Friday, November 18, 2016

Inside Trump's Bubble

"Mr Trump has long lived in a bubble of his own creation... 'The reason my hair looks so neat all the time is because I don't have to deal with the elements very often,' Mr Trump wrote in his 2004 book, How to Get Rich. 'I live in the building where I work. I take an elevator from my bedroom to my office. The rest of the time, I'm either in my stretch limousine, my private jet, my helicopter, or my private club in Palm Beach, Florida'." (Trump swaps one cloistered life for another, AP, The Australian, 17/11/16)

"Norman Vincent Peale was... a bestselling author. In 1952 he published a book called The Power Of Positive Thinking, which sold millions of copies. It also launched the positive thinking movement with its motivational speakers, its role in business morale conferences and its shelves of self-help books. Positive thinking has become one of the most influential modern ideas, particularly in America... The first chapter of Peale's bestseller, Believe in Yourself, begins like this: 'Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.' Positive thinkers accompany this belief with another. You can make things happen by wanting them to happen. You can change things by believing strongly enough in change. If change does not happen it just means that you didn't believe it enough...

"Peale is, along with [his property developer father] Fred, the only person Trump openly calls a mentor... Peale, he said, 'would install a very positive feeling about God that also made me feel positive about myself'. As Trump put it in the early 1980s: 'The mind can overcome any obstacle. I never think of the negative.' The business career, the politics and even the boasting (Trump overlooked the requirement to be humble) all bear the imprint of Peale and of the positive thinking movement. 'There is nobody like me. Nobody.' Who on earth would say something like that? Let alone write it down in a campaign book. The answer is someone who believes that saying it makes it come true. Someone who thinks that you have to believe in yourself in order to be happy and successful. Ditto: 'I'm rich. I mean, I'm really rich. I've earned more money than even I thought I would - and I've had some pretty big dreams.' Positive thinking teaches you that you can believe yourself rich." (Power of positive thinking: I think, so I can, Daniel Finkelstein, The Times/ The Australian, 17/11/16)

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