I'm gonna level with you. I don't like Donald J Trump. Ever since I heard about his underhanded business practices with suppliers during a 2007 meeting in Chicago I have felt this way.
I think he's impetuous and immoral. Until recently, I was also convinced DJT colluded with the Russians to rig the election. Today, I'm not so sure.
I'm currently reading Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury. With a front-row view of the Trump candidacy - and later presidency - Wolff documented the behind-the-scenes controversy of the administration. Early in the book, Wolff makes the point that nobody in the Trump camp thought he would win. Indeed, winning was not even the intent of the campaign. Instead, Trump and many of his compatriots sought to build their personal brands to leverage into greater business success post-campaign.
Melania Trump - a former model turned lady of leisure - was particularly concerned about agitating the life she had built for her and her son, Barron. DJT promised her once the campaign ended with a loss she would return to the life she enjoyed and he would have the power to build his media empire.
Of course, he ended up winning.
Melania was not happy. Her body language on inauguration day said it all. Since then, Melania has reluctantly fallen into the role as First Lady and in some respects the more compassionate side of the administration, often at odds with her bombastic husband. Whether this is intentional, as some form of mild retribution, is not known.
Does DJT care that Melania isn't happy? He probably does. Most people generally don't want to piss off their spouse because it makes for an unhappy life. Moreover, the role of President requires a level of spousal commitment and partnership unrivalled by even the heads of major corporations. If there's one job in which you need spousal support, this is it.
There was no financial incentive to win either, as the Presidency itself isn't particularly profitable. True, former Presidents write books and speak at events, but there's more money to be made running a media and real estate empire. Whether or not DJT would have succeeded at that media empire doesn't eliminate the fact that his plan existed.
So, would a man who had both the financial and marital incentive to lose collude with a foreign power to win?
I'd be more easily convinced that he was more of an unwilling or unknowing participant in a greater scheme to shake America to its core. DJT was the figurehead the Republican party desperately needed and the compromised patsy Russia couldn't believe was being gifted to them on a platter. But to argue that DJT - the man who had everything to gain from losing the election - personally conspired with Russia to win simply doesn't seem make sense.
Of course, this is a game of 4D chess so there are alternative realities.
Sometime between putting his hat in the ring and today, DJT decided to idea of being the President wholeheartedly.