Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Donald Trump -- Above The Law?

In my previous blog post I wondered why Donald Trump has not yet been arrested for inciting violence. The answer which seems most likely to me is that people are afraid to arrest him, because he would retaliate in some way -- in what way, I'm not sure, and I'm not sure whether people hesitating to stand up to him have a clear idea of what exactly he would do, either.

In 1994 and 1995 I worked at a bookstore on 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan, very near the first Trump Tower. I think it was still the only Trump Tower in NYC. It's on the east side of 5th Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, and it is tack-eee. Anyway, this bookstore I worked in was surrounded by a lot of very expensive shops and hotels and high-end apartments, and some of our customers were famous and presumably many of them were rich.

And a phrase we heard from one of the customers now and then was, "Do you know who I AM?!" It seems I heard this especially often during the year-end holiday rush. I don't know whether New Yorkers still say that as often as they did back then. Even back then it sounded like a line delivered by a villain in a silly movie or TV show. The implied answer to the question "Do you know who I am?!" was something like: I am a very powerful person, peasant! And if you do not jump me ahead to the front of this line and gift-wrap this book and get me out of here NOW, you'll never work in a bookstore in this town again!" The general reaction of the bookstore employees and the other customers to hearing someone say "Do you know who I AM?!" seemed to be mild amusement, and our reaction, the employees' reaction, was generally to calmly say that we were sorry, but we had to check everybody out in the order they got into the line, and we were sorry about long lines but we were doing our best, *yawn* , yada yada...

Every now and then a famous author would visit the store, maybe to do a book signing, maybe just to see if we had his or her book in stock and prominently displayed. Most of them were perfectly nice, but now and then we got some of the Do-you-know-who-I-AM?!-drama from them too.

The thing is, I can picture Donald Trump doing the "Do you know who I AM?!"-schtick and really frightening people with it, unfortunately. The people who delivered that line in the bookstore struck me as Trump wannabees. Trump strikes me as someone who gets away with a lot of stuff.

And I think -- enough. He's a clown. And he's only a scary clown because people let him scare them. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. No one is above the law.

Well -- clearly, some people are above the law. But we don't have to keep putting up with that.

Bullies are cowards. Stand up to them and they fold. Trump is breaking laws against inciting violence. Time to stop letting him be above the law.

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