More than a bigot or a bully or a racist or a violent megalomaniac, Trump is a businessman. He is a snake-oil salesman who knows his audience and knows how to win them over.
Right now he says things that are offensive to many people, but not to the people he is targeting. Right now he is trying to win the vote of a large percentage of small town Republican Americans who were sold the dream that America should be the greatest country in the world and believe that Trump can make it once again.
If he wins the Republican primary, I predict his who angle will change, because his target audience will change. He will then be aiming to win over both Republicans and Democrats and so his style of speeches, the content of what he says and even his physical demeanour and mannerisms will change. He will still present himself as a no-nonsense straight talker, but he will shift his tone for his new target audience.
Then, if he wins the presidency, my prediction is that he will tone it down even more. His target audience will then be the rest of the world and he will switch into the cool, respectful, hand-shaking businessman that he probably is in the board-room.
I despise Trump and what he stands for and happily get behind the #NeverTrump movement, but I don’t think he actually cares. I am not voting for him, and so he isn’t trying to say what I want to hear.
Now, I may be wrong on all this and if Trump becomes president he may still be the swearing, violent buffoon that I see now. But that is not my prediction. I actually think Trump is very, very savvy. He is not a politician, he is a businessman, and that is for many part of his appeal. Unfortunately, a politician (and definitely the President) should be a public servant, and that is something a businessman will never be.
As Kevin Kline in the awesome movie “Dave” says about being the President:
“I forgot that I was hired to do a job for you and that it was just a temp job at that. I forgot that I had two hundred and fifty million people who were paying me to make their lives a little better and I didn’t live up to my part of the bargain. See, there are certain things you should expect from a President. I ought to care more about you than I do about me. I ought to care more about what’s right than I do about what’s popular.”