Trump biographer Timothy O’Brien has written a new column for Bloomberg outlining how President Donald Trump’s time in the Oval Office is playing out much like his business career — but he warns that shouldn’t be seen as a positive.
O’Brien notes that Trump has succeeded in his life largely by using hyperbole and flat-out fabrications to fool others into seeing him as more wealthy and powerful than he really is. However, O’Brien warns that this sort of con eventually catches up with him, as it did when he bankrupted some of his own casinos.
“Trump’s love of the con — borrowing billions he couldn’t repay so he could invest in splashy properties and projects he didn’t understand — drew national attention and blanket media coverage just before the game unraveled in serial bankruptcies in the early 1990s,” he writes. “After that debacle, Trump refashioned himself as a ubiquitous media curiosity, one who held center stage in part by being the one famous guy who could reliably be called upon to chat about sex, women and even his own genitals.”
The trouble, however, is that Trump is no longer merely in charge of hotels and casinos — rather, he’s in charge of the most powerful military on the planet. This, fears O’Brien, could make the unraveling of his con of American voters far more dangerous than anything that’s happened in the past.
“That con now has global consequences,” he writes. “Trump doesn’t fulminate about North Korea or building a wall on the Mexican border because he’s a policy maven with deeply held principles. It’s because he knows that toying around with sensitive and sometimes dangerous subjects gets the media’s attention and keeps certain blocs of voters interested in him.”