Republican candidate Donald Trump has analysts and intellectuals suffering from confusion. This is because most of their expectations about him have not been realized. They said that with 17 Republican rivals he would leave the race early, but he took them out one by one with a wry smile on his lips. It was said that he had dug his own grave after his comments about preventing Muslims from entering the United States of America. But afterward, his popularity increased. An altercation with the pope and he did not lose any support worth noting. He hurled offensive phrases against women, but the women in his audience increased. A candidate’s blunder usually turns into the knife that slaughters his fortune, as was the case with Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the last presidential election when he said in a private meeting that 47 percent of Americans are lazy. With that he granted Obama another presidential term. Trump reversed the principle. The more he errs and the more he shouts, the brighter his star shines and the more supporters he gains.
Because of his conflicting comments, tweets and the uproar that accompanies him, it has become difficult to know who Trump really is. Is he a conservative or a liberal? A racist or is he using racism to get elected? Is he clumsy or a successful man who accumulated a fortune estimated in the billions? In actuality, it seems that Trump has three personas, not one. The multiplicity of Trumps is an issue which has provoked a number of his close friends who say that the Trump in front of the camera is completely different than the one behind it, as though they were two different people.
The first of Trump’s personas is that which we see onscreen. A shameless aggressive personality who does not hesitate to insult or ridicule the characteristics or appearance of others. He described his competitor, Ted Cruz, as a liar, Hillary Clinton as a thief, Marco Rubio as sweaty, and tarnished the sober-minded Jeb Bush by negatively describing him as being low-energy. He has neither ceased to attack people nor countries, from China to Mexico, calling illegal immigrants from the latter murderers and rapists. As this character, Trump appears to be a man of belief and a preserver of Christian values, despite his famous casinos and his inability to cite even a small passage from the Bible. Perhaps this campaign persona can be described as untrained, explosive or, as he describes it, instinctive.
In a clever way, Trump wanted this crafted persona to deliberately oppose the prevailing political establishment patterns for both Republicans and Democrats. Everything Trump says and does is in opposition to a traditional persona which measures, weighs and studies all that it does and says. Satisfaction rates for Americans of this political class in Washington have decreased to a low of 15 percent. Trump knows this reality and has shrewdly exploited it, benefiting from his previous experience as a media and reality show star. It is not entirely a matter of emotions running high but about using logical and intelligent arguments to justify his actions. Like his argument that says if eloquent speeches and classical cautious behavior, exemplified by Obama, is the best approach, why, then, did we end up with Daesh, Putin, Assad and successive economic crises?
The second persona is that of a successful businessman who inherited, from his father, Fred, a fortune estimated at $100 million and turned it into $10 billion (Forbes magazine estimates it at 4 billion).
He surpassed his father’s success materially and commercially, having turned his name into a global brand and making himself a media phenomenon. In contrast to his eruptive temperament and childish personality on screen, Trump seems to be a mature person with a moderate temperament when he is commenting on matters of business or finance. This is apparent in the speeches he gives as a politician versus those in which he presents himself as a man of finance and the holder of a unique investment experience. Without the shouting, accusations and wild hand gestures, Trump turns into a completely different person. He speaks calmly, smoothly and offers valuable financial advice.
His opponents have accused him of failing many times, but he has landed on both feet time and time again; a sign of his power and intellect, not weakness. He has workers from various ethnicities, races and religions, and all of the charges cited recently about him not employing black workers are not backed up by evidence. Rather, the American press, which is arrayed against him, uses his track record as an employer to discredit him. Trump sheds all of his masks of conservatism, piety and frenzy and appears to be his true self, a pure liberal, who believes in tolerance and universal values.
As for the third persona, it is the presidential one, of which we only see small glimpses. Those who hate him say that Trump, the narcissistic and fearful candidate, will be himself in the White House and will achieve all of his catastrophic promises by withdrawing from NATO, confronting China and banning Muslims. As for his supporters, they say that reality and dealing with governments and countries will force him to soften his behavior, as has been the case with other presidents. It is very unlikely that Trump will be the same president as that which we see today. Today Trump wears the character that promises to restore America to greatness, which strikes a chord with his angry white audience, and is not prepared to give up until he beats Hillary; after that, it will be another story. Trump is pushing opportunities, not ideologies, and this is an advantage in his estimation. His choice for vice president, Mike Pence, the sober-minded expert Republican, is a prompt and positive sign of his realism, despite his bluster.
All of this is speculation. Perhaps a President Trump would surprise us with a fourth persona that we did not expect, since it is his habit to disappoint analysts who at the beginning considered him an amusing joke. Now they are cautious about him and are likening him to Hitler and Mussolini.