One of the things that makes Donald Trump so difficult to understand is he has all kinds of influences and elements that are rolled up into one flaming dumpster fire full of shit that can be difficult to understand. Here is my modest attempt to make sense of it all from my novice presidential historian point of view.
1. President James Buchanan
Trump definitely has elements of President Buchanan to him. He seems like the kind of guy who would let states peacefully leave the Union simply because he felt he didn’t have the power to stop them legally. He seems like on a basic level, his presidential instincts really are that bad. And, given the rhetoric of some of the surreal, extreme Right wing people, should Trump lose in 2020, he definitely might have the opportunity to prove one way or another if he would let states leave the Union.
2. President Richard Nixon
Trump has a heaping helping of the self-defeating paranoia and tendency to double down and triple down in the case of a screw up. Especially in the case of the non-existent tapes Trump definitely has a Nixonian tendency to shoot himself in the foot. One aspect that Trump doesn’t have is the smarts that Nixon had. Trump has Steve Bannon, but that only goes so far. A fish rots from the head and Trump for the most part is way, way, way, way in over his head with regard to most issues.
3. President Bill Clinton
One thing Trump shares with Bill Clinton is his willingness to admit defeat in an effort to save his skin. So, it is very possible that should in a few years it look like Trump’s goose is cooked, he could very well say he’s sorry and save his own political hide. Nixon would never say he was sorry, so he lost the presidency. But it’s very possible Trump could save himself on a political level by simply admitting his “satellites” did, in fact, collude with the Russians.
Of course, there is a little bit of Chauncey Gardner from Being There in Trump. He’s just the right dude in the right place at the right time. And he absolutely refuses to give up, no matter what. So, I suspect barring something really awe inspiring politically, that we’re stuck with Trump for four to eight years. We just have to accept that.