Now that Donald J. Trump is President, just what kind of a job will he do? The answer lies in his psychology. The first thing to know is where his intelligence is. Everybody is smart in some areas, stupid in others. Show me a person brilliant in an area, and you will find him/her wanting in others. Trump is gifted in self promotion, a brilliantly talented salesman who knows how to play up to the prejudices, desires, and fears of large numbers of people. As star of the television hit, “The Apprentice,” he created the illusion of a confident, able business executive. In his Presidential campaign he knew how to get media attention, and played up to angry, bigoted, voters, that is, people who “feel,” rather than “think.”
Outside salesmanship, Donald J. Trump is either mediocre or lacking. Six of his casinos went bankrupt. The “Trump” shuttle airline went belly up. He lost financial control of the Plaza Hotel. “Trump University” was a fraud that ripped off its students. But because of his ability in self promotion, legitimate real estate developers have paid him handsomely so that they can license his name to their projects. In other words, usually, when Trump’s name appears on a development he at best only owns a small piece of it.
Another fundamental aspect of Trump is that he is dishonest, what psychologists call psychopathic. Trump has no regard for the truth, saying anything that he feels will support his personal cause, a trait he shares with criminals.
The combination of salesmanship and dishonesty creates a formidable, dangerous person, a con artist, aka hustler. So able a demagogue is Trump, that he was able to hustle his way into the White House.
So what sort of President will Donald Trump be? Given his history of not being extremely ideological, there is the expectation that he would be a down to earth realist, but that is not the case. Not knowing what to do in office, he must rely on the judgment of others, and these others are from his social comfort zone, the people he appealed to in his campaign, extreme conservatives who support the unrealistic, crackpot policies that will bring harm to this country. The question then is not whether President Trump will damage the United States, but rather to what degree. One comforting thing is that unlike George W. Bush who brought us the Iraq quagmire, Trump is so incompetent that he may be largely ineffective, which will limit the damage.