Lion of the Blogosphere

Video about Donald Trump’s childhood in Queens

Less than three minutes long, I found it informative. I recommend it.

* * *

I suspect, but am not completely sure, that Jamaica Estates in the 1950s attracted proles who became rich* rather than old money.

*Rich means what my prole parents considered to be rich when I was a kid, and not what Paul Fussell considers to be rich.

* * *

B.T.D.T. writes in a comment:

What is fascinating about Trump is that he is a “prole” of his own choosing. Trump grew up in a 23 room mansion in Jamaica Estates, even if it wasn’t the upper East Side. By that time, both his father and his grandparents were millionaires making him technically 3rd generation “old money”. He went to a private day school, prestigious military academy and then to the finest Ivy League finance school in the world.

By U.S. standards that is about as aristocratic as it gets. Trump easily could have played the high society game and be sitting on the Boards of galleries and symphonies. His name could be plastered all over the University of Pennsylvania and he could be a good, respectable Democrat like Mike Bloomberg. But he doesn’t give a crap about all that. It’s no fun. He’d rather be banging Miss America contestants and living it up like a guy who just won the lottery. He is a prole at heart and not ashamed of it. That is why he has captured the hearts and minds of the proles. He could be anything he wanted and he chose to be just like them.

You are absolutely right.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Posted in New York City, Politics

41 Responses

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  1. Lion, I would be interested in hearing your take on the mega hit “Stressed Out” by 21 Pilots, a white male duo from Ohio. Millennials obviously love its message.

    Its lyrics touch on some alt-right and Lion themes.

    1. Millennials believing themselves entitled to self-actualization
    2. Immigration spreading the Third World ethic of idealizing Mommy – big break from the “hating your parents” (while loving their inheritance) SWPL ethic.
    3. Narcissism of making Mommy responsible for your stress-free life
    4. Unashamed pleading for a return to a state of dependence

    Fiddlesticks

    March 20, 2016 at 4:01 pm

  2. Yes Jamaica Estates was not an old money neighborhood. I am guessing that while raising five kids, and a relatively young developer, Fred Trump could not afford a comparable house in Manhattan. From most accounts his dad was tasteful and low key, not nearly as “nouveau riche” as his son. Although he always had a shiny new Cadillac with vanity plates, which is very high prole.

    B.T.D.T.

    March 20, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    • ” Although he always had a shiny new Cadillac with vanity plates, which is very high prole”

      Absolute bullshit. A Cadillac was the car of choice of a wealthy American man of good taste. This was before the onslaught of foreign cars.

      gothamette

      March 20, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      • Wrong. Cadillacs were always for ostentatious middle class strivers. True upper class Wasps in the U.S. did not and do not drive Cadillacs, and certainly not with vanity plates.

        B.T.D.T.

        March 20, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      • “True upper class Wasps in the U.S. did not and do not drive Cadillacs”

        I find this type often drives Subaru. The wealthiest person I have ever met (descended from an old steel baron and himself probably a millionaire a hundred times over) drove an almost comically unassuming Volvo sedan.

        Sagi Is My Guru

        March 21, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      • What did they drive in the 1950s? (I don’t know the answer, it was before I was born.)

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      • If they’re tall they drive older Lincolns or walk. If average/smaller the current high-efficiency vehicle foreign or not.

        For business they may be driven in anything in good shape.

        June

        March 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm

  3. Jamaica Estates has never been a “rich neighborhood” but a upper middle class neighborhood. Upper middle class New Yorkers with prole habits can be found all over in NYC: Forest Hills, Bay Ridge, Riverdale, Inwood, etc.

    Jimi

    March 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    • and also Manhattan, in general. Many upper middle class Jewish proles live on the Upper West Side.

      Living in NYC long term signifies proledom, unless one is mega rich, with their mansions, or their leisure apartments, empty most of the year.

      JS

      March 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm

  4. great video. discipline, i need more of that.

    rivelino

    March 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    • The video left out the part about Trump having been sent to military school because at the age of 13 he punched a teacher in the face. His reason: “I didn’t think he [the teacher] knew anything about music.”

      So maybe that’s high prole?

      ice hole

      March 21, 2016 at 1:33 am

      • Damn, that’s a great story. Real insight into the Trump brain. I shied away from all public attention at 13.

        Where did you read that, is it in one of his biographies?

        rivelino

        March 21, 2016 at 7:37 pm

  5. Your overuse of the word “prole” is becoming downright annoying. Do you think that anyone who didn’t go to an Ivy is a prole? Do you realize that there is a huge swathe of society that isn’t aristocratic, and not prole?

    Jamaica Estates was solidly middle class, no proles. I know several people whose (Jewish) parents moved there after WWII — they were all businessmen, teachers, and a few professionals.

    gothamette

    March 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    • Anyone who resides in America is deemed a prole. The prole drifting in this country is downright disgusting.

      JS

      March 20, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    • I agree. I like this blog, but everything isn’t prole.

      Trump would have been considered rich by most people, except for super rich people.

      Can you be a prole when you grow up in a 23 room house with a cook and chauffeur and play golf?

      That family picture doesn’t look too prole,

      ttgy

      March 21, 2016 at 10:13 pm

  6. As important, he worked for years at the family offices on Avenue Z in Brooklyn before making the move across the river to Manhattan.

    Now, *that’s* prole.

    gothamette

    March 20, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    • There’s an interview with Trump on youtube from the 80s where he states his “fans” are all the people referred to here as “proles”.

      Also, here’s the Sophisticated English Trump:

      And the “prole” English Trump:

      Rifleman

      March 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm

  7. Horrible and hilarious!

    Donald Gay Trump

    Rifleman

    March 20, 2016 at 6:35 pm

  8. jamaica is a caribbean island and taking vacations to caribbean islands is prole

    james n.s.w

    March 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

  9. What is fascinating about Trump is that he is a “prole” of his own choosing. Trump grew up in a 23 room mansion in Jamaica Estates, even if it wasn’t the upper East Side. By that time, both his father and his grandparents were millionaires making him technically 3rd generation “old money”. He went to a private day school, prestigious military academy and then to the finest Ivy League finance school in the world.

    By U.S. standards that is about as aristocratic as it gets. Trump easily could have played the high society game and be sitting on the Boards of galleries and symphonies. His name could be plastered all over the University of Pennsylvania and he could be a good, respectable Democrat like Mike Bloomberg. But he doesn’t give a crap about all that. It’s no fun. He’d rather be banging Miss America contestants and living it up like a guy who just won the lottery. He is a prole at heart and not ashamed of it. That is why he has captured the hearts and minds of the proles. He could be anything he wanted and he chose to be just like them.

    B.T.D.T.

    March 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    • Guys…the way of revolution and real change is through the proles I happen to be bourgeois but I fully realize that my class is way too comfortable and too feminized to break through the system. The proles will be our way in. God bless them.

      JerseyGuy

      March 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      • Guidos in Staten Island aren’t revolutionizing when it’s downtime — the Jersey Shore and heroin trips are on their minds when it is.

        JS

        March 20, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      • This is utterly wrong and deeply ignorant of history. Revolutions are driven by an anxious middle class who feel they are not getting their share of the economic growth or that their voices are not being heard in the political process.

        One of the central flaws of Marxist theory is the presumption of a prole uprising, which never happened anywhere. It was always the educated middle class.

        Jeep

        March 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      • “But if there was hope, it lay in the proles. You had to cling on to that. When you put it in words it sounded reasonable: it was when you looked at the human beings passing you on the pavement that it became an act of faith.” — 1984

        I particularly like the “act of faith” part. Orwell just becomes more and more relevant as time goes by.

        ice hole

        March 21, 2016 at 1:38 am

    • When you think about it, you realize how boring respectable high society is today. The Downton Abbeys and Hearst Castles are gone. You can’t even jet off to Paris without being surrounded by proles when you get there.

      SQ

      March 20, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      • Yeah, “proles.” ROFL. I wish it was proles in Paris.

        Vincent

        March 20, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      • I was thinking of all the foreign tourists. You’re right, though. Today’s Parisians are about as French as Angelenos are American.

        But that’s another problem for the rich these days. They can insulate themselves from ugly reality up to a point, but they’re still stuck in our modern crappy world.

        SQ

        March 20, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    • Trump exudes nouveau riche. Obviously Bloomberg, Soros et al. aren’t old money…but they don’t have the tacky taste of Saddam Hussein and Liberace.

      Anthony

      March 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    • I disagree. Did you watch the born rich documentary? How Ivanka speaks about his father not being accepted and sending her and her brothers to the right schools and to hang out in the hamptons so that they can be upper class, to me, indicates that he wanted to be upper class but couldn’t join the club.

      The definition of new money is not the same today as it was when Trump was growing up. Even by today’s standards, Trump’s father did not go to an Ivy league school so Trump would likely not be considered upper class.

      I do agree that Trump agreed and amplified, rather than trying to cuck himself and kiss the ring by trying to “appear” upper class and hope they would someday accept him.

      theoak

      March 20, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      • Trump’s grandfather led an adventurous life, but didn’t really make a whole lot of money. He started off as a barber, moved West and opened hotels and brothels during the Gold Rush, then moved back to Germany before chased out and went back to barbering in America again before dying of the flu. He left his wife a typical middle class sized estate upon his death. So Trump really isn’t “third generation” wealth in the proper sense. It was the company that Donald’s grandmother and then 18 year old father started together decades after his grandfather’s death that was the initial source of the Trump fortune.

        I learned this from Trump: Three Generations that built an Empire by Gwenda Blair, which is a pretty decent biography of the family:

        http://www.amazon.com/Trumps-Generations-Builders-Presidential-Candidate/dp/0743210794/?&tag=palehere-20

        PerezHBD

        March 21, 2016 at 12:52 am

      • I am willing to bet that they did not accept him based on his behavior more than his background.

        B.T.D.T.

        March 21, 2016 at 6:24 am

  10. Question: Are proles good or bad?

    Question

    March 20, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    • Most Americans are proles, because they are inspired by the ostentatious wealth espoused by Trump, not your elusive old money TOOs (a word that has not been mentioned on this blog of late).

      The average joe lives in America, not because it’s a beautiful country filled with wonderful culture. His sole objective is to become a money junkie.

      JS

      March 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

  11. I half expect him to start talking about how the tolls on the NYC bridges were promised by the pols to go away once they were paid for, a very working class NYC thing to do.

    Name Withheld

    March 20, 2016 at 10:03 pm

  12. The Rebbe feels that you have gone beyond a dispassionate analysis and have done a “puff piece.” The idea of calling a Queens Construction Company Exec a “prole of their own choosing” is inherently preposterous. Have you ever me one? Methinks not!

    The Rebbe has acquired, through his Hebraic Connections, an EXCLUSIVE video of the young Donald. The video further exonerates him of the racism charges that have dogged his campaign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPg4PgcRkLk

    ((( The Rebbe )))

    March 21, 2016 at 12:42 am

  13. A while back, there was some discussion about Lion doing a “Prole or Not Prole?” post whereby readers could present their particulars and we could respond “Prole” or “Not Prole.” Sounds like fun!

    E. Rekshun

    March 21, 2016 at 11:16 am

    • I had also proposed a “What Class Am I?” discussion board. Lion did not reply. I can only assume he was not enamored with the idea.

      B.T.D.T.

      March 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      • Yes, even better!

        E. Rekshun

        March 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    • A bit dated (not to mention British), but still of interest:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_and_non-U_English

      Anthony

      March 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm

  14. Lion — The most important about Trump, is that his children weren’t brought up to be like him, with his prolish outlook in life.

    Compare him with John Catsimatidis, another wealthy prole, where his children are already drifting in prole mannerisms. His daughter who is married to Richard Nixon’s grandson, has already filed for divorce after 3 years of marriage, and his son seems to be living at home (which is prole by Manhattan Standards), while attending NYU’s Stern Business school, and not knowing what to do with his future.

    JS

    March 21, 2016 at 7:10 pm

  15. Sagi is my Guru’s earlier comment about cars and social class status:

    “I find this type often drives Subaru. The wealthiest person I have ever met (descended from an old steel baron and himself probably a millionaire a hundred times over) drove an almost comically unassuming Volvo sedan.”

    Yes, the liberal leaning Wasp Upper Class started driving Volvo estate wagons in the 1960’s and in the 1990’s they turned to the Subaru Legacy (now the Outback). Acceptable sedans are Saabs, the Prius and an occasional stealth wealth Honda of various years and models.

    The conservative leaning Wasp Upper Class typically will opt for an SUV over a wagon and it will be an older Jeep Wagoneer, Cherokee, Range Rover or an International Scout if you are truly sporting. For sedans, they opt for older Mercedes or Jaguars. One commonality amongst all old money types is that they want their cars to look worn and even beat up. Certainly no vanity plates. The emphasis here is on not giving a f$%&. Only a middle class striver washes and waxes their vehicle every weekend or even every. The interior of a true old money car will smell faintly of leather horse tacking, Springer Spaniels and bong resin.

    To answer Lion’s question about upper class cars in the 1950’s: Strangely enough the Buick Skylark was very popular with this class during that era. It was considered nice but no too “showy”. I grew up in this world so i know their folkways.

    B.T.D.T.

    March 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm


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