2006: Donald Trump, successful popular apparent businessman, reality TV star and first-rate advertisement for the barbers that don’t cut his hair, buys a plot of land in Aberdeenshire on the eastern coast of Scotland and starts building a golf course.
2011: Anthony Baxter releases You’ve Been Trumped, a documentary about the impact of the construction works on the local area.
This is what You’ve Been Trumped had to tell us five years ago about the man who might one day be the President of the United States of America.
Trump will not fight for you
It seems like Trump has two modes of dealing with normal people: fight with them; or build a mound of dirt around their house and pretend they’re not there.
The bulk of You’ve Been Trumped concerns our anti-hero’s attempts to force a group of local people off their land using CPOs – orders that are normally reserved for councils, the government or utility companies to buy land to fulfill a public need (i.e. not golf courses). Most of those families have lived and worked in that landscape for generations. Many have least raised their children on it. All of them see it as their home.
Trump seems like a man of the people. His rallies attest to that. But, really, he’s just a man of the people who aren’t in his way. If you live in America and the people in your government or businesses are doing something that hurts you, is this a man who will care? Or is he someone who will shove others out of the way just to turn the screw a bit more?
Trump does not have “the best words”
You’ve Been Trumped incorporates footage of the businessman on Scottish television, describing one of the homes he wanted knocked down as having “a pig-like atmosphere”.
“A pig-like atmosphere” was his best shot.
His best shot makes no sense.
Atmospheres are nothing like pigs. Unless the ambience around that guy’s home is walking around on four stumpy legs and prone to eating its young, Trump was talking nonsense. Even if he had said “pigsty-like”, he still wouldn’t have been big, clever or funny, which are the three proper goals of any true insult-user. Particularly one like Trump who’s so pantingly desperate for people to think that he’s all three.
Even Trump can do better. Though apparently not by much – his insults are actually still disappointingly sub-schoolyard.
America! Don’t elect this man until his insults deserve it.
He’s an inspiration
One of the most impressive things about Donald Drumpf (#MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain) is that he brings people together. Usually against him, admittedly, but we shouldn’t split hairs (especially not in Trump’s case, lest it destroy that artful thatch on top of his head).
Just like the dating app for lovers who want to flee to Canada if Trump gets elected (tagline: “Make dating great again”), You’ve Been Trumped highlights how the Aberdeenshire community came together in support of residents affected by Trump’s plan, complete with protests, walks of support and, from what I could see, a lot of hugging.
Trump even inspired an art exhibition focusing on the trauma that his development has caused to locals and their environment, which was housed in the supposedly pig-like environment he mocked on TV.
Admittedly, causing that level of distress among such a wide group of people is pretty remarkable. Anything to proud of? No. But, remarkable, yes.
He may not invade Mexico or Canada
But he will pinch bits of them when no-one’s looking and point to a map that says Tijuana belonged to him all along when they notice.
Then he’ll build a car park on it.
Trump is not entirely scrupulous
Let’s say that we told you – a perfectly reasonable person who limits the amount they hide in off-shore tax havens to a respectable figure like 80% of their earnings – that the nice patch of Scotland you wanted to build your golf course on was protected. Even that it was a Site of Special Scientific Interest (the highest conservation accolade in the UK), important to scientific knowledge of climate change and comparable to the Amazon in its utter uniqueness. Even just that the dunes there were damn pretty and it was nice having them that way. Would you still have tried to build your gold course?
What about after your application has been rejected because it completely fails the criteria set in place for sustainable development to protect the country? Would you give up then or just bluster and threaten and whinge until local politicians gave you what you want?
And when a bunch of locals didn’t want to vacate their homes and a documentary maker started filming your questionable approach to landscaping? Would you start circling security vans around their houses, having them stop occasionally just to watch? Engage in a series of land disputes? Cut off their water? Repeatedly assure the documentarian that you have no issues with him and then laugh as the local police bundle him into their squad-car after he starts asking questions about why the water hasn’t been turned back on? How about following all that up by turning off the electricity to locals’ houses?
Trump makes it easy for the makers of You’ve Been Trumped to portray him as a villain. Such an easy target, in fact, that it’s difficult to see any way in which he isn’t one. After all those questions, maybe this is the most important one: do you want the person making your laws to be someone you wouldn’t trust to follow the ones that are already in place?
“This man is a pathological liar”
Ok. I didn’t learn that from You’ve Been Trumped – that’s actually a quote from Trump’s former pal Ted Cruz – but the documentary sure doesn’t dispute it.
Trump made a lot of promises over his golf course, and he still hasn’t delivered on any of them. The golf course was not “done environmentally perfect”. He has not delivered 6000 jobs or a 6 billion-pound investment. Hell, he didn’t even bother employing local labor to make the golf course, never mind run it – instead, he contracted a bunch of grumpy Irish lads.
Just remember that Trump said he would “give the people of Scotland the greatest golf course” next time he guarantees that something will be the greatest, the best or, indeed, the biggest, whether that’s the United States of America, his fingers or anything else.
You already know who Trump is
A shorter version of this article would have been: nothing. I learned nothing new about Trump. He is exactly the divisive, promise-breaking, pragmatic egotist you already either love or hate. He’s probably a sociopath. But America is playing chicken with that probable sociopath. People shouldn’t stop yelling at it to swerve out of the way just because it’s getting repetitive.
We all know who Trump is. Let’s not let anyone forget it.
Declan Taggart lived in Aberdeen until a few weeks ago. He even wrote an article about it for Unwinnable Monthly. Do you subscribe? Yeah. I know. It’s pretty great. So many killer articles, most of which aren’t even about Scotland, never mind Aberdeen. You’ve Been Trumped is also fantastic btw. I can see why it won all those awards. When you’ve a spare moment not reading Unwinnable Monthly, you might like to watch it or the sequel A Dangerous Game, if you haven’t already.