That’s what Tony Schwartz, the man who helped Trump write his best-selling business book, The Art of the Deal, said the president will inevitably do. The main idea behind the book is “knowing when to walk away,” a tack Schwartz believes the president will almost certainly take in order to avoid defeat.
The reason? “There is no right or wrong for Trump,” says Schwartz in a Wednesday interview with
Anderson Cooper. Trump sees life as a proposition of either winning or losing, not one of right or wrong. Schwartz, who spent lots of time watching Trump’s every move in the 1980s, went on to describe Trump’s mental state, “There’s winning and losing. And that’s very different from right and wrong. Right now he’s in pure terror that he is going to lose. And by the way, he is going to lose,” the ghostwriter said.
The Psychology of a President
He described President Trump as one who harbors an unnatural fear of losing and will do whatever it takes to win, even if that means dressing up losses in such a way as to make them appear to be wins, insights gained from spending almost two years with the president in 1985 in preparation for writing the New York Times best seller, which spent a whopping 13 months in the number one spot.
He said Trump is in such a state of fear, a “meltdown” actually, that he is now desperately trying to figure out how to get out of this mess of daily controversies and scandals in a way that makes him look like a winner. His brain “is in survival mode.”
That means the president would spin the resignation into barely recognizable forms from the original act. Schwartz said that for Trump, exaggeration or outright lying were normal ways one got ahead or what one wanted.
To Lie Is to Breathe, to Tell the Truth, Untenable
Schwartz goes on to describe the president as someone for whom lying is quite natural and “More than anyone else I have ever met, Trump has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.” This depiction, according to Schwartz, is a reflection of Trump’s idea of “harmless lies,” or as Schwartz described it: “truthful hyperbole.” Not surprisingly, Trump very much liked that expression.
In fact, Schwartz said of the book he co-authored with Trump, who did no work in its production, that it is ultimately “a work of fiction,” with very little in it resembling the truth.
Self-Destructiveness Result of Difficult Relationship with Father
The crazy sense of avoiding failure and loss at all costs, as well as his seemingly self-destructive ways, says Schwartz, arose out of the tough relationship Donald Trump had with his father, Fredrick Trump, a man for whom the president always had enormous respect while everyone else around the elder Trump, including Trump’s oldest brother Freddy who died at 42 from alcoholism, was terrified of the man—but not Donald.
Trump, according to Schwartz, never feared his father, but his father was grueling, difficult, tough, and Trump never backed down but stood up to him, fighting back against an unrelenting and difficult man, and his father respected him for it. These were the formative experiences that have led to Trump’s pugnacious approach to challenge of any kind, living almost his entire life in a state of total “survival mode,” according to Schwartz.
At War with the World
It, therefore follows, according to Schwartz, that these formative events that repeated over and over again throughout Donald Trump’s youth, have led to Trump’s tendency to conduct guerrilla warfare against anyone who would dare criticize him or challenge him in any way. For Donald Trump, in 1985 as now, the world is made up of those who dominate and those who are dominated.
There is something very Machiavellian about a man who believes that whatever is necessary to achieve goals is justified by the exigency of securing those objectives in the nasty and brutish world of money and business. In fact, Schwartz described Trump as someone who believes that one must create fear or be exploited by it. Accordingly, “This narrow, defensive outlook took hold at a very early age, and it never evolved,” with Trump remarking that he feels and looks exactly the same as he did in first grade. Apparently, this is where Trump’s maturation and development stopped, according to Schwartz.
Never Walk Away from a Fight
In the end, however, I cannot actually imagine a scenario in which Donald Trump gives up his presidency under some concocted scheme that his doing so is a victory. I can see, on the other hand, Trump hanging on and fighting it out until the bitter, bitter end.
It would appear that ultimately Schwartz misunderstands the core of Donald Trump, a core in which one-upmanship, ego, and the "strong man” Trump both admires in people like Vladimir Putin and sees himself as are exalted above all else. This is the self preservation tactic derived from his experiences with his father: Never give up, never show weakness, and never walk away from a fight.
He is a man, as evidenced by his campaign antics, who cannot chose
battles wisely but instead will take any and all bait thrown his way in
an attempt to brand adversaries, sometimes quite successfully,
by conducting self-immolating military campaigns on Twitter that
ultimately diminish his credibility and, therefore, his ability to
function as a serious political figure in the world of politics.