Defining Donald Trump

The surprising success of Donald J. Trump’s primary campaign shows that he is unquestionably appealing to millions of Americans. This made me curious as to what about him is appealing to them. I started my analysis by describing Trump to see which of his characteristics are the most appealing. So I thought of all the words I could come up with that describe him.

Donald Trump is a narcissist, a racist, a megalomaniac, a demagogue, an oligarch, an egomaniac, and a sociopathic liar. He’s bombastic, arrogant, delusional, embarrassing, habitually litigious, and politically inconsistent.

At first glance, it might seem that this is not a serious description of Trump but is simply just a caricature. After all, how could a real person actually exhibit all of these traits? So I hyperlinked each one to the word’s definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. If you follow the links and read the definitions, you’ll see that they literally define Trump—without exaggeration, every one of them!

So what then is the appeal of this kind of a man? It turns out that many Americans do not so much support Trump as they oppose Hillary Clinton. The biggest criticism of her is that she’s a liar and it’s not hard to make that case. This is an understandable reason to oppose Clinton but it’s a poor reason to support Trump.

When it comes to lying, Trump makes Clinton sound like George Washington admitting to chopping down the cherry tree. Trump lies so blatantly that he doesn’t even care that it’s obvious and simple to show his lies to be false. Even his supporters know that he was lying when he claimed that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey were “cheering” the 9/11 attack. This is the man who stuck to his claim that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, even after the president released his long-form birth certificate to the public.

He lied so much that FactCheck.org dubbed Trump the “King of Whoppers” for 2015. Then they went on to cite a long list of lies he said over the course of the year and presented evidence that the statements were all false. PolitiFact put many of Trump’s statements through its Truth-O-Meter. It turns out that Trump made far more statements that were false at some level than he did statements that were at least partially true. Of PolitiFact’s six rulings of truthfulness (or lack thereof), only three percent of Trump’s statements were completely true—the fewest of all the categories.

Trump’s statements by ruling

Chart of Donald Trump's statements by ruling
Source: PolitiFact

After my analysis, I got a clear picture of what Donald Trump is really like. But I never found out what is so appealing about him. If you find him appealing, please make a comment below telling American voters why. If you think any of my characterizations does not apply to Trump, let me know which one and I’ll cite evidence that the definition is accurate in his case.

4 thoughts on “Defining Donald Trump”

  1. Is this you, David? Can I post this to my Facebook page and other outlets as I desire? I have no qualms with this rendering of the Trump phenomenon. Why don’t you post this on a forum that is more accessible to the masses? You can’t be afraid to put this stuff out there. There are many synonyms I could use for the word “afraid”. I don’t think you are any one of those words. You have to be brave though. You have to be courageous. Put it out there. You will be surprised to find how many people become inspired by such sage words.

    1. This is a public blog that can be accessed without logging in by anyone who has an Internet connection so that my posts can be freely shared. I encourage anyone to hyperlink to this article (or any other article in The Progressive Zone), share it freely in social media, and comment on it here.

  2. I agree with all of these 16 words you have used to describe Trump, however not contained in this list is a word or phrase to describe Trump when he puts his thumb and index finger together and utters something like “we’re going to make America great again”, or “this is going to be the greatest administration ever”. Is there a word or phrase to describe those pronouncements.

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