aside President in the “Death Of A Salesman” Role


The National Review is another popular conservative outlet that has lots of credence and sway with republican right wingers. Recently, it has been publishing some critical pieces about the republican President Donald Trump. This one is definitely worth reading.

On July 30, 2017, Kevin D. Williamson of the National Review penned the following opinion piece, “Death of a F***ing Salesman.”


Donald Trump can’t close the deal.

A few years ago in NY, Al Pacino starred in a revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, and the casting was poignant: In 1992, a much younger and more vigorous Pacino had played the role of hotshot salesman Ricky Roma in the film adaptation of the play; in the Broadway revival, a 72-year-old Pacino played the broken-down has-been Shelley Levene. Glengarry Glen Ross is the Macbeth of real estate, full of great, blistering lines and soliloquies so liberally peppered with profanity that the original cast had nicknamed the show “Death of a F***ing Salesman.”

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“But a few of those attending the NY revival left disappointed. For a certain type of young man, the star of Glengarry Glen Ross is a character called Blake, played in the film by Alec Baldwin. We know that his name is “Blake” only from the credits; asked his name by one of the other salesmen, he answers: “What’s my name? F*** you. That’s my name.” In the film, Blake sets things in motion by delivering a motivational speech and announcing a sales competition: “First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize? A set of steak knives. Third prize is, you’re fired. Get the picture?” He berates the salesmen in terms both financial — “My watch cost more than your car!” — and sexual. Their problem, in Blake’s telling, isn’t that they’ve had a run of bad luck or bad sales leads — or that the real estate they’re trying to sell is crap — it is that they aren’t real men.”

“A few young men waiting to see the show had been quoting Blake’s speech to one another. For them, and for a number of men who imagine themselves to be hard-hitting competitors (I’ve never met a woman of whom this is true), Blake’s speech is practically a creed. It’s one of those things that some guys memorize. But Blake does not appear in the play, the scene having been written specifically for the film and specifically for Alec Baldwin, a sop to investors who feared that the film would not be profitable and wanted an additional jolt of star power to enliven it.”

Image result for photos of alec baldwin in DEATH OF A SALESMAN PLAY

“That’s some fine irony: Blake’s paean to salesmanship was written to satisfy salesmen who did not quite buy David Mamet’s original pitch. The play is if anything darker and more terrifying without Blake, leaving the poor feckless salesmen at the mercy of a faceless malevolence offstage rather than some regular jerk in a BMW. But a few finance bros went home disappointed that they did not get the chance to sing along, as it were, with their favorite hymn.”

“These guys don’t want to see Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. What they want is to be Blake. They want to swagger, to curse, to insult, and to exercise power over men, exercising power over men being the classical means to the end of exercising power over women, which is of course what this, and nine-tenths of everything else in human affairs, is about. Blake is a specimen of that famous creature, the “alpha male,” and establishing and advertising one’s alpha creds is an obsession for some sexually unhappy contemporary men.”

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“There is a whole weird little ecosystem of websites (some of them very amusing) and pickup-artist manuals offering men tips on how to be more alpha, more dominant, more commanding, a literature that performs roughly the same function in the lives of these men that Cosmopolitan sex tips play in the lives of insecure women. Of course this advice ends up producing cartoonish, ridiculous behavior.”

“If you’re wondering where Anthony Scaramucci learned to talk and behave like such a Scaramuccia, ask him how many times he’s seen Glengarry Glen Ross. What’s notable about the advice offered to young men aspiring to be “alpha males” is that it is consistent with the classic salesmanship advice offered by the real-world versions of Blake in a hundred thousand business-inspiration books (Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World is the classic of the genre) and self-help tomes, summarized in an old Alcoholics Anonymous slogan: “Fake it ’til you make it.”

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“For the pick-up artists, the idea is that simply acting in social situations as though one were confident, successful, and naturally masterful is a good substitute for being those things. Never mind the advice of Cicero (esse quam videri, be rather than seem) or Rush — just go around acting like Blake and people will treat you like Blake. If that sounds preposterous, remind yourself who the president of the United States of America is.”

“Trump is the political version of a pickup artist, and Republicans — and America — went to bed with him convinced that he was something other than what he is. Trump inherited his fortune but describes himself as though he were a self-made man. ”

“He has had a middling career in real estate and a poor one as a hotelier and casino operator but convinced people he is a titan of industry. He has never managed a large, complex corporate enterprise, but he did play an executive on a reality show. He presents himself as a confident ladies’ man but is so insecure that he invented an imaginary friend to lie to the NY press about his love life and is now married to a woman who is open and blasé about the fact that she married him for his money.”

Related image“He fixates on certain words (“negotiator”) and certain classes of words (mainly adjectives and adverbs, “bigly,” “major,” “world-class,” “top,” and superlatives), but he isn’t much of a negotiator, manager, or leader. He cannot negotiate a health-care deal among members of a party desperate for one, can’t manage his own factionalized and leak-ridden White House, and cannot lead a political movement that aspires to anything greater than the service of his own pathetic vanity.”

“He wants to be John Wayne, but what he is is “Woody Allen without the humor.” Peggy Noonan, to whom we owe that observation, has his number: He is soft, weak, whimpering, and petulant. He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact.”

“For all his gold-plated toilets, he is at heart that middling junior salesman watching Glengarry Glen Ross and thinking to himself: “That’s the man I want to be.” How many times do you imagine he has stood in front of a mirror trying to project like Alec Baldwin? Unfortunately for the president, it’s Baldwin who does the good imitation of Trump, not the other way around.”

Related image“Hence the cartoon tough-guy act. Scaramucci’s star didn’t fade when he gave that batty and profane interview in which he reimagined Steve Bannon as a kind of autoerotic yogi. That’s Scaramucci’s best impersonation of the sort of man the president of these United States, God help us, aspires to be. But he isn’t that guy. He’s poor sad old Shelley Levene, who cannot close the deal, who spends his nights whining about the unfairness of it all. So, listen up, Team Trump: “Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only.”

“Got that?”


  1. Gronda, well done. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Tony Schwartz last summer in The New Yorker. Schwartz is the ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal.”

    “I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

    Unfortunately, Schwartz’ voice was not loud enough. It should be noted Schwartz’s concerns are echoed by Trump’s five biographers.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      Let’s face it. The Trump supporters were not listening to all the naysayers. His base is still hanging on like a cult. I am reminded that even when Hitler was at his end, there were still those who believed in him. I recall the Nixon followers after he resigned who were still supporting him against all reason.

      It is sad but Tony Schwart’s words fell on deaf ears.He needs to be out of the WH.

      Hugs, Gronda


      • Gronda, I look back on the election, and my worrying about HRC began in late May when she continued to handle the email issue poorly. I felt at the time, she needed to pick a galvanizing VP candidate such as Senator Corey Booker to shore up her weaknesses. Yet, absent Comey and the Russian success, she would have won saving us from this man-child. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dear Keith,

          I kind of understand the problem with explaining the email issue because it is somewhat complicated to explain in a couple of soundbites. As a professional sales person, I could do it but she with her demeanor needed help with this, like some coaching or a surrogate needed to take on this task.

          Towards the end, her not going to states like MI, WI, OH, PA to ask for the vote was a major error that cost her. She was playing in a game where she could not afford unnecessary errors which this was.The deck was unfairly stacked against her.

          Now we are stuck with the man-child.

          Hugs, Gronda


  2. “Woody Allen without the humor” I love that image. Make it a naked Woody Allen without the humor and you have a hit. Yeah, the man needs to be outta there. Too dangerous to the civilized world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that the false gold paint is starting to flake off; in the shape of the foolish inadequate Scara-whatever-his-name-is, the incumbent in the Whitehouse is shown for what he is an egotist quite out of his depth and probably scared of where he is.
    Your one benefit is that when this is all over the USA will be rid of the myth of the ‘business-man’ being able to run a country instead of the professional politicians.
    Interesting that a military person is now on the staff, are we observing the appearance of someone who may shore it all up by becoming the power behind the throne of someone who is essentially vacillating and blustering.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Roger,

    Let’s hope that the general becomes the power behind the thrown. But this is also fool’s gold. The person on the throne is an arrogant, impulsive, thin-skinned paranoid liar who can’t contain his frustrations and anger and who has his trigger finger on the twitter machine like a man-child.

    How can anyone prevent DDT from self-destructing?

    Hugs, Gronda


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