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Young Tronald Dump’s father, a man named Tred Frump (there was a name change along the way, just go with it) was, early in his career, a modestly successful businessman and real estate developer. He wanted to instill in his son a sense of what is right and wrong, a sense of what is good and bad and how to act and react to any circumstances, both in the world of business and in life.

One day, Mr. Frump had a real estate deal to handle. It was a big project, potentially worth millions of dollars to his company, which would translate to a huge boost for his personal pocketbook.

The deal wasn’t “a sure thing.” In fact, Frump thought that maybe there would be trouble. So, he decided to bring eight-year old Tronald along to his meeting for two reasons. The first was he wanted to indoctrinate his son into what a business negotiation was all about, to give him an understanding of the process and a clear concept of what that meant for the life of a company and their family. But he also was hoping to manipulate and distract the negotiator with a cute kid and maybe get a better result.

Frump tramped in, with his little Dump, behind.

“Sorry. My babysitter went to summer camp!” he said brightly.

Young Tronald climbed into an overstuffed chair next to his father, wearing a serious face just as well as he wore his Brooks Brothers suit.

“You might as well have just sent over a messenger,” came the reply from the attorney representing the project. “This deal isn’t going forward. We’ve decided to go another way.”

“You’re crazy!” Frump harrumphed. “This will provide beautiful homes for all the returning G.I.s from World War II. Well, not ALL, just the white ones, of course.”

“Mr. Frump, you have done other deals with other people, most of them in New York City proper, but here on Long Island, we have our own way of working. I’m sorry to tell you, the Lovitt family has brought in a contractor that they simply preferred in this case and they will handle everything else in house. Good luck in your future endeavors.”

Frump frowned. “Is there nothing I can sa...”

“Please. Don't embarrass yourself.”

After a single glare, a grab of his son and a march toward the door, Mr. Frump walked into the hallway, got down on one knee, straightened his son’s tie and jacket and looked him in the eye.

“I want you to remember what just happened in there,” Tred said to Tronald. “When someone treats you badly, you be sure to treat them just as badly.”

Frump stood and walked over to a phone booth in the lobby and fished out a five-cent piece from his trousers.

“Showing me up in front of my child.” Frump muttered, sticking his finger in the rotary dial and turning. “Hello, may I speak to the Office of Urban Planning?” A pause. “Yes, I have a complaint about an upcoming project that is scheduled to begin later this year... yes, I’ll hold.” he covered the phone receiver’s mouthpiece, chuckled and gave his son a wink.

A few weeks later, during a lavish breakfast, Tred Frump was in a particularly good mood. He put down the business section of the New York Herald, with the headline: Lovittown Deal Inked With New Contractor.

“My son, my son!” Frump called as Tronald wandered into the dining room. “Wonderful news today.” Frump pulled out a chair for his son to sit upon and got him a plate of pancakes, eggs and sausage. “Not only did the company that beat us for the Lovittown project lose their contract, the great people at the Federal Housing Authority have backed our plans for our new urban buildings!”

Tronald sat quietly and listened attentively through bites of his egg.

“Always support the people who supported you. They are the people you can trust,” Frump enthused. “Loyalty, above all else. That’s something that you can’t buy or trade. When loyalty comes along, stick to it like glue.”

Tronald mulled over the concept as he sipped his orange juice.

“Be loyal to those who are loyal to you,” Tronald Dump said. “And cut off anyone who is disloyal.”

“No, no.” Frump corrected. “Listen to me carefully. People being ‘loyal’ are all very well, and you will have employees and tenants and sycophants who are going to be ‘loyal.’” Frump continued. “They don’t matter.” Frump paused a moment to let that thought come through.

Frump continued, “It’s the people who have power, who actually do something to help advance your career, help you achieve what you wanted to do, help to increase your finances that are the people you need to remain loyal to, through thick and thin.”

“I see, Father,” Tronald responded.

“Always remember that, son.”

“I swear, I will.”

Tronald Dump shook his head and blinked out of his reverie. He blankly stared at the TelePrompter with the opening remarks of a speech in the lobby of Dump Tower.

“My fellow Americans.”

Dump read ahead and noted the speech was to do with some violent attack by a White Nationalist group and the death of a protester against that group. He decided to ad-lib.

“Let me say, that we condemn violence of any kind, especially as it relates to humans. But let me say that we condemn all violence from every direction it comes from. EVERY direction, not just one.”

“We know that there is guilt,” he continued, “And we know that this guilt must be shared equally among all the participants.”

A reporter in the crowd shouted, “Are you actually saying that the protestors of this hate group deserve to be blamed equally for the violence that occurred?”

“They were there, weren’t they? Hey! If they did not go to the rally, they would not have been there to be a part of it.”

Several reporters began to shout.

“Buh-buh-buh. Now you shut up with your fake news and your twisting the story stories,” The Tronald demanded.

“Is this to do with the fact that a lot of your voting base were these so-called White Nationalists,” another reporter called.

“Next question.”

“Sir, you haven’t answered…”

Dump glared at the reporter. “I’m not here to answer your fake news questions. You people are always out to get me! You people are constantly harping on every word I say.”

“You don’t get it. I’m here to help this country in every way possible!” Dump stated. “By continuing to criticize me for the little things you think are important, you are preventing me from my vision. Don’t you see how you are the ones that are wrong?!”

The crowd went silent and in that silence, Tronald Dump could see the spirit of his father, smiling up at him. And in that moment, as he remembered the lesson of the Code of Honor he was taught all those years ago, Tronald Dump smiled down on his father as well.

“I’m doing this for you.” Dump said to his vision.

“What was that?” a person in the crowd yelled.

“I’m doing this for you, the American people!”


This work of fiction was written for LJ Idol using the prompt Fatal flaw


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2017 01:39 pm (UTC)
Ummmm... is the first half entirely fiction? Because calling the Feds down on a competitor, and then oiling his way into the deal is exactly like something I can see a Trump doing. It's kind of scarily real.

Also the "bring son along to manipulate the deal" and then "they embarrassed me in front of my son!"

Nice use of current events in this, with the message of the week. It's been on CNN 24/7 (which is always showing in our hotel), and the failure to condemn white supremacists at the get-go was SO glaring. Not unexpected, but glaring.

We're vacationing in D.C. this week, where so many of the public-facing jobs are held by black people. The people here are so nice, and as hateful as the 2016 election results were to the country as a whole... Trump's presence here feels like a specific betrayal of the people who live and work here to represent our Capitol to the rest of the country and to the world.
Aug. 19th, 2017 02:40 pm (UTC)
I really had no choice in the matter, this week. With all of the news going on, this was a constant feed. this was in the water. This was in the air. Whatever else I might have written about was choked off. I would have had to write about this no matter what the prompt, but this fit like a glove.

Good timing on visiting DC when the president is out of town! I really don't know that Trump has connected, even in a passing way, with the city of Washington... that doesn't really seem like his thing, you know? I mean, even here in NYC, Trump Tower is situated at a location that most New Yorkers avoid, simply because it's in the heart of where a lot of tourists congregate. The wealthy tend to live insulated lives, but, as you would expect, Trump takes that to a level all his own.

Thank you so much for a fantastic compliment! I did do some research on the Trump family as part of this, just to get some sense about things and then I just did a bit of projection based on what I learned. Trump's father was most certainly an opportunist and he definitely was a racist, but then again, there was no check on that kind of behavior at that time, at least not until the Civil Rights movement came to prominence.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation!!
Aug. 19th, 2017 08:40 pm (UTC)

I hear you so loud and clear. It's like smog, everywhere and unavoidable. I liked your clever device with the  twist of the names.

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! And smog is the more accurate analogy.
Aug. 21st, 2017 08:39 pm (UTC)
The only thing I can think of to say to this is Donald Trump is such a horrible person.
Aug. 21st, 2017 09:53 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking about logic and about how there has to be some rationale for what's been happening. This was as close as I got. Thanks for sharing the experience.
Aug. 21st, 2017 09:23 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling this is all too close to reality.
Aug. 21st, 2017 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and for a very thoughtful compliment. I had hoped to find some thread of reasoning for every apparent weird, off-kilter or, I hesitate to call it a "crazy" thing, because it's not so much crazy if you look at the process he's using. I was just making my best guess based on a bit of research and thinking about human nature.
Aug. 21st, 2017 11:31 pm (UTC)
I have to believe your thinking is pretty accurate. I, too, find myself wondering how he got the way he is, and I can only conclude that he must have been taught some of those behaviors in childhood, or at least not been corrected when he should have been.
Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:52 am (UTC)
I went with the thought that he likely was encouraged to do some of this stuff, simply because it's one way to do business and that if you don't, it could prove to make you less successful. Just tossing some of the puzzle pieces! :)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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