What's in it for Trump?

The Donald doesn’t do anything unless it advantages the Donald.  So what’s his object?

The last time he toyed with the idea of running for president, he said it was because he likes to win.  That’s great.  But winning the presidency isn’t the end of a contest, it’s the beginning of a four-year obligation of service, sacrifice, and tight schedules of public appearances and meetings of global importance.

Or it’s supposed to be.  It could mean a lot of golf-outings, measured by some.

There’s something Trump wants to accomplish with this endeavor.  (He can already golf to his heart’s desire.)  Let’s assume that it’s actually just to win: he’s been watching the early stages of the campaign progress, unimpressed with the power of personality presented by the other milquetoast candidates.  He may have shaken his head and said, “I can whip any one of these choirboys.”

Trump is a consummate entrepreneur – an opportunist.  The key to entrepreneurism is spotting a hole in the market and filling it.  So he watches all the lukewarm topics the candidates and pundits talk about, and he sees Ann Coulter’s book, Adios, America, exposing the threat of illegal immigration, ruffling feathers, and he says, “Jackpot!”   

So he launches into the campaign trail armed with someone else’s thousands of hours of research and eloquence to refer to as his impetus.  The game is afoot. 

Trump doesn’t really seem wired for international diplomacy and tact.  It would be difficult to imagine him wanting that sort of tedious responsibility 24/7 for four or eight years.  So what would a Trump presidency look like should the unlikely possibility become a reality?  It would most likely consist of him sitting, bored, at a large conference table, delegating responsibilities to his underlings until there’s nothing left for him to do (but golf).  Is it really a good idea for someone disinterested in what he’s doing because there’s no personal glory in it making decisions that have global impact?

I don’t think Trump really wants the job – just the victory.  Were he to take the oath, it wouldn’t be beyond the pale of his audacity to immediately turn to the microphone and announce his resignation and congratulate his running-mate on becoming the 46th president of the United States. 

But he’s in it for something – something that includes personal gain.  What might that be? 

After Charles Krauthammer described Trump as a “rodeo clown,” Jonah Goldberg of National Review opined that there might be more to that accusation than an insult:

“Rodeo clowns have a specific job, to draw the bull away from the actual cowboys so they can do their jobs. Maybe Trump is providing a similar service?”

Whom would he be doing that service for?  Service providers have customers.  There is speculation that he is a Democrat plant, paid to play the role of Ross Perot, who drew votes away from Bush Sr. in the race against Bill Clinton.  Conservative spoilers don’t draw any votes from Democrats.  And Trump hasn’t always portrayed himself as a conservative.  Only when it’s convenient.  Only when it serves The Donald.

Trump’s entry into the race has made it extremely entertaining.  He’s showing the other Republican candidates how you conduct yourself in the face of an adverse media.  It’s forced them to take sides on issues they’d rather straddle the fence on, and revealed their true colors for all to see.  All of that is a good thing. 

But the Donald is not in it to produce good things.  The Donald is in it for The Donald.  We as a nation should be suspicious about what that motivation is, and vote circumspectly.

Mike VanOuse is a Factoryjack from Indiana.  He can be reached at reply@vanouse.com.