Crazy as it may seem, Donald Trump could well be the first ever presidential candidate to be able to speak some words of Gaelic due to his Scottish mother. Not that you are likely to hear him utter any.
Trump focuses only on his father’s upbringing, rarely mentioning he is the son of an immigrant himself, from the tiny village of Tong on the island of Lewis, which is located in the Outer Hebrides 40 miles off the Scottish mainland as Politico magazine this week showed.
By making immigrants a focal point and building a wall to stop them a key part of his negative message, Trump is clearly ignoring his own roots deep in Scottish soil.
Indeed, he would never have been born but for a family scandal that eventually brought his mother to America.
It is forty miles and a two hour boat ride to the Scottish mainland and Lewis is where Mary Anne MacLeod, Trump’s mother, grew up. She spoke only Scots Gaelic for much of her early life.
Local historians say Trump has land agitators in his past, relatives driven off their land in Tong by absentee landlords who wanted the land for grazing sheep.
The agitators fought back, seeking access to their land. Some referred to them as Bolsheviks – hardly a title Donald Trump would want to own up to.
It was bloody and unforgiving and mirrored the land wars in Ireland. The situation “beggars all description,” a land manager from the mainland wrote upon visiting Tong in 1828, according to the Scottish historian James Hunter. “It is worse than anything I ever saw in Donegal [in Ireland] where I always considered human wretchedness to have reached its very acme.”
Trump – before his yellow paint hair makeover – was sandy red in his youth, no doubt a trait he got from Alasdair MacLeod a fisherman born around 1810 and known to everyone by the Gaelic name Ruadh.
Mary Anne was born in the Tong in 1912 and moved to America where she met and married Fred Trump, Donald's father after meeting him at a reception.
She had gone to America to be with her sister Catherine, banished from Tong because she had a baby outside wedlock. She brought Donald back to Scotland when he was very young. He has since visited with his sister Maryanne Trump, who is now a federal judge.
Maryanne is beloved and visits often, and has donated $320,000 to charities on the island. Trump has rarely visited and only spent a few minutes in the ancestral home before racing back to the comfort of his private jet. Locals have little or no time for him.
As a Scottish heritage site put it:
"Mary Anne was born in the village of Tong, in the parish of Stornoway on 10th May 1912, to a fisherman named Malcolm MacLeod and his wife, Mary Smith.
"This couple had been married in 1891 and both were Gaelic speakers, and, although not so widespread as it once was, the language is still alive and well in that region.
"It is thus likely that Mary Anne herself would have spoken it and the young Donald may well have been soothed by Gaelic lullabies as a child."
Charming notion that the man who is be best known for saying 'you're fired' might also be capable of remembering Gaelic words taught to him as a child.
Well he should certainly learn 'Pog mo Thoin' which means of course 'kiss my a..' given his use of rough language and foul comments from the stage.
It may not be too late to hope he reaches back to his own immigrant heritage and remembers so many of those seeking a new life in America are not unlike his own mother.
I won’t hold my breath.