Without the benefit of being a professional psychiatrist, I can only make assumptions about why Donald Trump is the way he is. But, even without a psychology degree, I don’t think I’m far off. He’s really not that hard to figure out:
1. Trump is devoid of the ability to empathize. As a developer, he routinely cheated good, hard-working contractors out of money and threatened to sue them if they complained. He cheated thousands of people out of money through a fake university. He frequently insults people with no compunction (including military personnel, who are supposed to represent the best part of America), thinks he’s the smartest person in the room, and is incapable of ever owning up to his shortcomings. This could be the result of his narcissistic personality disorder, or it may just be that he had no compassionate role models while growing up.
2. Trump is purely transactional in his dealings with others. People are allies if they can help him, promote him, or earn him money. If they can’t (or won’t) or if they actively oppose him in any way, they are adversaries. He has displayed no consistent political, religious, or moral ideology throughout his life. And, for as much as he demands loyalty, he shows little to none for those who don’t do exactly as he demands. His mindset is pretty simple: If you’re not with him you’re against him.
3. With rare exception, Trump is not detail oriented. He’s a big picture guy. The main exception would be with his extensive knowledge of real estate law. Otherwise, he displays a very short attention span. He tends to rely on his inner circle (again, made up of people who do and say exactly what he wants) to sort through the technicalities. He often doesn’t receive adequate advice to make decisions, mostly because his appointees and advisors are not experts in their respective fields (see: Ben Carson and Betsy Devos), but rather are just loyalists. Instead of learning through intellectual curiosity and research, he wings it with some half-baked approach to decision-making. I can actually empathize with this a bit, because I am also a big picture person and I tend to rely on others with help with details. Then again, I’m not making life and death decisions that affect the entire world.
4. Despite often being inarticulate and intellectually limited, Trump is very shrewd and calculating. When he gives orders (or when he issues threats), he’s crafty enough to make them sound suggestive and not explicit. That way, if things blow up in his face, he can claim plausible deniability. This one is easy to identify because my former boss was the exact same way (incidentally, he was a Trump supporter. Go figure.).
5. His disgusting treatment of women and minorities is a by-product of his place and time. It’s an old-era behavior, say, circa the 1940’s – 1960’s. That probably explains why he’s still hanging on to his 1950’s comb-over hairstyle.
6. Trump operates with a confrontational, impromptu, and pugilistic style of negotiation and management. He tries to establish himself as the toughest, most important, most unyielding guy at the table. This works well enough in the rumble, tumble world of NYC commercial real estate, where he polished these techniques. But it’s been a serious hindrance in the world of global politics, where well thought-out diplomacy and face-saving gestures are paramount.