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Abigail Disney puts Trump to shame


Abigail Disney, a descendent of Walt, is a very, very wealthy woman. The 59-year old New Yorker recently gave a remarkable interview to New York magazine, in which she declaimed on her fortune and her attitude toward it, and to wealth in general.

In the interview, Disney reveals her ambivalence about having money, and her reasons for giving large parts of her inheritance away. She stands in stark contrast to the approach Donald Trump takes about money, which is that there’s no such thing as too much. Both Disney and Trump are rich, but she has remained a liberal, balanced and sane human being, while Trump has—well, become Trump, with all his disgusting qualities.

For this post, I’m quoting some of Disney’s most salient remarks and using them to criticize the Trump philosophy, which in my opinion as a Democrat is destroying America.

[M]y parents weren’t really showy people…They wanted to raise us with the sense that we weren’t any better than anyone else.

Contrast that with Donald Trump and his various wives, and the way they raised their children. Can anyone seriously doubt that Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric believe they are far better than everyone else—smarter, better-bred, and richer?

I’m not recognizable, so I can go through the world and restaurants and airports and interact with people like a normal person. That, I love. It’s great.

Trump lives for fame and recognition; if he doesn’t get enough, he broods. So unlike the modest, self-effacing Abigail Disney!

When…Michael Eisner came in and reinvigorated the [Disney] company…the stock price…was ten times, 20 times, 50 times what it had been…So all of the sudden, we went from being comfortable, upper-middle-class people to suddenly my dad had a private jet. That’s when I feel that my dad really lost his way in life. And that’s why I feel hyperconscious about what wealth does to people…

Abigail Disney always kept a sense of proportion about her wealth. Whereas she believed her father “lost his way in life” due to excessive wealth, Donald Trump’s children relish the affluence, and constantly seek to get more and more money.

If I were queen of the world, I would pass a law against private jets, because they enable you to get around a certain reality. You don’t have to go through an airport terminal, you don’t have to interact, you don’t have to be patient, you don’t have to be uncomfortable. These are the things that remind us we’re human.

When is the last Donald Trump and his family had to wait in line at an airport? Their sense of entitlement is profound, which explains their insensitivity, callousness and snobbery.

it’s not a small thing when you don’t have to be patient or be around other people…So there are people walking around with substantial wealth who think that they have it because they’re better. It’s fundamental to remember that you’re just a member of the human race, like everybody else, and there’s nothing about your money that makes you better than anyone else. If you don’t know that and you have money, it’s the road to hell, no matter how much stuff you have around you.

The Trumps clearly  believe they’re “better” because of their wealth. Abigail Disney has the praiseworthy understanding that she’s no better than others, even the poorest peasant. The Trumps possess no such understanding. They are, indeed, on the road to hell.

Abigail stopped using private jets twenty years ago, although she could easily afford to. I flew across the country overnight, by myself on that giant plane, and I was sitting there thinking about the carbon footprint and the number of flight attendants and the other pilot on-call and what it was costing, and I just wanted to be sick.

Do you think any of the Trumps worry about their carbon footprint in anything they do? Abigail has a social conscience. The Trumps have none, only a gluttonish self-interest.

What ends up happening [when you’re super-rich] is you end up being surrounded by people who don’t tell “no,” ever. And as my father’s drinking problem grew, he was surrounded by people who wouldn’t say, “You have a terrible drinking problem. You need to go get some help.”

Trump has always been surrounded by yes men: Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, the lackeys he bribed to do his bidding. No one ever dares tell him he has a terrible problem, not with drinking, but with being a sociopath.

I was totally independent at 21. So I started giving money away. Within a couple of years I was giving away more money than my parents, who had much more money that I had, which they told me was embarrassing to them.

Does Trump give anything to charity? We have no idea, because he won’t let us see his tax returns. He brags about everything else, so how come he has never bragged about his philanthropy? Let’s not forget that the Trump Foundation was forced to close because of fraud.

[I[t’s the easiest thing in the world to make money if you start with money. And then people give themselves credit for being that smart when they’re not.

Trump likes to boast how smart he is. But we know that his father, the KKK-member Fred Trump, gave him a fortune when he was a young man. And now Trump pretends that he’s self-made.

Well, Abigail Disney’s words are refreshing to read, and remind us once again what abject moral failures the Trumps are!

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