Donald Trump thinks big. You have to admit that. But, compared to certain Central Asian dictators, he is not such a big man.
Turkmenistan President Sapurmurat Niyazov, known amongst friends as Turkmenbashy and the self-proclaimed Leader of All Turks, has balls as big as cantaloupes (and if we see that phrase written on any public building in Ashgabat, devoid of irony, we demand compensation in the form of a productive oil lease). He kicks The Donald's skinny little ass in all areas related to personality cults. The Donald may want to consider some of his techniques.
Let's start with the obvious stuff.
Someone in Ashgabat told us a story about how a tour guide/government minder told her group of German doctors -- in all seriousness -- that the President had just returned from Germany where he underwent age reversal surgery. This explained why his hair, which had been gray when he left for Germany, was black when he returned to Ashgabat. The German doctors' response: The only doctor he saw was in Germany Dr. Swartzkopf (Swartzkopf is a European brand of hair color).
No competition there. T-bashy wins hands down.
T-bash has penned the "Ruhnama" or "book of the soul." It is full of helpful uplifting advice on morals, philosophy and life conduct for Turkmen, such "chew on bones like dogs and you will have strong white teeth, not gold implants." It is designed to eliminate all shortcomings and raise the spirit of the Turkmen people. It is placed next to the Koran in mosques.
If you could buy Ruhnama on Amazon, the reviews would be overwhelmingly positive, no question.
Thanks to the ever-so-useful Wikipedia for those bits of T-bashy trivia.
The Donald does OK in the literary department, but according to the Amazon reviews, Trump's "Think Like a Billionaire" doesn't add up to much. You'll find this surprising.
"Unfortunately, the book is packed with more cliches and glowing comments about his various properties than practical advice. For instance, his advice on how to spot a fraud is, "If it seems too good to be true, it is," and his counsel on grooming is, 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.'"
It's probably not even translated into Turkmen.
Winner: Hands down, Turkmenbashy
This is sort a throw-away. If Trump can't beat a Central Asian dictator in the hot wife department, he shouldn't play the game. However. T-Bashy can have more than one wife all at the same time which might throw this category into question, but we'll toss a bone to the Donald.
Thanks to the ever helpful polygamyinfo.com
Turkmenbashy fired his interior minister on national television, calling him an incompetent and scolding him thusly: "I cannot say that you had any great merits nor did much to combat crime." Not the sort of catchy sound bite that enters the pop-culture lexicon, but give Turkmenbashy some credit for trying to avoid cliches.
We're really trying to be objective here, but advantage: T-bashy
Establishing "The Brand"
Donald has the Trump Tower, casino and lots of other things that we can't be assed to google.
But T-bashy built the 75m Arch of Neutrality, which sits in downtown Ashgabat and is topped by 12m tall gold statue of himself which rotates with the sun. He has renamed planets, months and a major port city after himself and his mother. His face is on all currency and on most public buildings. "I'm personally against seeing my pictures and statues in the streets - but it's what the people want," Niyazov has said. You can imagine Donald saying the same thing, but he just hasn't delivered
Winner: No contest. T-Bashy.
Here's where Trump really puts the heat on T-bashy.
According to the authoritative Defamer, Trump is launching his own brand of premium liquor. Brilliant move there, Donald. Truly visionary approach to enhancing your brand.
...What? Repeat that? You say Turkmenbashy already has his own brand of vodka? He does!
In fact, don't you just think that this press release, written specifically for the Trump Brand, would be just as, if not more, compelling if you searched "Trump" and replaced with "Turkmenbashy?"
J. Patrick Kenny, CEO of Drinks Americas explains, "In our view, the Trump name is one of the most recognizable and valuable global trademarks in existence today, synonymous with the very best of class. Our agreement is to search the world and work to develop the very best super premium vodka, and then to deliver that product to consumers in packaging and style worthy of the Trump trademark. Donald Trump commented, 'Trump Super Premium Vodka is a big idea. Drinks Americas' management team understands our vision for the Trump trademark. The Premium Vodka category is where the very best of fashionable spirits brands compete. That is the place for the Trump brand. By the summer of '06, I fully expect the most called for cocktail in America to be the T&T' or the 'Trump and Tonic'".
Finally, a casual visitor to Ashgabat could not be blamed for concluding that the national motto is "Halk! Watan! Turkmenbashy!" (People! Nation! Turkmenbashy!) since it is plastered on nearly every flat surface around town.
People! Nation! Trump! doesnt have the same ring.