There has been very little evidence that the president-elect will turn the United States into his own Trumpland for the purpose of maximizing his own brand. But nevertheless, things are happening, and the city that feels it most is New York, where the former headquarters of the brand manager have turned into the transition office of the president-elect. The most visible change actually happened in and around Trump Tower. The traffic on Fifth Avenue immediately below Central Park is hampered by security fences, with secret service and NYPD members searching everyone who passes the area. I can’t say what it’s like when the president-elect is in town, but during my stay in New York City over Thanksgiving, Trump was in Florida, and yet the tower was still swarmed with people in uniform — some of them with the incredibly heavy guns. I don’t remember ever seeing so much security around the actual president. There are endless police cars parked around the blocks near Trump Tower and deep into Central Park.
Only 18 percent of New Yorkers voted for Trump, and the other 82 percent is not happy. But the tourist love the new mithomania. Compared to my previous visit, the Tower was full of life and lit like a Christmas tree. After getting through metal detectors and a search, the tourists love coming in just to take pictures. Sighs of admiration of the luxurious decorations can be heard, while New Yorkers are asking themselves who will pay for all of this. According to city administration officials, protecting the Tower will cost $1 million a day. According to Brian Lehrer of WNYC, the city’s estimate is overblown and is just part of the negotiations between the federal government and the local authorities. Apparently the budget that the federal administration prepared for the president from New York is $7 billion a year, and the city is hoping to get a big part of it.
On the other hand, there is hardly anything else that the city can expect from the president-elect. New York is not Trump’s constituency, and aside from Wall Street, he hardly has any interest in the Big Apple. When it comes to the new government, the president-elect is gathering the richest of the rich around him, which means that very soon, the people of more or less working-class backgrounds who supported him in the election might get angry again. At least, that is my impression, judging by the fact that the new administration is composed of financial and military plutocrats.
On the other hand, there are signs of the awakening of the future first lady. Aside from taking the initiative to call the Slovenian prime minister and offer her services, Melania Trump also publicly protected her 10-year-old son, who was exposed to public bullying.