Is This the Secret to His Success?
What more is there to say about Donald Trump? More than four dozen books address his tenure as President. Hundreds more address his business career. That is a lot of spilled ink.
Read all these books and you may still be at a loss as to who this strange, orange-coiffed man is. His actions often do not make sense. At times he appears self-destructive. Does he have any self-consciousness?
Psychologists, political scientists, journalists, and politicians (normal ones) have not yet figured him out.
Maybe the solution is right in front of us. In the list of the Catholic Church’s Seven Deadly Sins. Trump scores 7 for 7. Not bad for a non-Catholic.
The list, first appearing in the 6th century under the auspices of Pope Gregory I, offers a concise, convincing description of Trump. It is as if he got a copy in grade school and used it as a guide ever since.
Trump has not just dabbled in each of the sins, he’s mastered them. There is no category in the Guinness Book for how often someone has violated any one or all of the seven sins, but if there was, Trump would have a shot at it.
Karen McDougal, Stormy Daniels, and others, possibly including a few professionals in Moscow, are proof that the President has, or had a powerful sex drive. It is what might have prompted Trump to buy the Miss Universe Pageant, which created an opportunity to catch a show in the changing room. And then there is that one-time friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and his sidekick Ghislaine.
The President has said he weighs 243 pounds. Morning Joe claims he is pushing 300. Nancy Pelosi has suggested he is morbidly obese. What exactly does he weigh? Melania herself may not know. What we do know is that he is fat and practices the diet of a 15-year-old. His favorite meals include bacon and eggs, fast-food, and ice cream.
In fairness, Trump is no boozehound. He does not drink. Does he pop an occasional pill? He takes hydroxychloroquine and announced it, to the displeasure of epidemiologists, at a COVID-19 press briefing. Recreational drugs? No evidence unless you want to consider some of his more bizarre behavior.
Is Trump greedy? There is no need to analyze this one. In 2016, he bragged, “I like money. I’m very greedy. I’m a greedy person. I shouldn’t tell you that, I’m a greedy — I’ve always been greedy. I love money, right?”
Despite his claimed wealth, he has a long history of cheating contractors. He surrounds himself with a gaudy display of gold plated furniture that would make King Louis XIV, the king who moved the royal court to the palace of Versailles, blush.
Trump’s decorating style has been compared to that of the late King. Does Trump have a gold-plated toilet? Apparently not, but, knowing of Trump’s fondness for gold, the Guggenheim Museum offered him one in 2018.
The President’s reluctance to work, or even engage in the appearance of trying, is well documented. He doesn’t read. He is a textbook example of a sloth. He may be our most lazy modern President unless you consider watching TV and tweeting work. Proof of Trump’s sloth is documented in how he schedules and uses “Executive Time,” time on his calendar spent by himself with no meetings or phone calls officially scheduled. Approximately 60 percent of his time was so categorized.
Don’t forget golf, which is work for some people. Trump has played golf over 290 times since becoming president.
Unless you have a thick skin, don’t anger the President. Trump doesn’t hesitate to unleash his wrath—his strong, vengeful anger or indignation—against anyone who upsets him. He’s called for Representative Adam Schiff to be arrested. He’ called former National Security Advisor Bolton “a Creepster.” James Clapper is a “proven liar.” The list goes on.
Trump is also threatening punishment against cities, always headed by a Democratic mayor, that he calls “anarchist cities.” He’s threatening to cut off federal aid and take other punitive action.
Beware the Wrath of Trump!
Who does Trump envy? Other heads of state who are richer than he is or who head nations not hampered with the rule of law and democracy. Think Vladimir Putin and other dictators. Also Barack Obama. Why else would Trump hire an actor to play President Obama in a video of Trump firing him?
Trump is envious of Obama’s popularity, but can’t seem to figure out why people don’t like him.
Hubris, inordinate self-esteem. How many times have you heard President Trump describe himself as “great” or “the best?” He is a self-described genius, driven by ego. A man who trusts his gut.
Catholic theologians view Pride as the worst of the seven deadly sins, in part because it spawns the commission of the six others.
Most of us do not aspire to be guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins. One wonders, however, if the personality traits that helped Trump achieve this distinction are not the same characteristics that made him successful or at least appear that way.
The President has the appearance of being extremely successful. The amount of Trump’s fortune remains a mystery. In April, Forbes estimated he was worth $2.1 billion. That was after losing a billion or so due to the pandemic. Others question these numbers. Trump has a track record of appearing to be wealthier than he is.
But who cares? Maybe the goal is to look like he is rich. The motivation? When he was younger, to get women. When he was older, to persuade banks to lend him money even when the information in front of them told them they should not. Now, looking wealthy is baked into his persona. Trump looks in the mirror and sees “winner.”
That is consistent with his mastery of the Seven Deadly Sins.
J.E. Dean of Oxford is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant. For more than 30 years, he advised clients on federal education and social service policy.