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The Short-fingered Vulgarian Named Donald Trump

I used to subscribe to Spy Magazine for a few moments in my callow youth, and I remember this epithet of The Donald, but had forgotten about it until recently…

Donald Trump Is A Swine
Donald Trump Is A Swine

I used to subscribe to Spy Magazine for a few moments in my callow youth, and I remember this epithet of The Donald, but had forgotten about it until recently…

[Donald Trump] has one proven weakness over the course of his four decades in overly public life: stubby fingers.

Trump has presumably had short fingers for as long as he’d had fingers, but it wasn’t until 1988 that anyone called attention to it. That year, Spy magazine began the practice of needling Trump at every  opportunity by referring to him in virtually every story as a “short-fingered vulgarian.” (“Queens-born casino profiteer” would also do.) Trump defended his honor in the New York Post, stating that “my fingers are long and beautiful, as, has been well-documented, are various other parts of my body.”

In an essay last fall, former Spy editor Graydon Carter revealed how much this pissed Trump off: To this day, the Republican presidential front-runner continues to mail Carter photos of himself, and “[o]n all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers.” …

On Friday, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska even joined in on the fun, responding to an insult from Trump by joking, “you’d think I asked Mr @realDonaldTrump abt the length of his fingers or something important like that.”

(click here to continue reading What Donald Trump’s Short Fingers Mean for His Presidency | Mother Jones.)

Short Fingered Vulgarian - Spy - April 1988

and Graydon Carter’s article includes this laugh line:

Like so many bullies, Trump has skin of gossamer. He thinks nothing of saying the most hurtful thing about someone else, but when he hears a whisper that runs counter to his own vainglorious self-image, he coils like a caged ferret. Just to drive him a little bit crazy, I took to referring to him as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in the pages of Spy magazine. That was more than a quarter of a century ago. To this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him—generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers. I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby. The most recent offering arrived earlier this year, before his decision to go after the Republican presidential nomination. Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: “See, not so short!” I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, “Actually, quite short.” Which I can only assume gave him fits.

(click here to continue reading Why Donald Trump Will Always Be a “Short-Fingered Vulgarian” | Vanity Fair.)

Donald Trump in Spy Magazine April 1988

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