The ‘Trump International’ experience

Sep 7, 2016 at 10:43 am
The ‘Trump International’ experience

Donald Trump’s trip to Mexico sure went well — for the Democrats. He embarrassed himself and the country (and the Mexican president). But international embarrassment seems to be par for the course for Trump.

Speaking of par, I recently went on a family trip that quickly became an information-gathering excursion, of sorts, on what the world thinks of our presidential election.

Actually, just Trump.

Years ago my parents joined a golf club in Ireland called Doonbeg. At the time, the course had just opened, and my dad didn’t realize that he might have another career on the horizon. Before the golf course ever existed, Doonbeg had to be one of the most gorgeous properties in the world, on the west coast of Ireland, with dunes that rolled into the Atlantic Ocean. After the golf course, it was nothing short of special. However, economic problems forced the owners to find a buyer for the resort, including its clubhouse, cottages, and a cozy, authentic, Irish pub.

Enter Donald “Trust me” Trump. And now the pub, formerly known as Darby’s, is … you guessed it … Trump’s.

And the name of the golf course and resort — named after the quaint little town just a mile away — Doonbeg, is now Trump International Golf Links and Hotel.

This is was the first indication of Trump’s world in the eyes of Trump, and how his business dealings overseas now illuminate his character — or caricature — long before he had ridden the gold-plated escalator down into the ugliest underbelly of American politics.

Trump also built a golf course resort in Aberdeen, Scotland, called Trump International Golf Links Scotland. The project is not without controversy because, well, it wouldn’t be a true Trump experience without ready-for-TV drama. For starters, several environmental promises were made to attain development approval from the local municipality, which were then neglected or ignored. Trump also had his eyes set on some adjoining property — a family-owned farm with a view of the North Sea. Trump offered a fortune for the property, but the owners wouldn’t sell the family farm. So, in his typically-juvenile ways, Trump planted rows of grown trees at the property line, blocking the family’s view to the North Sea. I’m all for planting trees, but …

Then, Trump wanted a massive Scottish flag by the clubhouse — one that you could see from anywhere on the course. The problem is that there is a local law limiting the size of a flag that can be flown in relation to the size of the building where it resides. Instead of adhering to this local ordinance, Trump raised a middle finger and the flag, and pays a daily fine to the local municipality. That’s a truly unique economic stimulus plan!

No denying that the place is spectacular. In case visitors miss its splendor, prominently displayed is a plaque that explains the project’s history, concluding: “The unprecedented end result is, according to many, the greatest golf course anywhere in the world!”

According to many. Sound familiar?

Trump also purchased a golf course in Scotland called Turnberry. Golf began at Turnberry in 1901 and has hosted countless major golf tournaments, including four British Opens. After 115 years, Trump renamed it Trump Turnberry.

What’s better, and contradictory to Trump’s claims that his business has not been hurt by his hateful, divisive campaign, Trump Aberdeen was scheduled to host multiple Scottish Opens. But after calling Mexicans rapists, the event was relocated from his venue — good for the European Tour, for doing the right thing, but bad for everybody else, particularly the locals and local economy.

Meanwhile, at Turnberry and Doonbeg, upon buying the properties, Trump replaced all merchandise logos with his own gaudy emblem and “TRUMP.” Now, however, this year, the old logos are back.

The Trump name could not sell.

This is not speculation, nor is it the world according to “Trust me” Trump. Trump has delusions of grandeur, which serve him well at his rallies, but are worthless when it comes to actual business … or the business of being president.