Three days ago, I wrote the post “Never Trump” after reading Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece about Tony Schwartz, who ghostwrote the bestselling The Art of the Deal. Based on his extensive observation of Donald J. Trump in the course of his daily business, Schwartz has attempted to warn America that, irrespective of any policy the Republican candidate for president might or might not articulate, his personality is totally unsuitable to leading the United States of America.
As if to prove Trump’s meanspiritedness and lack of ordinary perspective—he is about to become the presidential candidate of a major political party after all—Jane Mayer reported yesterday that, through his lawyer, Trump sent Schwartz a cease & desist letter that, among other outrageous demands, requests the return of all royalties earned by Schwartz on the book that helped make Trump famous. Mayer’s story is “Donald Trump Threatens the Ghostwriter of ‘The Art of the Deal’.” Mayer includes the letter from Trump’s lawyer and the dismissive reply from Schwartz’s lawyer. Trump is clearly trying to suppress all the negative things Schwartz has been saying about him, both in The New Yorker and on television.
One characteristic trait of Donald J. Trump that is indisputable, given to the overwhelming evidence of the public record, is that he brings lawsuits against people at the drop of a hat. This is clearly not because Trump is the target of the world population out to persecute him. It is instead evidence of a deep insecurity that someone, somehow, in even the most minor fashion, might gain something—anything—at his expense.
Trump has a serious anger-management problem. It is one thing to sue a writer for having a well-supported, if unfavorable, opinion of the New York tycoon. It would be quite another if Trump had control of the nuclear button. If Vladimir Putin slighted a President Trump, would the Donald start a nuclear war to protect his delicate ego? The answer is not clearly “no.”
As for the present situation, the threat to Schwartz is negligible. As a public figure, Schwartz can say outrageous and demonstrably false things about Trump and not liable the Donald. Trump has done nothing more than publicize his petulance.
That said, there is another concern here. There seems to be a trend of billionaires suiting anyone who has displeased them and, if not winning in court, at least ruining the object of their ire. This is yet another way our legal system is unfair, and it is something we should be doing something about.