Howard Roark of The Fountainead spoke eloquently about ego and the creative impulse. Roark was an architect. He refused to compromise and destroyed his own greatest work.
Roark was right and he was wrong. When he talks about the uniqueness and importance of individual creative vision, he is right. When he is prepared to cut off his nose to spite his face in the name of selfishness, he is wrong. It took many compromises for the much maligned, arrogant, and egocentric Trump to create this architectural legacy.
To my knowledge, none of the combatants on either side of the Trump War have ever posted anything like the picture above. No, they talk about how he could have invested his inheritance and made more money. They don’t want you to see what his visionary investments created. Whole fields of more valuable real estate than existed before a Trump building went up. What trust fund kid can claim credit for the thousands and thousands of jobs huge construction projects and the businesses they house engender? Steel and concrete trades, plumbers, electricians, interior designers, desk clerks, blackjack dealers, parking lot attendants, waitresses, chefs, not to mention hotels, casinos, and the architects, structural engineers, and city planners and union workers who derive income from same.
Not to mention what appears to be a unifying esthetic. Sleek, aspirational, glittering. You can hate it if you like, but personally I compare it favorably to the brutalist architecture of Le Corbusier — the Boston City Hall, FBI Headquarters, and mysterious MI-6 enclaves in London.
Ah, but if you write a couple of snide columns a week for National Review, you absolutely must be superior to Trump’s architectural and economic record. You incline to the Brutalists. They’re your bread and butter. No bare tits. Just the stacks of stacks of money the establishment controls, along with the force to command obedience. What your wife the lobbyist can bring home. That’s the concrete of your foundation.
Except that Trump is not Howard Roark. He built all this stuff along the way. He does not drink. He does not smoke. He loves women, and regardless of our envy they seem to love him. Alpha male.
Now, when he could be degenerating like Hugh Hefner or Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton into a grasping senile grabber of asses, he puts his life very considerably at risk to be president of the United States. If I were Kevin, I would never have thought about this. The man would have to take a reduction in his standard of living to be president. He already has his own version of Air Force One. Is it possible he loves the country he tried to decorate with his buildings and other largesse? Is it possible a lifetime of experience with the rich and powerful has made him a new age Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. That with old age sometimes comes a character and wisdom we never saw in the youth? That it’s actually his intention to serve?
No, no, no, no, no, no. He’s vulgar. He went to Wharton but not Harvard or Princeton. His wife is beautiful. He talks like a drunken sailor, no mind how many Annapolis grad admirals also talk like drunken sailors. Strikes One, Two, and Three. He is not one of us.
Therefore, we are prepared to hurl the United States into a simulacrum of the fifties Soviet Union.
You know what? Fuck you.
There was always a time when a revolution was required. It’s only the stuffed shirts of every persuasion who ever disagreed.