Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
It is not often that a writer regrets writing a bestseller. Certainly not if the protagonist has just become president of the United States of America. Tony Schwartz does have regrets. Regrets about his book The Art of the Deal on Donald Trump. Schwartz is deeply concerned about the future of America. In fact, he’s been looking for an apartment in Amsterdam.
He loves Amsterdam, because his daughter and son-in-law have lived here for 3.5 years with their eight-months-old daughter. “I love it here.” He is in the Netherlands due to the Thanksgiving holiday. “I hope I will be able to continue to live in the US, currently mainly to help that the voice of opposition is heard.”
Ironically, precisely Schwartz wrote the book about which it is said it was the stepping stone for Trump‘s success. It was then a bestseller about a petty trader who had risen to real estate magnate.
The book now flies again over the counter and sales will continue to rise, once Trump will live in the White House. “My royalties for that all go to a migrant organization. That’s the only reason I am glad that the book is still being sold.”
“I wrote the book for the money and I’m not proud of it. I was then insufficiently aware that such a decision might haunt me for many years. It is intolerable that precisely Trump has ensured that I could have a comfortable life. And so, with that book I contributed that he came so far. My stomach turns when I think about it.”
“When Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency he said: “America needs the man who has written The Art of the Deal“. Then I thought: Hey, I wrote that book. When he dares to lie about something that is demonstrably false, then he dares to lie about everything.”
The Art of the Deal
The book was published in 1987 and is a combination of biography and Trump’s tips for doing good business. The bestseller was for 13 weeks at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list. The book was given extra attention during his election campaign.
Meanwhile, Trump won one victory after another in his campaign and Schwartz began to realize what he had done. “It felt like a huge punch in my stomach. At one point I decided to go public about how he works. I knew him, after all, like few others. I wanted to stop him.”
He is not afraid that Trump will take revenge on him for his treason. “He is certainly able to, but I will now only just assume that he has more important things on his mind.”
Schwartz is now in the Netherlands, this does not mean that he is a political refugee. Schwartz and his wife, however, are looking for an apartment in Amsterdam, but that has more to do with their granddaughter than with Trump. Provisionally. “But you could say that I just try out the role of a refugee.”
Maybe a refugee yet
“There might come a time when I will have to flee. If the president-elect will start to make life difficult for me and others that he sees as his enemies, with the resources he in that position will have at his disposal. What is really at stake is freedom of speech. Trump has no respect for the legitimate opposition that is precisely characteristic of a functioning democratic society”, says Schwartz.
“And then he is also a person without any experience in this field. He is touchy. He’s impulsive. If he feels offended or cornered, he responds in thoughtless and aggressive ways. And this man for the next four years will control our nuclear arsenal. If he will be annoyed enough he will use it. In four seconds.”
“Also consider the people he has in his team: which are all white men who are strongly inclined to the right, we have never had a government with such extreme political views. Women, blacks, immigrants, Jews,.. all of them have been attacked. Panic is perhaps a bit exaggerated, but there should be serious concern”, says Schwartz.
I wrote The Art of the Deal with Trump. He’s still a scared child, by Tony Schwartz.
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