The first and second articles in this series suggested two main insights about Trump:

  1. Trump, at heart, is a people person: the ultimate populist.
  2. Trump uses words like paint: captivating us with the colors, but we must remember that the picture he paints can change at any moment.

This time we will discuss what he wants deep down, and what I consider to be his most likable quality. Despite all the rhetoric, despite all the incendiary comments, despite all the fights that he picks: simply put, Trump wants to be liked.

Everyone likes to have friends, and for sure Trump has them, but what I am saying is that deep downbeing liked is Trump’s driving passion. Because Trump is a leader, being liked means that people are willing to voluntarily join with him and move with him to solve the tasks at hand.  To say it in another way, for Trump, being liked means being willing to join the movement.

A Driving Passion to be Liked?

Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail was so rude, that it shielded us from seeing this inner desire. But did you notice in the first several weeks after the election, how his behavior changed?  Now that he is elected, he finally feels the freedom to begin to be himself. Let’s look at some evidence for Trump’s desire to be liked.

First, Trump’s family supported him consistently without wavering. They seemed to show a genuine appreciation of their father, and told us over and over how much they liked working with him and for him. This clue was visible even during the campaign.

Second, another clue visible during the campaign was Trump had friends like Bill O’Reilly that said multiples times, “Trump doesn’t really believe all the things he is saying.”

Third, as soon as the election was over, Trump instructed his lawyers to find a way to settle the lawsuits associated with Trump University. Despite Trump’s tweets about how he was sad that he would not be able to take them to court and win, (an example of his word painting mentioned in the last article), his actions spoke louder than those words: the settlement offer was so good that it was accepted immediately by the other side.

Fourth, in his initial meeting with Obama, Obama spent much more time with him rather than the scheduled 15 minutes. Obama seemed to be amazed at how gracious Trump was, and even touched Trump on the shoulder as he gave him some advice. Obama heard things from Trump he had not expected to hear! One of those, we learned, was that Trump did not want to entirely repeal Obamacare after all.

Fifth, Trump announced a complete reversal by saying he would not prosecute Hillary Clinton. He said, “I don’t want to hurt her.” This move has silenced her criticism of him as being “unfit to lead.” She has been turned from a mortal enemy into one with whom he can peacefully coexist.

Sixth, he has reached out to a number of former enemies and pledged to work cooperatively with them. The first of these was Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, who had disassociated with Trump completely. He apparently reached out to Ted Cruz about the Attorney General position, not because he expected him to take it, but as a way to build a bridge for a future relationship. He spent a great deal of time mending fences with Mitt Romney, one of his single most outspoken critics. He praised the new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as a very smart man. He apparently amazed Al Gore in his first meeting with Trump about climate change.

Finally, he surprised many by taking time away from the critical process of putting together his new administration to put on a “Thank You Tour” for the people.

Why This is Good News

Knowing that Trump wants to be liked, does at one level give us comfort that we have a very human person in the top post. We can see past his “word painting” rhetoric to understand that he is NOT a man who has any desire to rule with an iron fist. His natural demeanor is much more personable than we realized. As stated last time, if Trump felt he could have won the election with a softer approach, he would have done it!

Why the Far Left Needs to Fear Him

It will take many, many months for America to come to a general understanding that Trump wants to be a likable guy. The media will jump on each incendiary remark, and use their own paint to paint him as being unfit and unstable. Trump needs to control his outbursts!

But I believe that some of the Far Left elites have already figured out the essence of what is being written in this article series. They have inside reports about who Trump really is. They had originally hoped he had gone “over the edge” and was “losing it”, but now they can see his plan, are beginning to fear his plan, and worry that they are losing ground — the ground they gained post-election to forever brand him as a racist and a fascist on the heart of every Hillary Clinton voter. They are waking up to the reality that Trump also has a plan.  Trump is going to woo those very same Hillary Clinton voters, and this work has already started.

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First, he moved quickly to reinforce that the Gay Marriage ruling by the Supreme Court was “water under the bridge.”

Second, he said that he was going to re-evaluate climate change, then he followed that up with an offer to meet with Al Gore, and apparently “wowed him” in that first meeting.

Third, with his choice of James Mattis as Defense Secretary, he has reversed his position on waterboarding.

Why is he doing these things? Because he is the ultimate populist. That’s what populists do! They work to increase their popularity! Trump just fired multiple warning shots to the Left Wing elite. He has announced: “I’m coming for your more moderate voters in four years!”

Trump’s Grand Plan for America!

Trump’s plan is so simple. I have been hard on Trump for his lying and word painting, but now I have to give him credit for an absolutely brilliant plan. Trump’s plan for America is this: Donald Trump wants to become the most popular President in the history of the United States.

Is that, pray tell, a plan for America? I believe that his plan for America is so wrapped up with his plan for himself that they are pretty much indistinguishable! Let me explain what I mean.

Remember in his nomination acceptance speech when he said over and over how “I will make this country great again?” Here we see the intermingling of himself with his plan. Yes, he wants America become great again, but he is telling us that he wants Americans to look back in time and say: “Yes, Donald. You did it.”

That Frustrating Footnote

But if Donald Trump, the ultimate populist, is ever going to reach his goal of becoming the nation’s most popular President, he is going to have to do something at the halfway mark, four years from now. Donald Trump’s goal is to remove the asterisk beside his name, the one that reads in the footnote below: “Did not win the popular vote.”

No, I’ve never heard him mention this goal directly, but the wound he feels came up indirectly, when he tweeted that he would have won the popular vote if not for millions of illegal voters in states like California. This wild statement is a clue that something is gnawing at him, and I believe he has already set his mind to winning the popular vote in four years. That asterisk will simply not do for Donald Trump, the ultimate populist.

Populists share a common passion: to be liked, to be followed, to be joined by as many people as possible. Unlike Obama, Trump’s mission does not depend on convincing Americans of a particular ideology. Trump is no ideologue. He will simply do whatever it takes to grow his support. That means moving left a bit, while not losing the support of The Right. So while he goes on Thank You tours to please the Right, he changes policy where he can by moving a bit Left.

My Biggest Concern

Deep down, Trump has a goal to become the most popular American president ever.

My biggest concern for Trump’s populist agenda, though, is not his plan for America, but what will happen on the world stage. Without a defined, guiding ideology, will Trump’s desire to be liked, seduced him into trying to become an exceedingly popular world leader as well? Will he consistently find within himself the resolve to stand firm against the voices that will try to find any leverage possible to turn him against their enemy, Israel?

What about populist pride? Will Trump be seduced into trying his own hand at negotiating a peace settlement in the Middle East, a quagmire into which George W. Bush fell?

We need to pray that Trump allows Israel negotiate on their own terms, God’s blessing is not based on the results of a worldwide popularity contest.

Next Time

They say Trump is unique, that what he is doing in American politics has never been done before. Not quite. The next article will tell the story of a 20th Century American Politician who was extremely similar to Donald Trump. And speaking of other populist leaders, we will also examine the Christian connection that has been made between Donald Trump and ancient King Cyrus of Persia.