Did Trump Learn to Debate at Cocktail Parties, Bars and Nightclubs?

Donald Trump seems poised to win the Republican nomination and then face either a candidate that a lot of people dislike, or a candidate who is old, Jewish, divorced and a Socialist. The Donald could win.

Back in the day I would sometimes see Donald out and about at clubs and charity events. He was always well-dressed and polite, Everyone I know who knew him has nice things to say about him. I read stories of him hanging at Le Club with power broker Roy Cohen and other boites with the rich and famous. There are stories of him at Studio 54 hobnobbing with the best. When contacted while vacationing in Peru, Studio V.I.P. hostess Carmen D’Alessio offered me an emphatic, “No comment.” Most of the usual (and unusual) club folks, who surely were hosting parties that Trump visited refused to comment—mind you, these are the types who would sacrifice helpless animals for a photo-op or quote.

A doorman told me of Trump’s refusal to shake his hand, politely bowing instead; a bottle host told of how they got ready for the “Big D,” sometimes whisking female companions in and out of secret doors. A club manager told me, “For a guy in his position, he was out quite a lot.”  Regardless, he said “he always found him to be straight-laced and polite.” Between Marla Maples, Ivanna and the rest, Mr. Trump was seen in Miami’s Chaos, and in New York, China Club, Studio 54 and a dozen other important joints.

So, did Trump’s clubbing days teach him how to speak to the people? While political pundits scratch their heads over the impossible surge of candidate Donald Trump, it seems to me rather simple. Donald talks to the people like one speaks to folks at a bar. Simple, emphatic statements without too much need for facts or follow-up win the night.  In this manner of speaking, he has connected with the public. A regular guy wouldn’t want to have a drink in a bar with Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Hillary and Bernie wouldn’t be any fun. Those folks seem far removed from the language of the hoi polloi. The billionaire through a steady stream of bar-like banter has become the populist candidate. The Donald once proudly declared:

“I could stand in the middle of  5th Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

If candidate Trump made this statement at the neighborhood bar, few would doubt this and many would buy another round.

He might say something like this:

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure out whats going on […] We have no choice, we have no choice.”

The crowd would gulp their Jameson’s and repeat, “ No choice, no choice!” They’d all hug and glance at the game on the TV screen until some guy with a hat that says “Vet” on it might choose to bring up life in the trenches. Trump might dodge that bullet with a quip about war hero Senator John McCain,

“He’s not a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Some would spit out their beer in glee and order yet another round. The lot at the bar is working class and talk would inevitably turn to making ends meet, and who to blame for it. All eyes turn to Trump, who might define a culprit by saying something like:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The bar crowd might cheer and demand, “What the hell would you do about it?”

He’d respond: ”I will build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

The crowd around him would be in a frenzy with the sound on the game lowered so all could hear. Only the bartender would be busy pouring swill to the unwashed masses. Trump, having their full attention, might continue with:

“In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before—as a group, we have never seen before, what’s happening right now. The medieval times—I mean, we studied medieval times—not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.”

All would nod in agreement, Isis is bad. Lighter conversation is called for and the chatter would head to women. Trump might offer a tried and true line about Carly Fiorina:

‘Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that the face of our next president?”

No one could imagine to wanting to hang with that face. Feeling the love, Trump might add:

“It’s very hard for them to attack me on looks because I’m so good looking.”

And without skipping a beat:

“All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me, consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

The woman bashing has them by the balls, so with a couple of winks and a nod he repeats a winner about Megyn Kelly:

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her, wherever.”

Candidate Trump gets most votes at most bars these days. He will continue to win at the polls and maybe the election, as well, because he talks to the average Joe in a tone that Joe understands. He doesn’t make it too complicated.

“I would get China to make that guy (Kim Jong Un) disappear in one form or another very quickly.”

That’s his answer. It’s a simple, bang, bang, and the North Korean problem is solved and he didn’t even get his toupee mussed.

Another famous television personality, Groucho Marx, once famously offered the following thoughts:

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies,” and, “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

Groucho is long gone, but damn wouldn’t he have made a great running mate.

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