Last Monday, Donald Trump Jr took to the stage at the Republican National Convention to deliver what he surely hoped was a powerful and forceful rallying call to the American public. Bearded and bleary eyed, Trump Jr. gave a speech reminiscent of a pre-battle rant from a minor Star Wars villain. Surely it’s only a matter of time until someone cuts in the Imperial March in the background.
More deluded fairytale than coherent manifesto, Trump Jr.’s blusterous endorsement of his dad garnered some choice YouTube comments:
“Dude looks like that guy in Die Hard who tries to become friends with Hans Gruber.”
“If you close your eyes, he sounds exactly like Christian Bale in American Psycho.”
“I’m switching Republican they got the good coke.”
Trump Jr. of course denied he was on cocaine during the speech; in an interview with Fox News he blamed the lighting on his sweaty, watery eyed appearance. Either way, there was something unsettling about his fervour, and the mannerisms so clearly borrowed from Daddy Trump.
In a piece published the day after Trump Jr’s speech, BBC White House reporter Tara McKelvey wrote that Trump Jr. is “Trumpier than Trump”. McKelvey went on to say that Trump Jr., “is treated like a rock star at conservative venues” and that “many of the president’s base like the way that the younger Mr Trump has at times gone even further than his father, supporting, for example, the gun industry’s efforts to have restrictions on silencers eliminated.”
His support for his father seems unwavering, but in a piece entitled Donald Trump Jr. Is Ready. But For What?, the New York Times published reports supposedly leaked by unnamed Trump campaign officials claiming that Trump Jr is the “only person who thinks [the Republicans are] going to lose. He’s like, ‘we’re losing dude, and we’re going to get really hurt when we lose’.”
Big game hunter, former reality TV star, fourth generation businessman, and (publicly at least) his father’s number one cheerleader, who is Donald Trump Jr. really?
The media image of Donald Trump Jr. is very much of a man in his father’s shadow. When he released his book bemoaning political correctness, Triggered, last year, transgender rights activist Parker Molloy posted a blank template of the cover online encouraging followers to come up with their own tagline and title. Unsurprisingly, ‘Daddy, Please Love Me’ was a popular alternative.
Born in 1977 to Donald and Ivana Trump, Trump Jr. never really stood a chance. Despite being Trump’s eldest child, they weren’t always close. In Ivana Trump’s book, Raising Trump, she claims that when she told Donald Jr that his father was having an affair, Trump Jr became enraged at how his father’s actions had broken up the family and didn’t speak to him for a year.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a B.S. in Economics, Trump Jr. (according to a Vanity Fair profile) lived in Aspen, Colorado, for a year, hunting, fishing, working as a bartender and – bizarrely – living in a truck before taking his place in the Trump Organisation.
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