A friend posts on Facebook as follows:I'm still trying to figure out how #DonaldTrump attacks the so-called #TheElite, when he grew up fantastically rich in #NewYork, went to the best schools, has gold toilets, socialized with the glitterati and courted the royalty of #Hollywood.
How did his followers ever buy that?
And here is my answer:Donald Trump's father was German and his mother was a Scottish immigrant.
Fred Trump was a stern taskmaster -- very strict. Neither Fred nor Mary Anne Trump were very demonstrative nor protective.
Donald Trump was not coddled and was not raised among elites. He didn't grow up on the Upper East Side. He grew up in Queens.
From an early age, his father sent him to work in the family business and he was required to start at the bottom. He worked alongside bricklayers, carpenters, electricians and the like.
The Trumps owned apartments which they rented to working class people. Donald Trump grew up around these kinds of people.
But he was restless, had a quick mind and could be a difficult student. So his father sent him to military school where he lived a spartan, highly disciplined life. Fred Trump wanted his son to realize that life was not cushioned; it was not easy.
As he grew into manhood, Donald Trump wanted to show the monied elites that he could compete with them at their level. As the son of a very successful father, he had something to prove. As an outsider to the world Old Money, he had even more to prove. So, he began his career as a real estate developer in Manhattan and took great risks to make his mark. In the process, he had to cultivate friendships with the elites of Manhattan but he was never comfortable with them. Still, he was pragmatic and anxious to beat them at their own game and show that he could achieve their heights, both literally and figuratively.
Donald Trump also knew tragedy and anguish. When he was just 35, in the very early stages of his rise to prominence, his older brother died of alcoholism. Trump idolized his brother, a successful airline pilot who he described as "a great guy, a handsome person and the life of the party" Seeing his brother's suffering may have inspired Trump's aggressive ambition. The waste of his brother's life gnawed at him and Donald Trump kept a promise to himself to never drink, smoke or do drugs.
Trump has always said he is not entirely at ease around the upper crust of society. He always seemed to get along better with tradesmen, journeymen and ordinary working class people.
Bottom line: Donald Trump was not born into wealth nor privilege and was not treated as such. While he sought fame and wealth, his relationship with both (and with those who flaunt such trappings) is more complicated than it may seem.