There was a time in my life many years ago when I would loved to have stood in Donald Trump’s shoes. I wanted nice things. I wanted to live in a castle. I would have loved to own a Rolls Royce. I would have loved to travel the world and see everything and enjoy good wine and have the most beautiful wife.
It wasn’t because of greed. It was because all these things are attractive. To call it greed is to make a case that I wanted to do it at the expense of others, by taking advantage of the poor, and and crowding out the many with whom life presents as competition for such things. I thought that I could remain a good person and still do all these things. Perhaps, more to the point, I never quite realized what road I would have to travel in order to achieve, to live the dream. .
I became a stock broker and worked in the industry until I discovered that the men I worked with were corrupt and willing to lie to make a transaction. It was disgusting to me, and it wasn’t long before I began looking for work in another field.
I then hooked up with a multimillionaire who had designed the NASDAQ computer system and owned a capital holding company. He was a mergers and acquisitions specialist who bought floundering companies for pennies on the dollar and converted them into profitable companies. I thought that was a good thing.
I then began flying gamblers to Las Vegas, an idea he financed when I took it to him as a business venture, He was greatly attracted by the idea. I made a deal with Caesar’s Palace in which they would provide swank hotel accommodations and the cost of flying wealthy people in a Learjet to Sin City if these gamblers would put up a stake that was attractive to the house. And it worked for awhile. . Until, that is, my wonderful partner made an effort to get it all for himself. I think that’s when I began realizing that living the good life came with a price. That’s also when greed really made an impact upon me and started entering the picture in a very personal way.
Many ventures later and the crushing blows that came with them put me on the street, homeless in Beverly Hills, California. I I had just walked away from a business that was doing well over six figures a year. I left everything—cars, trucks, equipment, along with a contract to purchase a home in Bel Air—and began wandering the beach, looking for some truth within myself that answered many deep questions about what I wanted from life. It was then that I came to face the real truth about who I was, and what all this meant to me. How corrupt did I have to become in order to succeed with my dream of being rich? Who would I have to cheat? How many lies would I have to tell? What ugly games would I have to play? And who were these men whom I had chosen as my business partners, my companions, my world? Did I really want to live in such a world?
What began creeping up on me was that self respect based upon good moral values was much more valuable to me than all these “good things” that I had wanted.
Certainly, today, if someone offered me a million dollars with no strings attached, I’d take it. I’m not sure I’d buy a Rolls or use it up on fancy Learjets, because I can think of many other ways to spend that money that would mean a lot more to a 72-year-old coot like me. I’ve discovered that having friends who respect you for being genuine and compassionate by itself is worth more than all the money in the world. But it is self-respect more than anything else that is the true life-giver. Being whole within oneself by being true to oneself is the only path to happiness.
When I weigh the path of a man like Donald Trump, a man who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, and had a freeway paved ahead of him for the kind of success he has known, I really can’t hate him. It’s very difficult to find any truth in all the propaganda I read about him, so I have great difficulty judging him. I know that, had I been given his opportunities, I would be a much different man. I wouldn’t have the moral sense that I do now. I came from a very middle class background, but I have known deep poverty in my struggle against the bricks, because I was thrown to the wolves like most people are who live in this capitalist world where the rich have all the advantages and the poor just have to suck it up and try to compete on very evil terms.
I don’t hate capitalism, but I hate what it does to people. I don’t hate Trump, but I hate what it has done to him. I feel fortunate that I didn’t get caught in that same trap, because, with slightly different opportunities, that would be me as well.
With Trump as President elect, I know what we are headed for. I know well his state of mind. It doesn’t frighten me, because he lives in a world of men who are not much different from him. Power and money has its rightful competitors.
The Democrats lost, and their fortune was cast when they sold out to the very principles that Donald Trump lives by. And they got beat by a man who knows that game much better than they do. You can’t play the image of being for the downtrodden and forsaken while doing dirty deeds behind the scenes. It’s a cutthroat business,a fuck you man kind of business, and good old Donald was right out front with it. He proved to be better at being honest about it than these lefty fools who tried to play both sides of the fence.
He faces great odds in pulling off as President what he has done in the business world. In many ways we are helpless in changing what’s coming for us, the “little people,” the deplorables. He’s going to do great damage to many of our progressive causes. But he will not change those of us, who, like me, have come to value more than wealth and power. We will survive. We can do so without the fine clothes and the diamond rings. And we will win, because it is a greater power that lives inside us. .