If there’s one thing most of us have learned by now, it’s this: Donald Trump does not like to be ignored. And it seems that as he continues residing at Mar-a-Lago he’s taken up the habit of making unannounced cameo appearances at numerous events. Even it seems, at memorial services, Mediaite reports.
Trump has always been used to being fawned over so it’s understandable that he’s always in search of an audience. And since Mar-a-Lago is, after all, a tony resort, Trump’s in his element because audiences are definitely not in short supply here.
In a recent report, Bloomberg notes “Lured south by sunshine, golf, and money, the former president’s allies and hangers-on have formed an alternate universe that revolves around Mar-a-Lago.” As it stands, the report, written by Joshua Green, is an unbiased account of Trump’s isolated and strangely not-isolated life in the days following his departure from office.
This is familiar ground for Green, who has documented Trump’s relationship with Steve Bannon in the book Devil’s Bargain, and he notes that wherever Trump goes, adulation follows.
“Tossed from the White House, banished from Facebook and Twitter, Trump has never seemed more distant from the public consciousness,” Green writes. “But while he can’t broadcast out, those same platforms offer a surprisingly intimate glimpse into his new life, thanks to the prolific posting of the club’s guests. At every moment of his day, Trump is bathed in adulation. When he enters the dining room, people stand and applaud. When he returns from golf, he’s met with squeals and selfie requests. When he leaves Mar-a-Lago, he often encounters flag-waving throngs organized by Willy Guardiola, a former professional harmonica player, and anti-abortion activist who runs weekly pro-Trump rallies in Palm Beach. ‘Give me four hours and I can pull together 500 people,’ Guardiola says. Trump recently invited the self-proclaimed ‘biggest Trump supporter in the country’ for a private consultation at his club.”
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Green even connects a few dots between Trump and his rarefied world and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un while referencing the classic Japanese film Rashomon.
“In this gilded Biosphere, Trump encounters no one who isn’t vocally gratified by his presence,” Green notes. “When he speaks extemporaneously, so many guests post footage that you can watch the same weird scene unfold from multiple vantage points, like the Japanese film Rashomon. Trump seems so comfortable, the journalist and Instagram sleuth Ashley Feinberg has noted, that he’s taken to wearing the same outfit for days on end. Blue slacks, white golf shirt, and red MAGA cap are to the former president what the black Mao suit is to his old frenemy Kim Jong-un. Club members say his new lifestyle agrees with him. ‘Presidents when they finish always look so much older’ says Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire founder of Interactive Brokers LLC, who lives three doors down from Mar-a-Lago. ‘Not true for Trump.’”
Green’s portrait reveals a man who yearns for amiable gregariousness and yet ultimately alone in his own personal exile.
“He’ll show up to anything. In recent weeks, Trump has popped into engagement parties and memorial services. A Mar-a-Lago member who recently attended a club gathering for a deceased friend was surprised when Trump sauntered in to deliver remarks and then hung around, apparently enjoying himself. This insular feedback loop, amplified by the worshipful validation he gets for doing Newsmax or OAN TV hits, doesn’t appear likely to diminish as he settles into his New Jersey golf club and prepares to resume his trademark rallies. ‘Donald Trump needs the adulation of the crowd the way you or I need oxygen to breathe,’ says Michael Cohen, his estranged former lawyer. By all accounts, Trump’s life after the White House doesn’t resemble that of a typical ex-president so much as a foreign monarch cast into exile — like Napoleon at Elba, but with golf and a bigger buffet.”
Quite obviously Trump lives in a world that few of us visit. And really, we don’t need to. After four years of dealing with this man, many of us are quite happy to leave him where he’s at.