Dear America,

Donald Trump had two brothers, one of whom died young of alcoholism and who never participated significantly in the Trump real estate business, and the other of whom ran the business outside of Manhattan until he retired.  He also has two sisters, one a federal court judge, now retired, and another, ostensibly a former banker, who married a movie producer.  All of them seem to have led comfortable lives other than the deceased brother, and it seems that the family business was either the source of their sustenance or perhaps a contributing factor in their finding other sources of lucre, such  as the major bank for which the second sister either worked or got paid to lend her name to in some way in New York.  They all have lived privileged lives, and the federal judge seems to have had a credible career as a conservative jurist except for her connection to the family scheme involving  the All County Building Supply & Maintenance Company, which Donald's father, Fred, used to funnel his fortune to his children while alive so as to avoid inheritance and gift tax.  How much she benefited isn't clear, but she was apparently, as they say,  "in the room" when the details were decided on.

I bring up the Trumps because none of them seem to be riding the Donald Trump band wagon, much less appearing with their mountebank brother to give him credibility.  Of course, research might yield an answer as to why, but it seems peculiar that Trump never enlisted any of his relatives except for his daughter, Ivana, and her sister, who gave a brief speech at the Republican convention in 2016.  As to the research, there isn't much to go on at the obvious, internet level, but there are some hints even there as to why the siblings are so ghostly politically.  The judge was outed with regard to her participation in the sham business funnel that made all of the Trump progeny rich to begin with.  Similarly, Trump's younger brother has kept a very low profile, responding to queries about the family tax avoidance business only by saying that all inheritance and gift taxes due were paid.  As to the other sister,  there doesn't seem to be much information to find on the web.  What I have found all seems to have been written, like much of the material about the other Trumps, by someone whose native tongue isn't English.  I'll leave you to draw your own inferences from that observation.  But the bottom line is that, considering what a flagrant publicity hound Donald is, his siblings apparent reticence, even about their brother, invites speculation.

In more than one source about Trump's older sister, federal judge emeritus Maryanne Barry, reference was made to her advocacy of abortion rights and liberal immigration policy.  And given that she was appointed to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals by Bill Clinton, she may diverge quite sharply from her president brother's political bent.  As to the others, I get the feeling that Judge Barry got the brains in the family while the others just got the money.  Certainly her brother in the White House is no genius, and given how little the rest of them say publicly, it seems fair to speculate that they aren't part of any brain trust either.  So the only Trump sibling about whom we know anything of significance doesn't seem to be a Donald-style true believer.  For all we know, she doesn't even share the Trumpian version of "American Exceptionalism" of which Newt Gingrich most the most recent acolyte.  So for her to speak on her brother's behalf would likely require a compromise of principle toward which she might not be inclined.  With regard to the other Trump sister and the living brother, there is a suspect vagueness to the information available about them.  I won't speculate further, but let me conclude with the fact that presidential siblings often sit in the shadows, but there has never been a president who eschews the shadows more than our current president, so it's a little surprising that his siblings don't seem to enjoy the limelight at all.

With the mid-term elections coming up tomorrow, the news is all Trump, all the time, so the characters of his family members would probably be too little too late in terms of affecting current politics.  But 2020 is coming up, and it will be here sooner than you'd think.  Maybe the family tree will be worth climbing some time between now and then.

Your friend,

Mike

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