Takes one to know one

Posted on 07 Oct 2016 at 7:50am

Was Trump coked up during the debate?


Donald Trump


haberman-hardyBack in the 1980s, I was in the film production business. I directed commercials and short films for commercial clients. It was a fun business, but very intense, and it was also rife with cocaine.

Some clients expected it as part of the production process, some suppliers provided it as incentive, and I indulged in it because it was plentiful and frankly fun for a while.

Cocaine was the 1980s’ equivalent to a cocktail after work. Or during work. Or before work.

It had several effects on my life. First, it drained my billfold. One year while calculating my income taxes, I noticed a lot of $100 checks cashed at the bank and ATM withdrawals — all of which most likely went to buy the drug.

Second, it gave me a feeling of not just well-being but self-importance. Suddenly, whatever blather flowed from my lips seemed deep and intellectual. Using coke prompted a lot of rash — and often bad — decisions.

Third, cocaine made me sniff constantly, like someone suffering from hay fever. I would sniff between words and between sentences, and clench my jaw like a prizefighter. It also made me sweat and suffer a nagging cotton-mouth feeling that had me guzzling water like a thirsty camel.

And finally, it kept me up all night — reading, chatting, making pronouncements because whatever I had to say was “important.” Had there been Twitter back then, you can bet I would have been on it.

Thanks to a 12-step program, today I no longer need mind-altering drugs, and my rants have become more sedate and less self-righteous. I now sleep all night, unless awakened by my cat walking across me to get my attention.
It has been about 30 years since those wild, coke-filled days.

I confess all this only to let you know that the mannerisms and affectations I observed in Donald Trump during the first presidential debate were all too familiar. The inability to stay on topic, constant sniffing, excessive sweating and water swilling — all familiar. Afterward, the late-night Twitter storms filled with self-righteous blather and the self-justification were also familiar.

What am I saying? Well, to put it into the parlance Donald Trump uses, he “could” be high on cocaine. He “could” be strung out, sweating and sniffing and interrupting himself with “brilliant” insights and asides. His performance had all the earmarks, and you can trust me on this, because I have been there.

In the 1980s, we had an expression: “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.” For me, it was a way to let me see money drain from my bank account like water down a funnel. For someone as wealthy as Donald Trump, it’s most likely not an economic problem. But for our country it could be a political nightmare.

Trump’s brash statements about his future policies look like bad news for anyone other than white male, heterosexuals. His “brilliance” consists of schoolyard taunts and body-shaming insults. His foreign policy ideas are right out of a protectionist fantasy.

Do we really want a guy who “could be” strung out on nose candy to have his trembling finger on the button of the most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world?

Do we really want a guy who “people say” is high selecting the next Supreme Court?

Do we really want a man who “might” pay no income tax while “possibly” spending thousands on drugs to manage the economy of our country?

OK, so yeah. Most of what I just wrote was complete conjecture. I can’t prove any of it. So why even bother to say it?

Well, it all boils down to this: I love my country and I do not want to see the progress LGBTQ people have made in the last 45 years go up in a snort. We have fought too hard and our forefathers sacrificed too much to hand it over to a spoiled rich kid with too much expendable income and no self control.

As children would say in the schoolyard, “Takes one to know one.” As I would say today, “I was one, and I recognize one when I see one.” Call it my “blow-dar.”

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a board member of the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2016.

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