By the time you read this there will be a new leader of the free world. And one of the candidates they were all talking about was an old boss of mine.
My media teachers at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) advised me never to speak ill about a celebrity. But I’m about to break that rule and spill the beans on “The Donald.”
The good. The bad. The ugly.
After my traineeship at Royal Sydney, I landed a dream job in 2011 and moved to the United States to be a teaching pro at Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York. This is one of America’s most affluent and salubrious areas – 40 minutes north of Manhattan. Its membership includes Bill and Hillary Clinton, actor Mark Wahlberg, NFL star Tom Brady, half of the New York Yankees side and many more. It was a mix of celebrities, millionaires and billionaires. During my time at the club I got to know Donald Trump and his many vices – cheating at golf, placing banana skins and empty diet Coke cans in other golfers’ bags, even asking me to sell his used belts in the pro shop (kind of strange for a billionaire). It’s disturbing to think a potential President of the United States possesses this sort of juvenile and eccentric behaviour. These acts are evidence he lacks integrity, maturity and rationale – the very traits I would imagine are critical for a leader to have.
His intellect is on the questionable side too – he isn’t educated at the level as his predecessor, Barack Obama, and his history of personal financial instability demonstrates he is a risk taker.
Without question the man is obscure in every way. Some of the behaviour I witnessed during my time in New York defied belief. He threw tantrums at staff when things weren’t as he wished, he selected his staff on their looks and has even fired ‘fat’ girls. He yelled at everyone and didn’t understand the process of conversation. He fired questions and didn’t wait to hear the answers. He fired staff that were loyal and capable because they annoyed him once. And once you were in his bad books, you were never given a second chance.
He told me directly he held a theory where he tried to surround himself with beautiful things – beautiful women being the most obvious one – and he believed beautiful things will eventuate from this.
But I’m a fair person, so I will list the positive aspects of his leadership I witnessed within the golf club environment.
He is a family man – all members of his family were with him most of the time and the support system amongst them was evident. His sons, Donald Jr and Eric and daughter Ivanka are heavily immersed in his businesses and he fully supports them in their own endeavours. He understands business transactions – you can’t run an empire (golf courses, real estate, Miss America and Miss Universe competitions) without comprehending commercial deals and relationships. He is patriotic and wants to make a difference in his own country using his position of power and influence as a major public figure. He wants to stand up and take action. I respect his industrious and proactive attitude.
Donald Trump is a juvenile and eccentric man driven by the dollar and beautiful women.
Should he become the leader of the free world and will he be a good one? Only time will tell.
But I’m comforted there is at least a Congress in place.
• Annabel Rolley is an Australian Golf Professional and host of Australian Golf Digest TV www.annabelrolley.com