It bothers me. Donald Trump looks like he was built to have a big cigar in the corner of his mouth, and a glass of the best cognac in his hand. But he’s not like that at all. Via Theophil Goddard (aka nightlight?) on NYCCLASH:
About 6 minutes in:
Monica X: You don’t drink. You don’t smoke. And I presume you didn’t take drugs, and you did that with your children. That seems a very conservative lifestyle. Is that something that was important to you growing up, and how did you enforce it with your children? As a parent I’m curious.
Donald Trump: It was. It was very important. I get a lot of credit because Ivanka has been so terrific. Eric is in the business, and Don, and I have two younger children, but I have been asked a lot your children seem to, knock on wood, I think, good. So far so good. You always have to knock on wood because who knows what happens. They are great children. I was always very strong: no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. And I say cigarettes because it’s a good thing to say (ideally?). But no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes. And I have so many friends of mine that are really smart guys -people that you report on – they come and they say What do you think? What do you think? Their kids are into alcohol or they’re into drugs – drugs are now the main thing – but they’re into drugs, and they won’t be able to compete.
I think there’s a classic Dread of Drugs being displayed here. Tobacco and alcohol, and tea and coffee, are all Drugs. DRUGS! A lot of people are terrified of drugs. And Donald seems to be one. It’s a fear that has been stoked for a century or more by the Drug Warriors. And it’s the idea – the fear, even dread – that as soon as you light your first cigarette or joint, or break open your first bottle of beer, you’ve started on an unstoppable slide into oblivion, addiction, penury, and early death.
So don’t ever start.
And it’s just not true. It’s not like that. The dangers in all these things have been vastly exaggerated, and the benefits completely disregarded.
The same things could be said about swimming. That once you’ve started paddling in the pool, before you know it you can get in over your head, you can get in too deep, and you’ll wind up drowning. It’s a real and ever-present danger. So don’t ever start. The water may look alluring, but it’s a killer. It’s far, far more dangerous than coffee or beer or cigarettes.
Nor is it that once you’ve lit your first cigarette, or drunk your first beer, “you won’t be able to compete.” Albert Einstein smoked a pipe, and Richard Feynman smoked cigarettes. I doubt if they’d been better physicists if they hadn’t smoked. In fact, I’m sure that smoking kept their minds sharp and focused. Pretty much all artists or intellectuals have always smoked and drank, and quite a few have used other drugs too, without being any less “competitive”. The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards comes to mind as a performing artist still at the top of his game aged 70+.
Of course there are always going to be people who will smoke everything they can lay their hands on and drink every bottle on the table, everything to excess, and they’ll wind up dead. There’ll also be people who’ll swim too far out to sea, too far from the shore, and they’ll wind up dead as well. And there will be people who drive too fast, climb too high, and they’ll end up dead too. But most people don’t climb mountains, and stick to the speed limits, and don’t swim far out to sea, and also don’t get very drunk or stoned either.
It’s a minority who do things to excess, who take it to the limit and beyond. And really we ought to be glad of them. They’re people who willtake risks. They’re the pioneers and explorers and astronauts and F1 racing drivers, and quite a few of them actually do wind up dead. And where would we be without them? We need a few people like that.
In America it’s sometimes called the Frontier Spirit. Or the New Frontier. It’s people pressing into the unknown, risking their lives to cross thousands of miles of deserts and mountains and rivers, and quite often losing their lives in the process.
Donald Trump is a puzzle. He won’t take the risk of smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol (or even drinking coffee). Yet as a businessman, he must take a lot of risks. Business is a risky business. He has to be something of a gambler. And in fact he was (perhaps still is) a casino owner, and fought against the smoking bans that were killing casinos. So while he’s personally teetotal, he doesn’t seem to want his customers to stop gambling, or stop smoking or drinking either.
If Donald Trump wants to make America great again, he’s going to have to invoke that death-defying Frontier spirit, and get people to gamble, take risks. For there’s no way they’re ever going to become winners if they don’t first learn to gamble and take risks. What’s enfeebling America (and pretty much everywhere else) is a fear of taking any risks whatsoever, including in a stifling Health and Safety culture the infinitesimally small risks that go with smoking cigarettes or drinking beer or swimming in the deep end of the pool.
And anyway, seems Ivanka smokes (right).
How does she manage to “compete” given this terrible handicap? How did she manage to give a glowing introductory speech for her father the night he announced he was running for president, without breaking into a hacking cough mid way through? And how come she looked so dishy, when everyone knows that smoking causes cancer/ageing/premature death?
Ex-wife Ivana smokes too.
Maybe they all smoke? And drink?