I don’t often link to The Nation, nor am I often in agreement with Nicholas von Hoffman. Nevertheless, his recent column on Trump University will brighten your weekend. It seems that Donald Trump — known for transforming monomaniacal narcissism into a virtue — has now decided to establish an on-line “university” that, while offering no real course credits or academic degrees, does offer an official coat-of-arms and the promise of limitless riches.
Mr. von Hoffman’s reflections on Trump University were prompted by an e-letter he received, at least according to the sender line, from Donald Trump himself:
On top of it was a picture of Mr. Trump looking extremely dynamic: dark suit, white shirt, head thrust almost belligerently toward me, a good forward comb-over. The electro-missive began by saying it was a “private invitation,” which would have won me over immediately even without his personal Wall Street address, where, I suppose, he makes some of his fabulous deals. I can tell you that even though it takes a lot to turn my head, he had mine twisted off the top of my neck.
The letter started off by saying, “It’s not often that I reveal any of my hard-won success secrets for free.” And then–for free –he let me play the video that told me about the school he has started. Trump University. If John Harvard and Elihu Yale can have schools named after them, why not The Donald, who is a lot more famous and has had a lot more girls?
Although Trump University is not yet 300-plus years old, it has its own coat of arms–a rampant lion with a curly tail on a quartered field below what I took to be a bar sinister. Nice. His university has a motto, too, like Lux et Veritas. His is “We Teach Success,” which is more useful than light and truth, if you ask me.
As already noted, the “university” offers no bogus degrees or credits — thankfully — but it does offer the opportunity for students to imagine themselves the next Donald Trump. I can only wonder if being born to a wealthy father is a part of Mr. Trump’s proposed plan for success.