A scary article about Trump

As I made a visit to Facebook last night, and saw that about 40% of the posts were about Donald Trump, all saying basically the same thing—the man is an idiot—I began to experience the phenomenon of Trumpfenschmerz, or “Trump Weariness.” I wanted to write on my page, “Can we talk about cats instead?”, but I knew I’d be excoriated for it. I refrained. But now there’s one more thing to say about Trump—to call your attention to a new article about him in The New Yorker.

As much as I disliked and distrusted Trump before I read the piece, and figured that it couldn’t get worse, it has. The article, now called “Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All” (in print it was called “Donald Trump’s Boswell”), discusses the revelations of Tony Schwartz, the guy who ghostwrote Trump’s book The Art of the Deal. And he’s repudiated Trump, describing him as a completely self-absorbed man with not a jot of empathy for anyone, no deep knowledge of anything, and no attention span. Trump would, says Schwartz, be a horrible President—even worse than we envisioned given Trump’s minuscule attention span.

Schwartz feels so bad about having written this book (his description of how he wrote it is fascinating) that he’s donated all the profits, which are considerable, to charities Trump wouldn’t like—such as those helping migrant workers.

You owe it to yourself to read this piece, though I suspect 99% of the readers here already despise Trump. I wonder what Republicans who read it will think—if any Republicans do read the New Yorker.


  1. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump Threatens the Ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal”

    • Posted July 21, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink


      “It is axiomatic that when Trump feels attacked, he will strike back. That’s precisely what’s so frightening about his becoming president.”

      Trump responded:

      “I’m not axiomatic. I’ve never been axiomatic. You’re the one who’s axiomatic. I’ve never seen someone so axiomatic.”

      • Posted July 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        It’s possible that Trump thought Schwartz was saying “axe maniac.” Nevertheless, there appears to be some evidence for this claim too.

  2. Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink


    Love it!

    • Posted July 22, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      ‘Drumpfenschmerz’ also has a nice ring to it.

      Schwartz aptly describes Trump as a sociopath.

  3. E.A. Blair
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    You might also want to read Could Donald Trump Pass A Sanity Test?

  4. Eric Grobler
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Should we not be hearing this 6 months ago?

  5. Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I believe it’s “Drumpfenschmerz.”🙂

    • rickflick
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Great episode.

      • Posted July 21, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I loved it too–a masterful example of mocking with a point. I wish I knew how to do it, having never learned how to be funny or bring relief with insightful ridicule.

        But Oliver nailed it with Drumpf. I wish that name stuck longer than the week or so after the show aired.

        Too bad there isn’t an “evil” programmer out there to hack the net and change every extant instance of Tr*mp to Drumpf.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          We can all contribute by using his ancestral name whenever possible.

  6. Barry Lyons
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I read Mayer’s piece. It’s fanTAStic.

  7. Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I concur (read it a couple days ago? perhaps yesterday… am in a time warp).

    More off-the-cuff sociopathy from the douche: https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/07/21/the-certain-trumpet-donald-trump-new-york-times-interview-baltics-russia-nato/

  8. Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    That article is pretty Orwellian

  9. Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s gonna be unbelievable, so unbelievable, it’s really gonna be unbelievable.

  10. jeffery
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Could we just see some more wildlife photos, instead?

    Seriously, though- the only reason Trump’s gotten as far as he has is that he’s tapped successfully into the unbelievably deep wellspring of anger and ignorance that is unfortunately all too prevalent in this arrogant, self-centered country today. I theorize that, had he not existed, another Trump “clone” would have been manufactured by circumstances to play his role.

  11. Ann German
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    And yet, there was a piece on NPR this a.m. with interviews from blue collar people, life long Democrats, in Pennsylvania, pledging to vote for Trump because “he gives us hope.” When asked if his “hopeful” messages have any substance (as in “I’ll put you all back to work”), they said they didn’t care if he could deliver. They just wanted to feel “hopeful.” Speaking of SCARY.

    • bluemaas
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Oooo, this ___ resonates !

      Writing as one who, over scores’ worth of time, knows: H O P E ? Hope is a Woman – Killer. Chapter Nine of http://bluemaas.public.iastate.edu .

      Frickin’ frightening.


  12. Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    JC, it wouldn’t matter one iota if his supporters read the Article. As Trump himself said, if he took out a gun in Times Square and began shooting, he wouldn’t lose one vote. In addition, many of his supporters have such a deep abiding hatred for all things Hillary, that they would vote for another Hitler, before voting for Clinton.

  13. Sastra
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    No, I didn’t read the article because I don’t have to read this article or any articles or anything at all because I go with my gut, meaning I have keen instincts which make me much better than a lot of experts and hey — look out the window, it’s a bird! Reminds me of how important I am.

    (Yes, I read the article. I never said I didn’t.)

    • Raymond Freeman-Lynd
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


    • Mark R.
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      spot on!

    • pali
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s the parenthesis at the end that makes the post so perfect. +2

  14. GBJames
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink


  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    … —if any Republicans do read the New Yorker …

    The disconnect between Republicans and The New Yorker goes both ways — as exemplified most poignantly by the late New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael’s (possibly apocryphal) comment that she couldn’t believe Richard Nixon had been elected president since “nobody I know voted for him.”

    After reading “Donald Trump’s Boswell,” my feelings about Trump’s ghostwriter, Tony Schwarz, are nearly as ambivalent as his are about Trump.

    The best magazine profile of Trump that I’ve read is this one by McKay Coppins, written when Trump was gearing up for his presidential run.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    In somewhat related news, a survey has shown that readers of Harry Potter are overwhelmingly likely to be very anti-Trump, but the correlation is much lower for folks having only seen the movies.


    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      You have a hypothesis regarding the causation of this correlation? Muggles are indisposed to orange death eaters, maybe?

    • Posted July 21, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I’d aver that you could eliminate “of Harry Potter” and the sentence will still work.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 22, 2016 at 6:16 am | Permalink

        I think the key word is “read”


        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted July 22, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink

          – which of course is exactly what Musical Beef implied. Sorry for the superfluity.


  17. LawrenceT
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I will read the article. Which article can anyone suggest reading if someone despises Hillary, and believes she would also make a terrible president?

    • Posted August 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Have you read the book “Crisis of Character:A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience With Hillary, Bill and How They Operate” by Gary J. Byrne?

  18. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I’m developing a theory – which is mine (there’s another one for someone’s “phrases I hate” list ; no great fan of it myself) :
    Trump is a robot, developed in the late 1980s by the Rump of the Reagan executive, with the explicit aim of improving Reagan’s reputation by plumbing new depths.
    Or maybe it’s Shrub’s team, working more recently, and the Real Trump is in a Matrix-like living battery. Or sleeping with Jimmy Hoffa’s fishes.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      That would explain his absence from the Cleveland convention.

    • Posted July 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      The idea that US presidents, beginning with Reagan’s second term, are digital constructs, has been developed in “Generation P”, a novel by Russian writer Victor Pelevin:


      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted July 25, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        To PROGRAMME something(s) like that(those) … [disgust reaction]

  19. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Tony Schwartz sound like the guy who has taken many showers, attempting to get the dirty feeling off but, unlike Trump, has a conscience and that is the rub.

    For most of us who have seen only a little of this character in action, nothing in the article surprises. How he continues to sucker the majority of the party is hard to understand, but just might be due to the low intelligence we perceive. Somehow, the people within this republican party are simply not capable of seeing how stupid their ideas have become. Just go back for a moment and look, but not closely, at all the candidates they started out with. Many of them were just plain nut jobs but the one still standing is a true psychopath.

  20. Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  21. Cnocspeireag
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    ‘I wonder what Republicans who read it will think—if any Republicans do read the New Yorker’.
    I wonder if any Republicans think.

  22. kelskye
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    The article was fantastic, and I say that with the same weariness about Trump (thanks, in part, to the relentless circle jerk that is the bubble of social media I reside in.) Of course, being an Australian and having no moderate US friends who might be swayed by such an article means that me reading it is purely for my pleasure – if pleasure is the right word…

  23. E C Siegel
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I am glad to hear that I am not the only one suffering from Trump derangement. The big money boys will soon begin to back Trump. All we can do is donate to Clinton as upsetting as that makes some people.


    • Helen Hollis
      Posted July 22, 2016 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      You can remind people in your circle that Hillary does not hate anyone, and does not want to put up walls. She wants to take walls down that are barriers.
      That is doing something that does not require donating.

  24. Mark R.
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Goddamn I hate that man. I hope a lot of people end up reading this.

  25. jay
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s not good.

    His opponent charges more for an hour speech than most Americans make in a year — and there must be a reason why organizations are willing to pay. No one gives away that money.

    Both her and Bill have provided government access to people who”donate” to their ” charity”.

    Someone who the FBI director said ” didn’t understand email and handling of secrets”

    And a person promising to constitutionally undermine the first amendment.

    Was it George Will be recommended picking a name from the phone book?

    • mudskipper
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Organizations like Goldman Sachs routinely pay that much in speaking fees. Folks who command six-figure speaking fees include famous actors and singers, CEOs, and other politicians. If you look at the current line up of speakers for Goldman Sachs, it includes people like Lauren Bush, Tom Brokaw, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and everybody’s favorite gadfly, Deepak Chopra. I suspect most of those people are commanding more in speaker fees than most Americans make in a year.

  26. Johnd
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I am left oriented but departed company from the Left years ago over Islam. As an Australian I cant vote but would vote Trump if I could because he is a much more honest and genuine person than sociopaths Obama and Clinton. Leftists thes days are just closet nazis. They hate Israel, Any religion not Islam, and now Trump. Leftists, your hypocrisy makes me sick.

    • pali
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Where do you get this idea that Trump is honest and genuine?

      For instance, Politifact has Trump rated at 75% of his statements are “mostly false” or worse. By comparison, only 27% of Hillary’s merit the same ratings, 26% of Obama’s.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      You remind me of the guy who would burn his house down because the floor in the hallway needs a cleaning. Like the one trick pony who bombed when his trick failed. The leftists have let you down so you are ready for Trump? And you are happy to call them nazis yet think you know who the sociopaths are. Yes, if you were in America, republican would be for you.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted July 21, 2016 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      The only time Donald Trump settled for second-best was when he heard that honesty was the best policy.

    • Posted July 21, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Others have already addressed the issue of Trump’s honesty – he’s not honest or genuine – but I have to ask how you can see Obama as a sociopath but not Trump. Trump does not care in the slightest about tenants in his buildings, students at his (gag) “university”, or business partners who lost considerable sums as a result of his lying all the way through the process of making the deal. As long as he gets his cut it’s all good.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted July 21, 2016 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        In Drumpf’s mind, It’s not whether you win or lose; what matters is that Drumpf wins and everybody else loses.

    • Posted July 22, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      I understand your opinion and share it to some degree. Nevertheless, I think that you have to moderate your qualifications if you wish to discuss with your opponents. Or maybe you have lost hope? I understand this also. Recently, I stopped commenting on a leftist blog (not this one) and almost stopped reading it, after the author and some commenters blamed the Orlando shooting on the alleged US hate culture and specifically on Trump.

    • Posted July 23, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Here, you need a good dose of Sam Harris:

  27. Posted July 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Der Drumpfenlegion pays no mind to ‘The New Yorker’, and I doubt it would matter if they did. Last night’s Stephen Colbert bit where he goes to Cleveland and interviews convention-goers shows (at least anecdotally) they are spectacularly uninformed about Trump. He’s less a candidate than a refuge where hatred of Hillary, Obama, and Democrats can run riot.

    • Posted July 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      Precisely. What’s worse is that most right-wingers don’t seem to want a candidate. All they want is a lightning rod onto which they can discharge their crippling levels of xenophobia.

  28. Historian
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Ezra Klein’s searing indictment of Trump at the Vox site makes a perfect supplement to the Mayer article.


  29. Damien McLeod
    Posted July 22, 2016 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    He is a supremely dangerous Nazi/Fascist Reich-Wing, Racist, Xenophobic, Sexist, idiot and to be totally frank I am terrified. The thought of living in the Forth Reich of America with neo-Nazi Skin-Heads, Aryan-Nation psychopath’s, Meth-Head Bikers, and psychotic Gun-crazies patrolling the streets is horrifying. Please, Please win Hillary, save us from this monster.

  30. TJR
    Posted July 22, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Pretty much agrees with what we already know. Trump is a member of the rentier class who has spotted a gap in the market to become a demagogue.

    “He preached the words of wisdom.
    With his hands and with his mouth.
    Then everyone believed him.
    And then he believed himself”

    The Ballad of J.J.Decay, Anti-Nowhere League

  31. Posted July 22, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    This article is a must-read.

  32. Posted July 29, 2016 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Who doesn’t despise Trump, aside from Trump supporters (aka The Bigots of America)? What’s more interesting–trust me I have no bias–is who’s to blame for His Rise: https://jonestownbreakdown.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/orwell-strikes-again/

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