Donald Trump is a sociopath. And I mean that precisely. So did the one public figure who knows him best and has spoken out—his ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal. A sociopath is a person with no conscience. They view life as a game, so just like in poker, it’s OK to lie. And like in monopoly, OK to ruin others. The only point is to win. Trump says this about himself.
Sociopaths are very often charming or charismatic—that’s often a winning strategy. They make excellent dictators and demagogues. But occasionally their “game” is righteousness—like Greg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea fame. He stole over a million from his followers.
What’s Trump’s Game?
There is a slice of America that is losing out, and they know it. Don’t get me wrong, this is partly unfair and we need more jobs for them. But look at these numbers:
|Trump Supporters||Clinton Supporters|
|Life is worse than 50 years ago:||81%||19%|
|Next generation will be worse off:||More than 2/3||Less than 1/3|
Trump appeals mainly to people who think they have lost out and will likely keep losing. But on average they have more income than Clinton’s supporters and they are not mainly hurt by losing jobs to trade.
But but the economy has not been good to the middle class since almost all of the gains started going to the upper class about 35 years ago. And statistics suggest that even more importantly, his supporters, most of whom are white have been sliding towards or into minority status both in terms of race and culture.
- Appeal to those who think they are (and may be) losing out.
- And this is his basic strategy:
- Promise to save them (makes them feel safe)
- Help them blame scapegoats (makes them feel better about themselves)
This is a good game for a sociopath who’s just playing to win and think’s it’s fine to lie and doesn’t care who he hurts. And he doesn’t care if he stirs up violence between different parts of America or attacks from terrorist abroad. Such attacks will only confirm for his followers that Trump is right and they need him.