|Donald & Marla, 1990|
One night in 1990, my Presbyterian minister wife and I were seated on the couch, watching raptly along with thirty million Americans as Diane Sawyer scored her exclusive interview with the woman of the hour -- Marla Maples, the girlfriend of Donald Trump. The real estate mogul was leaving his wife Ivana for this foxy anonymous model, and the nation was transfixed. The tale was taking on biblical proportions, like David and Bathsheba.
Suddenly I sat up. What the hell were we doing? Neither of us cared a fig for moguls or models. How had this semi-scandalous affair become a national obsession? How had it sucked us in?
Well, it wasn't her. Marla soon faded back into anonymity, just another ex-wife. But the Donald never went away. I can't stand him, never want to be in the same room with him, cringe with terror at the thought of his becoming president. But like millions of hapless onlookers, I still can't take my eyeballs off him. What is going on?