Ever since Donald Trump — the most unlikely president in US history — stepped into the White House, people have been trying to get a handle on who he is.
Is he really the uncouth loudmouth who talks without thinking who lucked into the nomination and rode a wave of white male anger to victory?
Or is he a much shrewder operator, able to mask his true intentions behind a populist facade?
As the impeachment saga rolls on and revelations continue to tumble out, we may finally have our answer.
And no, Trump isn’t secretly a smooth political operator.
No, Trump doesn’t have a plan.
Unless, of course, you consider “saying impeachable things on live TV” a solid plan for defence.
Some people — and not just Trump’s supporter base — want him to have a plan.
You’ll hear them when he gives incoherent, rambling answers in interviews or Tweets angrily at the star of Will & Grace.
Sure, they say, that may seem stupid, but it’s just to distract you from his real plan.
Let’s be honest. There is no real plan. Trump doesn’t know what do as president and he never did. With the impeachment inquiry closing in, he is more lost than ever.
It is a job too big for him. This is a man who is morally and intellectually bankrupt, who will only read briefings if they contain his own name, who gets openly bored in meetings, who has never read a book or told a joke or spoken about anything wider than himself and his own small, petty grievances. This is a president who can’t seem to find a suit that fits him, or adjust a tie properly with his ham hands, who provides fast food banquets for White House guests, has a well-done steak with ketchup for himself, for whom the height of sophistication is gold leaf and his own stubby surname emblazoned everywhere in big bold letters.
People want him to have a plan because if he isn’t a secret genius then they will have to face the fact that their country elected a man who is singularly unfit for the job — and hasn’t even tried to hide it. A man who views the presidency not as the most important duty in his life, but just as another tool to make money and settle scores.
Trump is in trouble because he cannot view the presidency as anything other than a vehicle for himself and his vendettas. For Trump, being the most powerful man in the world just means he has more power to bring down his personal enemies — hence him asking other countries to investigate Joe Biden, a likely 2020 election opponent.
It’s not even clear why Trump wants another four years. Granted, it seems certain that he is benefitting financially from his office via the same relatively low level grubby corruption on which he built his business empire; but Trump has no grand vision of a bold future, the intelligence to articulate it or the skills to make it happen.
He wants the presidency not to do anything, but just to have it, because if he lost it he would be a loser — and he hates losers.
But he has no plan. For America, for his office, or for the impeachment scandal enveloping his administration. He is not an evil genius who has been foiled. He’s an idiot who should never have lasted this long. If this latest scandal doesn’t bring him down, there will be another along soon enough, and Trump isn’t even smart enough to hide his misdemeanors.