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Local Hero: Trump Nemesis and Feisty Farmer Wins Top Scot of the Year Award

by Abby Zimet

By popular vote, an annual Scotsman of the Year award has been given to Michael Forbes, the 60-year-old farmer who steadfastly refused to sell his land to Donald Trump for a $150 million golf course Trump was building - despite furious opposition, sometimes even by golfers, and serious environmental concerns - on land so unique and wild it was dubbed "the Amazon rain forest of Scotland." Ever classy, Trump trashed people's land and mercilessly bullied Forbes, calling him "a village idiot" who "lives like a pig." Meanwhile, Forbes became the unlikely star of a documentary, “You’ve Been Trumped,” that chronicled the Tripping Up Trump group that fought the project; Trump's surreal obtuseness, as in, “I have never seen such an unspoiled and dramatic seaside landscape (which) makes it perfect for our development;” and his outrageous acts - skirting environmental standards, insulting local residents, literally steamrolling people's land while cutting off their water and power, and having the filmmakers arrested. The International Golf Links opened in Scotland in July; a second course and a hotel may or may not still be built, with many in Scotland arguing that they've had enough of unbridled, unregulated capitalism. Forbes, the first non-celebrity to win the Top Scot award, still faces possible eviction, as do 15 of his neighbors. He says he can't stand Trump and never could: "I went right off him the first time I met him. He was being all nicey, nicey and talking about how successful he was and how much money he had. That was it for me. I took an instant dislike to him. He called me a village idiot ...but I think everyone knows by now that he’s the clown of New York." And everyone by now loves Forbes.

“No wealth can ever make a bad man at peace with himself” - Plato.