If you’re old enough to recall the Fifties, a movie called The Three Faces of Eve introduced us to Multiple Personality Disorder, MPD. What is MPD? Well, it may be a conspiracy, created by patient and therapist to diagnose a problem and sell books and movie rights, or it may be a real product of childhood abuse. Who can tell? But in the case of DtheT, I think it’s helpful to identify three completely separate personalities in order to predict what he is likely to do in the future.
First, I must give a nod to the NY Times columnist Gail Collins for the idea and the titles. Thank you, Gail. You are a very wise woman – and it would take a woman thinking and writing about DtheT to define it this way. Men would be unlikely to see the three personalities, because they are generally not aware of the nuances of anyone’s personality.
Let’s start with the one everybody pretty uniformly dislikes: the one Gail called Unscripted Trump (UT). The picture above kind of says it all, eh? This personality seems to come out when DtheT is tired, under pressure (like press conferences when he doesn’t have an answer right or readily available), or just annoyed – maybe when he looks at Tiffany and realizes what he gave up to fool around with Marla. In the parlance of Will Schutz and The Human Element, this personality is low on competence (facts seem to elude him, so he makes stuff up), extremely low on likeability (the picture), but very high on significance (I am the greatest president ever!) This profile reminds one of the usual suspects: Hitler, Mussolini, Idi Amin and Ted Bundy. Yep – psychopaths.
Then there’s the second personality. This one Gail calls Reasonable Chatty Trump (RCT). This is the one most likely to show his face in private meetings with people he admires and respects, like Bill Gates or Robert Gates. This is the one that seems to listen, and appears to share these individuals’ world view. This is how we got Rex Tillerson, a fairly reasonable Secretary of State. It’s how we got H.R. McMaster, taking up the reins at the National Security Council after Mad Dog Mattis suggested his name. But the public seldom sees RCT, because this persona does not comport with what UT thinks the ‘base’ want to see. So this one remains in the shadows, and only comes out when it’s absolutely necessary. RCT is evenly balanced between competence and likeability, and is actually a bit suppressed on significance. Think George W. Bush mixed with Papa Bush. Just an all around decent fellow.
Then there’s the third personality, the one Gail calls SNORT (Somewhat Normal Republican Trump). This is the personality the Republicans in Congress most like to see, but the one the ‘base’ hates because he’s BORING. The speech given two nights ago to Congress was given by SNORT. This is a necessary personality, because it’s the equivalent of a belly rub for the media. They are so happy to see UT put under wraps, and they seldom get to see RCT, so they settle for SNORT and get all giggly over him. Sad, isn’t it? This persona appears to be higher on competence, lower on likeability and practically invisible on significance. This is the ‘presidential’ one.
So which personality will spell the ultimate doom of DtheT, if doom comes? Duh – UT will become dominant, and cause the host body to crack and hide under the bed in the Lincoln bedroom. Can he keep it together long enough to fulfill his four year term? If the pressure continues unabated, probably not. If the Republicans in Congress and the people that surround the host body can keep UT suppressed and try to encourage RCT to come out, leavened with a little SNORT when necessary, he will survive.
But here’s the thing. The next four years will be payback time for the Dems to get even. Eight years of abuse at the hands of the Reps will be avenged. In the process, nothing will get done. Fixing health care is hard. Getting those coal miners back to work is likely impossible, unless he creates a CCC-type government jobs opportunity in Appalachia with public works taking the place of mining for coal. Immigration reform has been a complete bust thus far, and the blue states’ attorneys general are sharpening rhetoric to bring down whatever comes next. And then there’s the question of money – who is going to pay for all this? Will Tea Party Republicans abandon their zeal to tamp down deficit spending? Maybe. But even if they do go along, with no support from Senate Democrats, nothing will get down by 2018. The less that gets done, the more we’ll see UT. As a result, in 2020, a reasonable Republican like Brian Sandoval from Nevada will fight all three faces of DtheT for the nomination in order to bring the party back to sanity again. This is when UT will be most dangerous. Slippery slope.