When we think of the Ten Commandments, we think of principles to live by. These universal rules still apply today, with clear divisions of right versus wrong.
Donald Trump doesn’t live by these rules. He’s a man of his own making who doesn’t believe the standards of society apply to him. So I felt it only fair to assemble a Ten Commandments that are unique to the president.
Donald Trump prizes loyalty from his people the way a mob boss does. It’s one of his highest priorities, and something he values above almost anything else. Even the slightest perception of stepping outside of that loyalty can result in “you’re fired.”
Trump loves telling the story of a former protege, a woman who he claims owes him for getting her career off the ground. But when he asked for a personal favor related to his tremendous debt at the time, she refused, citing ethical violations. Trump went ballistic. He fired her on the spot, and “now I go out of my way to make her life as miserable as possible,” he says.
What a hero of the people.
Revenge is one of the key tenets of Trumpism. As he wrote in The Art of the Deal, “If someone screws you, you screw them back ten times as hard. Go for the jugular.”
This particular tactic he picked up from his mentor, the late Roy Cohn. (Cohn was a slimy lawyer who represented gangsters and Senator Joseph McCarthy.) Cohn’s play whenever someone came after him was to return the favor not in kind, but much, much harder. This is why, when someone says something negative about him, Trump hops on Twitter and disparages them and their character immediately, giving them a silly nickname and trying his best to drag them through the mud. It’s a reflex at this point.
“NOBODY comes after me!” you can almost hear him thinking. “I’ll show them. I’ll make an example of them. I’ll show the whole world what happens when somebody comes after Donald J. Trump!”
An entire sixteen-page chapter in his book Think Big is devoted to the art of revenge. Basically, vengeance gives Trump the warm fuzzies.
Everybody knows it: Whatever enters Donald Trump’s brain comes out of his mouth. For better or worse, he’s incapable of holding his tongue.
His supporters actually like this about him, because it gives the impression of being incapable of deceit. If you can’t control what you say, then you’re not able to hide anything and be all slippery and snake-like, the way other politicians are.
Except we know this isn’t true. He lies every single day about all sorts of things. It’s just another head game. Another part of the distortion affect that he has on reality.
Trump’s love of bragging is known far and wide. Honestly, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone on the planet who brags MORE than he does. His education, his looks, his net worth, his business successes, his IQ, his approval ratings… It’s all he talks about. He probably holds a world record.
Trump loves Trump the way Kanye loves Kanye. (Which is probably why the two of them get along.) What Trump doesn’t love is other people. The Bible says to love others, aka the famous quote, “love your neighbor as yourself.” Trump has no love for anyone who’s not him. He might say he does, but words are hollow. It’s actions that matter, and time and again, he’s shown that nothing matters more to him than him.
We live in an enlightened age, a time when political correctness is the norm, and some amount of “basic human decency” is expected of everyone. There are plenty of people who fall short of this expectation, of course, but rarely is it seen in leaders of civilized nations.
Donald Trump bucks this trend and tosses it into the trash. He doesn’t care if people think he’s cold, crass, or cruel. He trots out those qualities and puts them on full display, with pride. The basic definition of a person, as a life that has worth and value, means nothing to him. He won’t hesitate to put people in harm’s way if it gets him what he wants.
Case in point: Trump Tower. Trump employed illegal Polish immigrants to demolish the old department store that was there and build his new condominium complex. The conditions were harsh, the pay was laughable, and the dangers were constant. To him, they were disposable people. And I’m sure the citizens of all those “shithole countries” feel respected and valued by the neighboring president.
Trump has spent most of his life cultivating an image that screams money, success, and power. In recent years, he’s tried to add a little warmth and humanity to the mix to appease his constituents.
Don’t believe it. He’s still the same shameless, ruthless businessman he’s always been. And there’s every chance that he’s never been as successful as he likes to boast. He says what he WANTS to be true, until people believe it. He’s never produced an ounce of evidence that the “fake news media” constantly lies about him, for example, but he’s said it so many times that people buy into it.
Virtually everything about him that matters is a fabrication, an outrageous embellishment meant to make him look as good and as important as possible.
He cheated on Ivana with Marla Maples. He cheated on Marla with God only knows who. He cheated on Melania with Stormy Daniels, not long after she gave birth to his son. And who here thinks she’s the only one he’s gotten busy with during the Melania years?
The problem is that Trump stoked these fires himself for years. During his regular call-ins to Howard Stern’s radio show, he bragged about his many sexual conquests. To be fair, Mr. Trump spends a lot of time bragging about things that aren’t true, so the actual number of women he cheated on his wives with is probably lower than he says.
But don’t even get me started on all of the sexual misconduct allegations.
Show of hands: Who believes that Trump and his administration are 100% innocent of collusion with Russia over the 2016 election? (The fact that he screams “no collusion” 300 times a day does not help his case — and proves how oblivious he is to the intelligence of the general public.) He’ll do anything to win, including ignoring the ethical dilemmas that cheating creates.
He basically lied his way onto the Forbes 500 list, but has worked hard to keep quiet how he was bailed out of bankruptcy by banks in New York and New Jersey, after he went on a careless spending spree in the ’90s. He’s licensed his name/brand to numerous construction projects that have fallen through after he personally sold consumers on them — and then he held no liability for those failures. Then there was the whole Trump University debacle, which was basically a scheme to defraud the public out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
More mind games: Say something often enough, it becomes true. If you stand accused of something egregious, shift the blame. If someone you’re tight with gets into trouble with the law, claim to barely know them. Distort, distort, distort.
The truth is a malleable thing in Donald Trump’s tiny little hands. The hard thing to figure out is if he knows he’s lying, or if he’s done it so much for all of his life that he genuinely doesn’t know truth from falsehood anymore.
One thing we know for sure: he doesn’t care about the difference.
If Trump is as rich as he says he is — and by his own admission, he alters his net worth based on “feelings” day by day — there’s nothing he should want for. He has enough money to see to his every need and that of his family. But money can’t fill an emptiness on the inside, so he’s always wanting more.
The grass is always greener. It’s basic psychology: we’re predisposed to want what we can’t have. The more we can’t have it, the more we want it.
So what does the man who has everything want? Well, he wanted to be president — or at least to win the election. He’s also known to lust after women he can’t have. He’s on record talking about trying to seduce other men’s wives (remember “I moved on her like a bitch”?).
Coveting, lying, cheating, revenge, self-absorption… Oh yeah, these are the qualities of a truly “great” president.