5 amazing lessons I learned about Trump in 5 years
(CNN) – The first big thing I wrote about Donald Trump was a mistake.
The date of the article was June 17, 2015. The title was «Why no one should take Donald Trump seriously, in one very simple drawing«. The argument was simple: Trump, who had officially competed in the 2016 race the day before, was not very popular with the Republican base, especially because he is seen as opposing the rest of the Republican camp. Thus she had no chance of being a factor in the competition, let alone winning.
Less than two months later, I was forced to admit I was wrong. (This article, published on August 4, 2015, was titled “Wow, were I wrong about Donald Trump. Here’s why«). Explaining where I was wrong, she wrote:
Why do I miss Donald Trump’s attractiveness so much? To put it simply: I’ve never seen a complete change in how people perceive a candidate well known as Trump. And much less than the total change in such a short period. I based my conclusion that Trump will never be a relevant actor in the Republican primary battle over ideas that once people know you 1) and 2) you don’t like you, you can’t change these twin realities much.
This was 100% true. Until Donald Trump proved it (and that I) was wrong.
And so I began my five-year journey writing and thinking about Donald Trump, first as the presidential candidate and then as the 45th president of the United States. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about who this guy is … and who he isn’t. Here are my thoughts on this extremist president.
1. There is no “other” Trump. There is no Trump 2.0. No “new page”
Do you remember how Trump sometimes promised during his campaign that his rude and rude behavior would change if and when he was elected president? “I will be so presidential that they will be very bored.” I came back in April 2016. “You will say, ‘Can’t you have more energy?'”
That was, of course, ridiculous. Despite all the talk in the early days of his presidency of a shift imminently occurring and that he would either act as president or switch in the next speech, that never happened.
Trump was bragging all his life, you idiot. If anything, the 2016 election victory confirmed that acting the way he did was his path to success. Why did your behavior change after the greatest success in your life?
The truth is, and always will be, there is no more Trump than Trump. It has only one speed, one gear. He is incapable of any kind of major change in his personality, and he was not interested in him at all.
2. Trump Start He was playing chess in 3D
Trump’s utterly astonishing victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 – against polls, money, message, and all the other metrics that traditionally predicted who the winners and losers were – led to a firm belief throughout his early years in office. It was operating at a different strategic level (and higher) than the rest of the political world and especially the media.
What became clear as his presidency progressed is that the assumption that Trump was operating through a complex project or strategic plan was completely wrong and totally wrong. There was no great plan. It was just Trump acting, and all too often, he was reacting to the news of the day.
Which is what he told us, of course, all from the first pages of “The Art of Doing Business”:
“Most people are surprised by the way I work. I do it in a very comfortable way. I don’t carry a bag. I try not to schedule too many meetings. I leave the door open. You can’t be creative or adventurous if you have a lot of structure. I’d rather come to work all) Day and see what happens ».
In the words of Maya Angelou: When someone shows you what he is, believe him the first time. There is no plan. he was not there. It was just Trump coming to work and seeing “what’s going to happen.”
3. He was always about him alone
To run for president, you must have a very healthy psyche. You have to believe that out of 330 million Americans, you are uniquely qualified to represent them. right?
But most people, after their election or, ideally, before that, understand that the office of president is less about you and your personal interests as it is about the American people and what is best for them. This never happened to Trump.
At the beginning of his term, there were questions about whether this extraordinary president would abide by or skew the presidency’s rules in his favor. It turns out that he not only corrupted the rules, but also violated them. From his repeated statements about “my generals” and “my army” to his frustration that the Justice Department will not act as a police force and personal attorney, Trump has shown time and time again that he sees the presidency as a way to reward his comrades. Friends and punish your enemies. Point.
4. He is a bully
In the early days of his presidency, I wrestled over how best to understand Trump as a person and as a president. But then it occurred to me: He was just a bully. Throughout his life, he used his fame, money, and ability to get what he wanted from those who had fewer inherent advantages. He had simply made his way where he wanted to go and never worried about who was left behind.
The idea of Trump as a bully to me was cemented in 2017 when, at the NATO Summit in Brussels, Trump simply wants Dusko Markovic, Montenegrin leader, out of his way while walking forward on a photo shoot. Trump almost certainly had no idea about Markovich. He just wanted to be in the center of the picture because he was the President of the United States, yeah, but also because he was Donald Trump. So he pushed everyone who needed him aside to get there and didn’t think twice.
5. He finally turns against everyone
Loyalty is a one-way street for Trump. He expects absolute loyalty from those around him, but he shows little in return. And it turns against everyone, even those for whom they sacrificed their jobs (and their personal reputations).
The list is huge. Here are some of the names chosen: Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Steve Bannon, John Kelly, James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, John Bolton, Anthony Scaramucci, Jeff Sessions, Brian Kemp, Bill Barr, Kerstin Nielsen, Gary Cohen, HR McMaster Tom Bossert.
And while he often drew his attention to the apparent exaggeration of critic “Never Trump” Rick Wilson’s claim thatEverything Trump touches dies“There is truth in the feeling.
Many of the people closest to Trump were the most devastated (by reputation). Giuliani went from being mayor of the United States to brutal conspiracy theories. Christie was transferred from a governor to a Lacayo de Trump. Trump appears to have a toxic effect on reputation, and when he turns against you (and he always does), his only goal is to search and destroy.