Today, I came across a letter written to New York magazine in 1992. Normally I wouldn’t expect such a thing to be particularly interesting, but this letter was written by someone called Carolin Gallego about her apparent boss, Donald Trump.
You can see the letter here:
Sound familiar? You can see why some people are saying that this was actually written by Trump himself. First of all, it’s simply the kind of thing he’d do. He’s so insecure that of course he’d pretend to be his own secretary and write about how he great he is.
And thirdly, it really sounds like him. It’s almost impossible not to read it in his voice, especially the sentence beginning with The most beautiful women, the most successful women... It’s got his tendency to repeat superlatives to reassure himself, and to immediately back up a boast with another that either has the same meaning or is equally positive. It was probably easy enough to get away with pretending to be someone else in 1992. Even though he was very much a public figure then, we didn’t have such ready access to his words as we do now thanks to the internet.
But comparing this letter now to his many, many tweets, we can immediately recognise his voice. It’s interesting how someone can have such a distinctive, consistent style that’s immediately recognisable. It’s often considered one of the hallmarks of good writing: when a writer uses their distinct, personal voice in their work. And whatever you think of Trump, you have to admit that that’s what he does. It’s not a very pleasant voice, of course, and it features an extremely limited range of vocabulary, but you have to admit: you’d recognise it anywhere.
It’s just a pity for Trump that he didn’t have to wherewithal to adapt his style when pretending to be a secretary that never seems to have actually existed. But then if he were such a reflective individual, he probably would’ve realised how pathetic it was to pretend to be her in the first place. Sad!