anecdotes. Like this one:
“Trump’s loathing and bullying are among the few things he came by honestly: they were part of his inheritance. Fred Trump was arrested for participating in a violent Ku Klux Klan rally in 1927; he had Mob ties and flagrantly discriminated against blacks when renting out housing. Woody Guthrie, his most famous tenant, wrote about his landlord in the first literary work on a Trump, ‘Old Man Trump’:
I suppose/ Old Man Trump knows/ Just how much/ Racial hatred/ he stirred up/ in the bloodpot of human hearts/ When he drawed/ That colour line/ Here at his/ Eighteen hundred family project.”
Or consider this anecdote about Cohn:
“Roy Cohn, the Mafia lawyer, was more than just the consigliere in Trump’s story. He was Donald’s mentor, his godfather. If Trump received an education beyond his two years at Fordham and as a transfer student at Wharton (‘I’m a smart person. I went to the Wharton School of Finance’), it was from his guide through the circles of the Inferno, who conducted masterclasses in malice. Trump was an apt pupil in aggression. ‘I don’t think I got that from Roy at all,’ Trump told the Washington Post. ‘I think I’ve had a natural instinct for that.’ He didn’t really need an education in heartlessness, but he learned the finer points from Cohn. Offering his highest praise, Trump called him ‘a total genius … he brutalised for you.’”
“Cohn initiated Trump into the highlife and lowdown at the hottest club in town, Studio 54. ‘What went on in Studio 54 will never, ever happen again,’ Trump told a journalist much later. ‘First of all, you didn’t have Aids. You didn’t have the problems you do have now. I saw things happening there that to this day I have never seen again. I would watch supermodels getting screwed, well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room. There were seven of them and each one was getting screwed by a different guy. This was in the middle of the room. Stuff that couldn’t happen today because of problems of death.'”
Now, personally, I don’t care what Trump did with his social life or whether he spent time at Studio 54. But what he does, and who he is, is relevant if you are debating the credibility of reports that he has been compromised by Russian agents and tapes of him with Russian prostitutes.
Or, one more: “In his 1990 interview with Playboy he expressed admiration for the Chinese government’s violent repression of the democracy movement. ‘When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it,’ he said. ‘Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spat on by the rest of the world.’”
In short, Blumenthal’s article needs to be read, and it speaks for itself without any further gloss from me. If you are seriously interested, and concerned, about who is now running the show, Blumenthal tells you what you need to know.