Donald Trump and the Rat Pack

Source: John Podhoretz in the New York Post, May 21

An excerpt:

…It’s remarkable how his mannerisms, his speech patterns and his general mien precisely reflect the ring-a-ding-ding heyday of Frank and Sammy and Dean – the hippest cats in show business, circa 1962.

Like them, he’s not Jewish but speaks an English comically inflected by Yiddish – which made sense at the time, as the Rat Pack took over the world during the American-Jewish cultural moment when Jewish writers and performers were suddenly as cool as Lin-Manuel Miranda is right now.

When Trump, speaking in front of massive audiences in Indiana, rolled his eyes and dismissed his rival by saying, “That Ted Cruz – oy,” he wasn’t reading words written for him by his Jewish son-in-law; he was channeling Francis Albert.

Even the insult comedy he brought into American political discourse seems to date back to a Rat Pack show at the Sands – to Joey Bishop or Don Rickles, the only two men ever allowed to tease Sinatra about his mob ties. Trump has some of those too.

The Rat Pack made sleazy mob-run casinos seem glamorous – they danced and sang and gambled and drank and made “Ocean’s 11” in and around them – and what business more than any other drew Trump in during the 1980s? The casino business….


2 responses to “Donald Trump and the Rat Pack

  1. Sammy Davis Jr. was Jewish. So were Joey Bishop and Don Rickles.
    Trump’s crudest Yiddish utterance was schlonged (sp?).

  2. mike holliday

    Humans have been exposed to role models since the earliest days.
    Cave paintings, sagas, poems, then writing, radio, film and television, all focusing on heroes.
    From these stories we chose the character traits and qualities we seek to emulate.
    Of late the cynical anti-hero has been front of stage.
    The stories might be more true, but there is a price to pay.
    Does Donald Trump’s `winners are grinners, might is right’ approach reflect the qualities of the heroes he was exposed to as a child?