The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump is his own man, says what he means, means what he says, and is fiercely independent. He’s funding his own campaign, unlike the other candidates, so he’s not beholden to lobbyists and special interests. And yet, he’s the perfect puppet.
His distinct lack of ideology certainly makes him malleable, but that’s just the start. Even worse, his strongman personality, whether affected or real, boxes him into acting a certain way. His popular mandate is wrapped up in his ego, of knowing just what the right answer is, and taking decisive action, full speed ahead.
Imagine another 9/11 or similar crisis and it’s easy to see how circumstances, shaped by a controlled media narrative, could jolt Trump into acting, even if he is personally hesitant. Refraining from acting would jarringly contrast his can-do persona. It would make him look weak and impotent, which is the danger of such a large personality that depends on winning grandly all the time. Even the slightest hesitation is perceived as a vulnerability.
The other candidates are not better, but the unique danger of Trump is that he may be induced to act brashly at a critical moment. The powerful factions with agendas on a timetable would not hesitate to create just the right circumstances to provoke such a reaction.