Is Trump the First President in Your Life Time That You Respect and Support?
Does anyone respect Donald Trump? Let me see your hands. OK. There’s one guy in the dark, corner recesses of the Internet. Yes. You sir. The one eating lead based paint and wearing a football helmet.
Anyone else? No? Let’s move along then. Every so often on Quora I uncover a gem of a question accompanied by a diamond of an answer. This morning was one of those days.
I might be the only person answering this question who has met six U.S. Presidents, including the one in question, so maybe I have a different perspective.
But first: The short answer is NO!
THE FIRST FIVE
I had met and flown the first five on that list up there as my “credential.” I did not fly Air Force One, but I was a pilot in the 89th at Andrews AFB in DC.
I flew Nixon on his first trip back into the public spotlight after his exile.
I flew Ford when he was a “former” POTUS. I flew his wife and two of his kids while he was POTUS — in other words, they were First Family.
I met Carter while he was POTUS, but didn’t fly him until afterward. I flew Rosalynn twice while she was First Lady, and both of them after his term. I flew Carter’s mother and brother while they were First Family.
I flew Reagan before he was POTUS.
I flew Bush 41 and his wife while he was Director of the CIA, then I flew them both when he was VP.
And so, there I sat, with bragging rights of meeting and flying five Presidents and three First Ladies.
They were all worthy of respect.
THE SIXTH ONE
Then something weird happened to me. After I left Andrews, I flew for Eastern Air Lines, based at Washington National, just across the river from my former home base. I mostly flew the Eastern Shuttle between DCA and LGA, in New York. During that time I flew Trump several times, never giving him much thought because we flew just about everybody famous you could think of. He was just one more, and not really very famous. More like infamous.
In 1989, Eastern went bankrupt and Trump offered to buy the Shuttle. He seemed sleazy to me, but I went to the meeting he held to sell his pitch to the pilots.
From behind those beady, hollow eyes, and through that weird, squarish mouth of his, he made a glowing pitch. The phrase I recall the most is, “I’m going to run it like a diamond. Like an absolutely diamond.” I still cringe at the way he said the word “diamond.” It made his mouth pucker up even squarer and he did that thing with his hands. Ugggghhhhhh. Creepy.
If his sleaziness didn’t drive me away his “diamond” dreams would have. I’d flown the Shuttle for years and knew the rich and the famous and they all rode the Shuttle for one reason: a fast trip between NYC and DC. We were in the air about 35 minutes. There was no demand for, nor time for, any kind of “diamond” service. They just wanted a no-fuss seat and not to be bothered while they read the WSJ.
I declined Trump’s offer.
He bought it — like everything he bought — with highly leveraged borrowed funds. In less than two years, the truth was out.
While he owned it, he formed one of those hundreds (thousands?) of pop-up corporations, to which he sold one Boeing 727 for practically nothing and then made the Shuttle lease it back. When he bankrupted the Shuttle, his leasing company got to keep the one jet, which he painted up as the first big TRUMP jet. And somehow he also got to keep 12 million in cash.
I flew this jet when it belonged to Eastern, before Trump basically stole it with his manipulative corporate shuffling. Of course he touted it as a symbol of his enormous wealth, when it was in reality a symbol of his debased soul.
- Here’s a weird aspect of the Trump Shuttle. Trump designed new pilot uniforms and they looked like business suits and the official uniform tie was bright red — you know, like a Trump “power tie.” He wanted an army of little Trumpkins flying the planes with his name on them. It was disconcerting to me to see former crew members with their red ties. They looked more like clowns than professionals.
THE DILEMMA OF MY LIFE
So, now, if the topic of my past comes up, I lie and tell people I flew five Presidents. I do not want to contaminate the names of the five good ones I flew with the filth of mentioning the sixth.
I never thought I’d have so much respect for Richard Nixon!
Jerry Nelson spends much of his time poking Trump’s meth-addled, uneducated fans with a pointy stick and is currently writing a book of muskrat recipes as well as a scrapbook of his favorite death threats. His life’s aspiration is to rule the world with an iron fist, or find that sock he’s been looking for. Feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments — or join the million (seriously) or so who follow him on Twitter @Journey_America.
Never far from his Marlboros and coffee, Jerry is always interested in discussing future writing opportunities.
Check out Jerry’s latest writing gigs on FiverrPro.
Originally written by Ron Wagner