Monday, August 10, 2015
GORDON GEKKO TRUMPS THE DONALD
In 1987, Michael Douglas portrayed fictional stockbroker Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s movie “Wall Street”. This fictional character has come to personify unfettered greed; unfortunately, he also became a “hero” of sorts to a surprising number of individuals who clearly lacked a moral compass… a sad fact that would come back to haunt us all.
In a 2008 speech dealing with the Financial Crisis of 2007-2010, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stated that “it is perhaps now time to admit that we did not learn the full lessons of the greed-is-good ideology. And today we are still cleaning up the mess of the 21st century children of Gordon Gekko.” (Rudd was referring to Gordon Gekko’s most famous line from the movie: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good”.)
Gordon Gekko’s workplace narcissism provides the perfect segue to a discussion of Donald Trump. Trump certainly shares Gekko’s egomania and narcissism, not to mention his sense of entitlement and firm belief that everything has a price. However, Trump brings other “qualities” to the table cast into doubt whether or not he’s one of “Gordon’s kids”. In fact, if there were any “family” connection at all, it might be Trump as Gekko’s buffoonish and embarrassing (four bankruptcy proceedings?) cousin, several times removed.
While Gekko apparently held both men and women in equal disregard, Trump is a world-class misogynist, on a par with Andrew Dice Clay or Adam Corolla. At last week’s debate when FOX reporter Megyn Kelly reminded him that he has labeled women he doesn’t like as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals”, Trump attempted to joke his way out of it by saying he was referring to Rosie O’Donnell. But as the “Washington Post” reported, comments of this can be traced as far back as 1991. More recently, however, he stated (in 2012) that Arianna Huffington is “unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man—he made a good decision.” “New York Times” columnist Gail Collins also fell victim to his sexist rants. The Donald apparently objected to something she’d written about him, and mailed the piece back to her-- after circling her face and writing “face of a dog”. Looping back to Megyn Kelly, she also reminded him (last week) that he had once told a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice” it would be a “pretty picture” to see her on her knees. An advocate of women’s rights he’s not… Presidential he’s most definitely not.
While Gekko never overtly revealed any racist tendencies, Trump paraded his own racist views on the very day he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President when he trashed all things Mexican, and, as he so poignantly put it, “ others” (non-whites, presumably). Coupled with his sexism/misogyny, the Donald has now proudly demonstrated his unique and boorish one-two punch. When he finally makes that decision and seeks a therapist’s counsel, let’s hope he’ll also choose to address those underlying rage/anger management issues.
In the meantime, let’s hope this “real estate mogul” devoid of core values (contributing to the Clinton Foundation and simultaneously stating Sarah Palin would make a great member of his team???) will begin to step out of his beloved spotlight. When even the fictional Gordon Gekko comes across as a far better businessman and potential candidate, the message is clear: give it up, Bozo.