Donald Trump and Other Animals
Richard Conniff writes in the NY Times:
I once interviewed Donald Trump for a magazine story. The topic was rivalries, which seemed like a natural for him. But he was so bombastically short on specifics, so braggadociously vague, that in the end there was nothing to quote. I left him out of the story.
So I was surprised recently to learn, by way of an article in The New Yorker, that Mr. Trump had, in fact, quoted me in a passage from his 2004 book “Trump: Think Like a Billionaire.” I would not have imagined that I had ever written anything he would want to quote.
It’s true that I had written about him in my book, “The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide,” published in 2002, but there was nothing remotely flattering there, as a glance at the index seemed to confirm:
hangingflies, compared to, 16
inherited wealth and, 266
intimidating eyebrows of, 87
Maples’s rating of, 248
multistory erections of, 94
reproductive asset management of, 225
The book was a work of tongue-in-cheek sociology, based partly on the premise that rich people often act like animals in the wild. But as I flipped through the references to Mr. Trump, it dawned on me that my animal analogies had been far too modest.
I had likened him to a male hangingfly, a type of insect that catches and kills other insects, then uses its prize to seduce a passing female. While she dines on his nuptial gift, he gets to mate with her. The bigger the gift, the more leisurely the mating.
Some male hangingflies aren’t all that interested in leisure, though, and this is the part that reminded me of Mr. Trump. They grab back the nuptial gift after a bit and carry it off to seduce other females. It was like Mr. Trump giving his second wife, Marla Maples, a prenuptial agreement that would eventually have provided her with a serious piece of his fortune — then dumping her just months before her entitlement was to come due. Had I known about his $916 million business loss in 1995, I might also have mentioned certain other male insects that are thought to suck all the nutrition out of the nuptial gift first, seducing females with little more than the wrapping.
But then the notorious 2005 “Access Hollywood” video made it abundantly evident that Mr. Trump regarded himself as the gift, splendidly desirable to all women, and entitled, in the event of resistance, to various forms of sexual assault. He was, to be frank, lower than a hangingfly.
I began to entertain the terrible thought that . . .