BY CHRIS TAKAHASHI | STAFF WRITER
Years before entering the presidential election, Donald Trump could be found in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, posing for a media shoot in a golf backswing. In this sleepy, coastal community of northeast Scotland, local residents with generational ties to the land remained steadfastly opposed to Trump’s ambitions for a new golf course development.
Trump’s Scottish golf course development eventually went ahead and the wake of destruction left by Trump should be regarded as a prescient parable for America if the man is elected next Tuesday. This fiasco, chronicled in a 2011 documentary called “You’ve Been Trumped,” has been dusted off as campaign fodder as Trump churns to the end of the election season.
The documentary was shown at the Honolulu Art Museum this past week and has a sequel, “You’ve Been Trumped Too,” which was released in theaters in New York on Friday, Oct. 28, and was streamed on Facebook Live (despite Trump threatening to pursue “legal action” against the filmmaker for airing his documentary) on Thursday, Nov. 3.
“You’ve Been Trumped” highlights protagonist Michael Forbes, an unassuming Scottish farmer and salmon fisherman, and resident of Aberdeenshire whose land was eyed by Trump for the golf development. After refusing to accept Trump’s buyout proposition, Forbes and his family settled in for a protracted, one-sided fight against Trump and company.
After construction on the golf course began, Trump’s crew filled in a stream with dirt just adjacent to Forbes’ property. It was this very stream that supplied the well water for the entire Forbes household, from bathwater to drinking water.
The damage was eventually undone, but Trump went on the offensive. He called Forbes’ living conditions “slum-like” and said the man lives “like a pig.”
It seems that if Trump cannot get what he wants, or what money cannot buy, he’ll resort to mudslinging in the most atrocious manner. He’s really just a spoiled bully.
Trump did not put aside his bullying ways from 2011 when he decided to run for president in the 2016 election cycle. During the Republican primary debates he’d call Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” and Marco Rubio “Little Marco.” Who can forget “Low-Energy Jeb?” At the time, watching the debates, I found it all highly entertaining. I assumed that a GOP nominated Trump would have zero chance against a candidate with decades of political experience such as Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Now that recent national polls show the race between Clinton and Trump narrowing, and the election on Tuesday, I’m left to wonder how someone like Donald Trump has a chance at winning this election.
After all, here is a man that announced his candidacy for presidency by asserting that Mexicans are rapists and criminals. Here is someone that was front and center in the Obama “birther” conspiracy. Here is someone that believes climate change is a hoax perpetuated by China.
You can’t make this stuff up.
The fact that Trump dabbles in conspiracy theories and makes incendiary statements should not come as a surprise. It is a reflection of his twisted value system, an “us vs. them” attitude.
Likewise, the man has never been taught how to be gracious in defeat, or gracious, period.
Back in 2011, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Trump openly mocked Michael Forbes and his perceived “slum-like” living conditions precisely because he was a bully who lost a deal. Forbes was a gentleman throughout the ordeal, winning the respect of his countrymen and the prestigious “Scot of the Year” award. If this year’s presidential election were to be held in Scotland, Trump would be absolutely trounced.
If America can take a lesson from Scotland’s experience with Donald Trump, it’s that the man is not even great at building golf courses without insulting scores of people and an entire nation. America, let’s not be Trumped.