Why Does Trump Avoid Alcohol?

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During the White House Correspondents Dinner, which President Donald Trump quite conspicuously did not attend, headlining comedian Hasan Minhaj cracked a joke about the commander-in-chief's somewhat surprising sobriety. And it's true: the current president of the United States, quite famously, does not drink. Which might make you wonder: hey, why doesn't Donald Trump drink alcohol? What gives?

The joke came early on in Minhaj's set, when the comedian remarked that Trump's refusal to drink stood out as an "oddly respectable" aspect of his character... except that it makes so many other things about him so much harder to understand.

You know that Donald Trump doesn't drink — does not touch alcohol. Which is oddly respectable. But think about that. That means every statement, every interview, every tweet — completely sober. How is that possible?

So, what's the story? While many questions about why Trump is the way he is are pretty opaque and tough to answer, this one is actually a matter of public record. The reason Trump doesn't drink is because of his late older brother, Fred Trump. Fred died in 1981 at the age of 42, as a result of his decades of alcoholism, impressing into his younger brother the potentially devastating impacts of a dependence on liquor.

In fact, as People detailed, Trump has specifically spoken about how his brother urged him never to drink.

He was a great guy, a handsome person. He was the life of the party. He was a fantastic guy, but he got stuck on alcohol. And it had a profound impact and ultimately [he] became an alcoholic and died of alcoholism. He would tell me, "Don't drink ever." He understood the problem that he had and that it was a very hard problem. ... He had a profound impact on my life, because you never know where you're going to end up. I've known so many people that were so strong and so powerful [yet] they were unable to stop drinking.

So, there you have it. The answer to Trump's enduring sobriety, so far as he's said, is just that: he lost his brother to alcoholism, and thus decided to stay away from the drink.

As far as stories about Trump's life go, this is one of the few that's actually relatable and sympathetic, especially for anyone who's either struggled with addiction themselves, or had a family member impacted by alcoholism. But with so many other explosive aspects of Trump's biography, character, and views so heavily at the forefront, it's simply not a part of his life that's gotten a ton of attention.