Why did Donald Trump go to military school? He was a spoiled little brat. Back in the day, the greatest punishment a parent could threaten an out-of-control little bastard who wouldn’t behave was military school. I know firsthand. I was threatened by my parents… many times. But I was smarter than Donald Trump. Trump went to military school. I didn’t. Trump and I are the same age. But there are many differences. I was born in the Bronx, off Boston Post Road, right near the White Castle, not far from the Bronx Zoo, Arthur Avenue and a short trip to Orchard Beach. Donald Trump was raised in one of those uptight, better-than-thou WASP Jamaica Estates neighborhoods in Queens – an Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Methodist enclave of whiter-than-white. Anyway, back to military school and Donald Trump. That’s where Trump and I parted company. I was raised to be a man. Donald Trump was raised a spoiled brat… and by his words and deeds, he still is… he never grew up. The facts prove it.
Born at Parkchester Hospital in the Bronx, I was brought home to 2940 Hone Ave. There were seven of us living in a two-story walk-up: My dear parents, Louis and Marie, may their souls rest in peace, and five children, two girls and three boys. There was one room for the boys, one room for the girls, my parents’ bedroom and a nice living room and kitchen. The blessed memories I have. My mom in the kitchen, cooking away, listening to her favorite radio show, “Make Believe Ballroom.” Sitting in my high chair, I got to hear the greats: Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Julius La Rosa, Artie Shaw, The Mills Brothers, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Louie Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, The Dorsey Brothers, Louie Prima, The Andrews Sisters, Jo Stafford, Duke Ellington, Dinah Shore, Rosemary Clooney… the list goes on and on; it’s endless. It is still in my mind at instant recall: “It’s Make Believe Ballroom time, put all your cares away, all the bands are here to bring good cheer your way… your dial is set for fun.” Over on the Jamaica Estates, Queens, side of New York City, Trump grew up in a tight-white enclave without an ounce of boogie, not a drop of jive. And by his style, dress and bleach-blond comb-over, he still shows it. As I was saying, Trump was (and by his current behavior, still is) uncontrollable. He went to military school. I didn’t. But I almost did. “You little bastards! I had enough! I warned you over and over that if you didn’t behave, you were going to military school. You promised to behave and didn’t,” my father screamed at my two brothers and me one memorable Sunday afternoon. Out of the blue, in a split instant, we were dressed and marched off to the car. “Where we going?” my oldest brother asked. I was the youngest of five. “You’ll find out!” my father said, with an “I had enough” look. It was no longer a threat. Suddenly, it was reality.
I tell the story of what happened when we reached the massive iron gates of the military school in my book, “What Zizi Gave Honeyboy: A True Story about Love, Wisdom, and the Soul of America” (Wm. Morrow, 2002). The book has been made into a movie starring Doris Roberts of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame as my Aunt Zizi. Unlike Donald Trump, who was either too stupid or just too out of his mind and was banished to military school, my brothers and I were much smarter than “The Donald.” The choice was simple: Behave. Or keep driving our parents nuts and be sent away to military school. Eat in a mess hall? Not be around girls? The thought of giving up the finest, most delicious, lovingly prepared Italian food that God created? For military school? Not even a question. And oh, how I loved it when those Irish little lassies’ eyes were smiling at me in religious instruction. Give all that up for military school? Doing drills? Following orders? Marching in step and sleeping in bunk beds with a load of guys? Not a chance. Imagine being a teenage Trump: While Donald was following orders, I was working as a soda jerk at Urich’s Candy and Stationery Store, where all the kids used to stop in after school for cherry Cokes, egg creams and hot fudge sundaes. Not taking my girlfriend to the drive-in movies or tooling around in my MG Midget because the only place my big ego could live was military school? No way. But for a spolied boy who thought Chef Boy-Ar-Dee was macaroni, still wolfs down KFC and loves Big Macs washed down with Diet Coke, Trump slumped himself off to military-school incarceration. Instead of dreams of love, dancing with the darlings and eating heavenly tastes each and every day, he stood at attention, obeyed orders, marched off to pseudo-military orders and, dressed in a costume, devoured mess-hall mess.
NO MAN’S MAN
Donald Trump never grew up. By his words and deeds, he is the same narcissistic boy who still destroys the beauty of life he was blessed with to feed his obese ego. As we had forecast in the summer edition of the Trends Journal… before Trump went on “self-destruct,” the race to the White House was his to win or lose. We wrote, “While Clinton and Trump swap leads in a season of volatile polls, we maintain our forecast that absent a wild-card event or his self-imposed destruction, Trump, a proven reality-show champion, will win the White House.” And now, stuck on automatic “self-destruction” pilot, Donald Trump, just as he would rather be sent to military-school hell rather than obey his parents, according to numerous reports, refuses to listen to his political handlers. Indeed, running a political campaign is not rocket science. I know the scene firsthand. Out of graduate school, I was campaign coordinator for a candidate who would become mayor of Yonkers, New York; I was assistant to the secretary of the New York State Senate; and I designed and instructed American Politics and Campaign Technology at St. John’s University. Running campaigns is simple. You write the script and follow it. When it needs to be changed, you change it. And, most importantly, at all times you stick to the script, as did candidate Barack Obama, who conned his way into the White House with his “Hope and Change You Can Believe In” lines delivered with TelePrompTer precision. And despite not living up to most of what he promised, as Obama’s poll numbers prove, a majority of Americans still believe in the Hope and Change he never delivered. Donald Trump has professionals advising him. But just as he could not obey his parents when he was a boy, despite promising to behave, The Donald, while promising to stick to the script agreed upon by his hired hands, incapable of controlling his outsized ego, has not matured from the mindset that forced his parents to sentence him to punishment prison… military school. TJ