Within the first sentence on the back dustcover of her tell-all book, TOO MUCH and NEVER ENOUGH: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” Mary L. Trump declares to the book’s massive, by now, readership all that a moderately well educated person need know as to what her uncle Donald J. Trump is mainly about. She writes, “ Today Donald is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning, or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderating his responses, or take in and synthesize information.”
Let me say right upfront that all opinions and concepts herein expressed that do not appear in quotes are my own personal views of what Mary has written. For instance, I, and many others, might say that much of his stifled intellect is due to one of Trump’s most powerful personal traits — his all-consuming laziness. The Donald can’t be bothered seriously thinking about things not somehow involved with self-glorification, just like a three year old — look at what I can do mommy. Of course to varying degrees we are all guilty of overt self-glorification at times.
But because, unlike Trump or any other three-year-old soul, we actually possess self-awareness we are usually — out of embarrassment — quick to back away from what we know must seem to others as childishly self-serving babble. As we can all see, however, the intellectually stunted Donald is totally oblivious to such adult awareness, so he just keeps piling on his self-glorification nonsense with no idea that most adults are laughing at him inside, even when they, too, are piling on thick, over the top compliments. I mean what three-year-old would suspect such compliments were not sincere — right?
In a sort of Trumpian way, for most of the book Mary Trump is at the center of the story. It’s about her relating to the Trump family dynamics of which Donald Trump’s father, Fred, was the overbearing ring master of the show, until sidelined and killed by Alzheimer’s.
The author is a clinically trained psychologist that in the writing of this book leans heavily on nurture, when it comes to the age-old debate of which of the two most form personality, nurture or nature. Naturally when one is telling a story of family dynamics from the perspective of being inside the subject, it’s pretty hard to get around the main theme being rooted in nurture. But suffice it to say one might strongly suspect that even were the Donald raised as an adopted orphaned in an especially loving middleclass family that he still would have grown up to be the same self-absorbed punk.
Of course by being raise in a family headed by a ruthless, domineering father whose only interest was making money in real state and who himself possessed some of the Donald’s worst traits, in such a case where nurture compliments nature a horrendous amplification of such traits is inevitable.
Without going into much detail, Donald had two brothers and two sisters. His oldest brother whom everyone called Freddy was the father of the book’s author, Mary L. It was at first assumed that Freddy would eventually take over running his father’s real estate empire. Freddy, however, was not ruthlessly obsessed with money and power, an outlook on life that his father saw as a personal weakness and betrayal of family values. Freddy was bright and much more well rounded than his father. He loved flying and flew briefly as a professional pilot for TWA.
Cutting to the chase, Freddy not being like his father infuriated his dad, causing Fred to endlessly berate his number one son, in time driving him to alcoholism and finally to an early grave at age 42. With Freddy not matching up to expectations. Fred turned to his second son, Donald; hitting what for the father was pay dirt. While the Donald lacked his father’s relentless work ethic and attention to detail, the second son did possess in spades what his father prized most in a son, a desire to win at all cost, a relentless toughness and sadistic appetite for revenge. No amount of lying cheating or running over people was too much for gaining advantage for the Donald, and his father loved it. Thus unlike his older brother, the Donald could do no wrong in Fred’s eyes.
The fact that Donny boy came up pretty darn short in the competence department was no problem for Fred. He would use his publicity hound son as the front man while he oversaw the details in the background. In other words Donald Trump learned to use other people somewhat the way his father used him, except for him being unable to apply the same high level of competence and attention to details to his business dealing as did his father.
Mary Trump weaves a highly readable story of family greed and intrigue. But it is when she comes to the next to the last chapter that she lets go with salvo after salvo of disgust aimed directly at an uncle whom she sees through her psychologists eyes as the most dangerous man in the world.
First off Mary says that her uncle has lived in an “essentially controlled environment in which Donald’s material needs have always been taken care of” … “in which the work was done by others and Donald never needed to acquire expertise in order to attain power (which partly explains his distain for the expertise of others).”
The Donald had certain qualities that his behind the scenes, back room dealing soul of an accountant father didn’t have. Fred’s son had tabloid quality splash and dash. He was a born self-promoter, a guy whose headline generating fame the father lived through vicariously. Fred in fact became addicted to the incompetent monster that he had created. “Fred kept propping up Donald’s false sense of accomplishment [with hundreds of millions of rescue dollars] until the only asset Donald had was the ease with which he could be duped by more powerful men. This explains Trump’s fetish for dictators like his old pal Vladimir Putin and the love of his life, North Korea’s Kim Jung-un. As they say the easiest person to con is another con.
Mary writes, “For the first forty years of his real estate career, my grandfather never acquired debt. In the 1970s and ’80s, however, all of that changed as Donald’s ambition grew larger and his missteps became more frequent.” Then as Fred’s mental state began to decline the Donald and his siblings, eager to kill the goose that laid the golden eggs, got full control of their father’s nearly billion-dollar real estate empire. They, lead by the Donald, “quietly” sold the whole enchilada to a single buyer for a mere 700 million, meaning that art of the deal Donny left 300 million on the table.
This little essay doesn’t begin to touch the story that Mary L. Trump Ph. D unfolds about her infamous family. Of all the books written about the life and family of Donald J. Trump, Mary’s tome will likely be the one that average readers find to be the most enjoyable and informative reading. The pages fly by, except for me one small segment near the beginning.
Oh, more thing Mary wrote — about his most ardent supporters that are not super rich. “Donald’s need for affirmation is so great that he doesn’t seem to notice that the largest group of his supporters are people he wouldn’t condescend to be seen with outside of a rally.” How about that you MAGA saps?