I am sick of writing about Trump and you’re sick of reading about him. But I just put in my 10,000 hours and I finally figured it all out as I watched him bomb horribly at the Alfred E. Smith dinner; where he became the first presidential candidate (and the second and the third) in the event’s history to get booed. There he was. Trump in the room with NYC’s elite, finally at their level, and he goes full Donald and somehow shocks everyone on the downside. And I finally understood.
So here’s my Trump Theory of Everything.
Let’s start with the obvious. He’s trying to lose. He doesn’t want to be president. No one who does could have been so endlessly self-destructive over the past few weeks. Does he want the attention? Hell yes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he views the third debate as win because all the headlines were about him. Just like they are every day. Any news is good news. And Trump news is great news. But he doesn’t want the job. He never thought things would get this far. He’s in over his head and he’s proudly done zero to gain any relevant expertise. In the last month, he’s thrown in the towel more times than the night laundry guy from that locker room he’s always talking about. These are the actions of a guy who wants to take his now-unmatched celebrity and go back to his tower.
Whether it’s totally conscious or not, Trump is afraid of actually being president.
On the other hand, he’s enjoying the ride, in no small part because he’s willed himself nearly to the top of our political hierarchy. This was a guy that the high society types always excluded or looked down on because of his brashness and the way he talked about his money. But now look at him. He beat them all.
Donald smashed through the class ceiling with a giant, gold, capital T. Even the Bush royalty couldn’t stop him (he crushed Jeb and then took down Billy just for the fun of it). Being accepted into this group (and even bettering them) is the value that dominates his psyche, along with the pent up rage he feels when he’s being shunned by them.
And it still happens. Even after the real estate empire, the TV fame, the political rise to power; they still look down on him. And when they do, it drives him crazy. It’s what all the pundits generalize about when they use words like temperment. He doesn’t have a thin skin like everyone says. He gets battered and humiliated each day, then dusts himself off, sends a few tweets, and comes back for more. He’s tough. It’s just that being excluded from the club is his button. And Hillary knows exactly how to push it. You’re crude. You’re offensive. You’re unfit. You’re unprepared. You’re a bad boy. It’s what they’ve been telling him all along and he’s pissed about it. He’s done it all and they still don’t really want him around. That’s what’s rigged. All the slights he feels, all the things he says are rigged. It all comes back to this. He’s done it all. So why shouldn’t he get it all? That’s the American dream. That’s the great again America.
On one hand, he’s a single step away from the job that would finally force them to respect him. On the other hand, he’s one step away from the job which he clearly doesn’t want and is rightfully afraid he’s not capable of performing.
Now mix that paradox with the women/mommy issues that ooze out of him at levels that are off the charts. You can see why Hillary Clinton is his worst nightmare. A powerful woman, who successfully worked her way into the club of elites (smoothly, like a knife through butter), and who has always been accepted by them. And much more importantly, she’s a woman who is not the least bit afraid of getting the job that scares him. In fact, she may want it more than any person has ever wanted it. This is why it’s so easy for Hillary to take Trump off his game in debates and elsewhere. It’s why he hates her so much that he can’t hold it in. She is the mother of all mommy issues.
And just like that, you’ve got one, single, unifying theory that explains everything about Trump, the debates, and this election: Donald Trump is terrified of actually becoming president. And he hates Hillary because she isn’t. (Not-quite-working-properly Mic Drop.)