New York has a special place in his heart, Trump said when he gave up his place of residence in the city. But the relationship between the president and the metropolis is complex – and tense.
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Officially, Donald Trump is no longer a New Yorker – although he was born in 1946 in the New York borough of Queens and has spent most of his life in the metropolis. But last September, the US president, who was born in 1946, applied to move his residence to the southern US state of Florida. Since then, he and First Lady Melania have officially lived, apart from the White House in Washington, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Golf Club in Palm Beach.
“I was very reluctant to make this decision,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the time. “I will always be there when New York and its great people need my help. It will always have a special place in my heart.” The political leadership of the city and the state of the same name, however, treated him very badly and left him no other choice. A few months later, Trump stepped in and faced New York politics with failure: “New York is going to hell right now.”
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The relationship between the Republican US president and his liberal hometown is complicated. On the one hand, the metropolis has made Trump what he is. On the other hand, the affection was probably never really mutual: since his election as president, a large part of the population has shown Trump a mixture of open rejection and hatred. Even so, the US president still has ardent supporters in New York.
Trump’s father got rich with real estate
Trump’s grandparents were German emigrants. His grandmother founded the real estate company Elizabeth Trump & Son in 1925, a forerunner of today’s Trump Organization. Trump’s father got rich in the metropolis with huge apartment buildings and old people’s homes. Donald grew up in the rather humble and very international district of Queens. The house of his childhood has been offered for sale several times since he took office, and in between it was also bookable via Airbnb, a platform for holiday apartments.
Trump was drawn to the glittering real estate world of Manhattan early on, where he built a tower right in the middle of posh Fifth Avenue in the early 1980s. The inclusion in the elite of New York’s high society, which always smiled at him a little, has long been a driving motivation for Trump, my observer. Until he moved to the White House, he lived in Trump Tower in a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park.
“New York hates you!”
After winning the election in 2016, which the newly elected president celebrated in a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan, crowds of people gathered in front of Trump’s building for weeks and shouted upwards: “New York hates you!” (“New York hates you”). Many New Yorkers booed Trump when he cast his vote in a Midtown school. Others had cheered him on.
The vast majority of New Yorkers voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 election, but of course Trump also won votes. The Democratic candidate in New York State won 59 percent of the electorate, Trump got 36.5. Clinton conquered four of the five boroughs of New York City by a huge margin: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Trump only won in Staten Island, which is more like a suburb.
Trump tramples on what is important to New Yorkers
Four years later, for the next presidential election, signs and stickers for the democratic applicant, this time ex-Vice President Joe Biden, predominate in most streets of the metropolis. The views of many New Yorkers seem to be diametrically opposed to Trump’s: climate protection and the rights of immigrants are close to their hearts – issues that the President openly speaks out against.
The relationship between New York and Trump has worsened in the past four years, says a New York bank employee who is out with her dog in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. “At first we were all shocked that he was really elected, but we thought maybe things won’t be that bad. Deep down he might be a New Yorker after all. But then he turned out to be a real monster. We have to deselect him. “
Trump supporters don’t have it easy in the metropolis
Biden supporters are often offensive on the streets of New York, for example with a corresponding label on the mask. For Gavin Wax, on the other hand, it often seems as if he has to keep a secret – because the 26-year-old native of New York is a conservative Trump supporter.
“Here there is a monopoly on political discourse, and if you have other views that are right of the center, you are basically called a fascist,” says the president of the New York Young Republican Club, which has something like is the republican youth organization in the east coast metropolis.
“I’ve definitely lost a lot of friends”
In New York it is not always easy to go against the tide politically, says Wax. “When Trump came and I started supporting him, I definitely lost a lot of friends and connections, estranged myself from a lot of people I had known for a long time.”
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It is a shame for the political landscape that the country is so divided, says Wax. In the past you could have different opinions, but that didn’t mean you had to end friendships or see families break up. This is different today.
Wax doesn’t feel like a complete outcast as a Trump supporter, but: “I definitely have to be quiet and can’t be as public as I want. You don’t want to talk too loudly about it when you’re in a café, a Restaurant or bar. “
The anti-Trump voices, on the other hand, are usually much louder in the metropolis – and even come from high above. “Donald Trump must be stopped,” demands the city’s Democratic Mayor, Bill de Blasio, “because he doesn’t understand New York City, and if his presidency is over soon, he won’t be welcome in New York City either. ” Trump is unlikely to be impressed: He likes to refer to de Blasio as the “worst mayor in the United States”.