Politics - News Analysis
Three Americans are in a Bigger Panic than Trump: Don Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, Who Face the Nightmare of Their Future
We obviously cannot possibly know how this whole election thing is going to turn out. Donald Trump is more dangerous right now than at any point in his life. Michael Cohen famously said that Trump won’t give up power peacefully (that has essentially been promised) and Cohen said he believed Trump was willing to start a war to stay in power. Presumably, Cohen meant with another country but we should assume nothing.
So no one is counting chickens, hatching, all that. But one thing seems certain. With the Democrats poised to take the Senate (especially now that the GOP blessed this man throughout), even IF Trump somehow managed to hang on to the presidency, the salad days of making money hand over fist through presidential power are over. And he’ll likely lose anyway. His future is pretty grim.
Donald Trump is 74 years old. He is not in good health. Let’s be charitable and say that he’s looking at a maximum of 15-16 more years on this earth, and that would be quite an accomplishment if he goes through the pain that now seems virtually certain. Relatively speaking, at 74, his time is pretty limited.
The kids? Now that is a whole ‘nuther matter.
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In reading through the New York Times article, these three “Executive Vice Presidents” of the Trump Organization had to know that their “inheritance” was always far more tenuous than they’d ever publicly let on. And that was then.
Now it’s worse and that’s a lot worse than we knew.
The New York Times published their second installment of the Trump financial breakdown Monday evening and it didn’t have the explosive power of the first – but how could it? One of the main anecdotes that jump out at the reader is that it was literally The Apprentice that saved Trump’s ass from an even worse fate than that faced after the Atlantic City fiascos. At the point that Mark Burnett – whose name should live in infamy every bit as much as Trump’s – when Burnett approached Trump about the show, the producers were shocked at how easy it was to talk the “billionaire” into doing it.
But they quickly figured out why Trump was so amenable. Not only was Trump no billionaire, but he was also barely getting by. Even the Trump Organization offices looked like a dump:
“We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture,” Bill Pruitt, one of the producers, told The New Yorker in 2018. “We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise.”
The past is prologue. This is the future staring straight at the kids now.
Again, Trump may win. He looked down and out after the Access Hollywood tape, yet used the debate two nights later to say to Hillary “Because you’d be in jail” – and that was that. All was forgiven in MAGA world, he was back to being a hero. So one never counts Trump out.
But even if he somehow won the presidency, it’s now crystal clear that Trump’s income comes from two sources other than “being president”; licensing his “brand,” which will be worth pennies once it becomes associated with wildly out of control debt and fraud. And, his income came from loans, the origin of which are still far too murky. The odds of those loans being “legitimate” and legal dry up by the day. “Money laundering” stands out as an all-too-real possibility (it always was). Money laundering only works when no one’s really looking.
With all this debt coming due, a diminished president (even if he wins), one with far less earning potential, and a brand that may be more synonymous with fraud than wealth, the kids’ last forty-eight hours have to have been more horrific than even Trumps’. Because the kids are now looking at living 40 to 50 years in possible infamy, burdened with a name that history will tie to not just the worst president in history but the worst possible president in history. Not only does it seem unlikely that they’ll inherit much money, to the extent they inherit anything, it’s apparently horrific debt and a name that terrifies investors.
In other words, whereas just six months ago, they believed they were cruising to a second term, riding the wave of “the greatest economy ever built” (a con), as members of a soon to be royal family, it’s now very possible that they’d trade it all for total anonymity.
Yes, we get it, it may well be too soon to spike the football. In fact, with Trump especially, it’s too early to spike anything except our drink. Trump is not smart but he’s always had a genius feral survival instinct and still has some terrifyingly dangerous moves he can make as a wounded and cornered coon. But his possible moves are more limited now than just 72 hours ago.
It is not too early to say that there are three people in the U.S. far more worried than Trump, each with far more to lose, starting with long-held dreams. The Times articles have already speculated upon whether Ivanka faces criminal liability over just the tax fraud we know about now. Eric and Junior may be a little behind but only because they weren’t the appled-ass of Daddy’s eye. Jared isn’t a born Trump, but his future may be even worse. There is already plenty to examine and we didn’t focus on Jared … but damn sure could have.
Perhaps the rich white kids will find a way out of it, as many often do. And yet it’ll still be infinitely harder than they once imagined, and the possibilities much more limited. If they’re self-aware enough to really grasp the paradigm shift around them – a big “if” – they probably ought to be more worried about avoiding prison than losing the future wealth they once believed to be their birthright.
Their father was once in a similar position and only a reality show saved him. Maybe that’s their only real chance. Maybe their own Mark Burnett will come through with a big idea for a new one: “Children of the Con,” a show about grown adults learning to do everyday things, like their own laundry. In other words, a horror flick.
It is hard to feel bad for those Trump rascals, the most terrified kids in America.
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