Trump’s Brain: Cracking The Code, Part 2 — Understanding What Mr. Ego Does

Aug 2, 2017 · 5 min read

By David Grace (

In part 1 of this two-part series (I’ve Cracked Mr. Ego’s Secret Code. “True” Means “Good For Me” And “Lie” Means “Bad For Me) I revealed the secret to decoding what Mr. Ego says. That still leaves the job of understanding what he does, which is the subject of this piece.

Commentators, pundits, and Talking Heads have spent thousands of hours futilely trying to reconcile what Der Leader says today, what he said yesterday, and hinted that he would say tomorrow with what he’s actually done or threatened to do, an exercise that has left them beaten, bloody and bowed.

Had they only asked, I could have told them that trying to rationalize Der Leader’s words with his actions is a fool’s errand because it assumes that there is a rational correlation between the two.

Of course, there isn’t. What Mr. Ego thinks, what he says, and what he does are all completely independent of each other.

Trying to deduce one by examining the other is like trying to predict which butt your dog will sniff by studying the phases of the moon. The two things don’t have anything to do with each other.

You see, Mr. Ego’s brain operates on different principles from yours and mine. Brains, are, of course, widely variable.

When the Morg got a good look at Mr. Spock’s brain in the classic (and truly terrible) Star Trek episode 56, they recognized its superior abilities and immediately stole it.

Well, the good news for Der Leader is that if he ever runs into a Morg, there is no danger of that happening to him. His noggin operates under a completely different set of principles from those of Vulcan’s Favorite Son.

Like Star Fleet, Mr. Ego’s actions are governed by a Prime Directive, but his has nothing to do with refraining from interfering with the health and progress of sentient creatures.

No, Der Leader’s Prime Directive is much more direct, simple and predatory:

If This Is Good For ME Right NOW Then Do It, And If It’s Bad For ME Right NOW Then Don’t Do It.

This overarching principle has the advantage of making every decision easy, binary and clear. No time is wasted worrying about how doing this or that might conflict with what was said or done before, what promises might have been made or might be broken, or how this will affect anyone else, because, let’s face it, for Mr. Ego, nobody else really matters.

In fact, for him there is nobody else. For him, other people aren’t truly real. They’re all just shadows on a screen, cardboard cutouts, animated meat puppets who are only there to complete the cast and fill the audience as part of Mr. Ego’s one-man show.

The Star only needs other actors so that they can respond to his speeches and service his performance, but once they’ve recited their lines their role in his life’s play is over and they’re fated to die off in Act III. At the end, Mr. Ego is the only one who can be left standing in the spotlight and basking in the applause.

For a true narcissist, no one else ever really exists, which makes his life so much simpler because he never has to consider the effects of his words or deeds on anyone except himself.

Which brings us back to that central, overriding principle guiding every decision in Der Leader’s life:

Will doing this be good for ME right NOW?

Should I torpedo Obamacare and deprive tens of millions of Americas of medical treatment?

It won’t directly hurt me because I have great medical insurance. It will give me terrific bargaining power with the Democrats in re-writing the American health care system somewhere on down the road. It will make my base happy. Yes, do it.

Should I remove National Monument protection from some of the country’s last stands of ancient redwood trees?

I’m not personally interested in looking at trees so it won’t hurt me if they’re all cut down. The timber guys will give millions to my campaign fund if I let them harvest the redwoods. My base doesn’t care one way or the other. Yes, let them cut down the trees.

Should I cut funding to the National Science Foundation?

I’m 71. They’re not doing any research that’s going to cure anything I’m likely to get before it kills me, so no problem there. My base hates those fancy intellectuals so they’ll like it. The right-wing guys in Congress think that the government has no business spending tax money on much of anything except new and improved ways to kill people, and the NSF isn’t any help at all in inventing advanced killing machines, so the Freedom-Caucus guys will be good with it.

Hell, if we need any new wonder cures, Pfizer and Merck can figure them out and make a few bucks off them, which they’ll happily share with my re-election campaign fund.

Yes, cut the funding for the lab geeks.

You can ask almost any hypothetical question about policy or executive action and accurately predict Der Leader’s position by just determining if he will think it would be good or bad for him personally at that moment.

As a purely theoretical question:

Should I take the thirty billion Vlad is offering me for the nuclear launch codes?

Well, hell, thirty billion is a lot of money. We’re not planning on actually using the launch codes any time soon, so it’s not like I’m really giving up anything. No one’s going to find out so it won’t hurt me personally.

And I’ll have all that money. Yippeee! Sure, I’ll do it.

Are you surprised? Are you thinking that doing something like that would be amazingly short-sighted?

Did I mention that in making his decisions Der Leader will not take into account what might happen at some point more than a month or two in the future? Mr. Ego is not a future kind of guy. He’s a right now kind of guy. As far as he’s concerned he’ll deal with the future when it gets here.

If he makes a deal that works out great for him now and later, not so much, he’ll just change the deal, or file for bankruptcy. As far as he’s concerned, anything that doesn’t work out well for him later can be re-negotiated after it goes sour.

So, if you’re a political wonk and you want to predict Mr. Ego’s every move, just examine the issue you’re thinking about in the context of his Prime Directive. You can take it to the bank that he’ll never voluntarily violate his Prime Directive, which can be roughly summarized in 3 two-letter words, his favorite kind:

“ME, ME, ME.”

– David Grace (

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Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

Donald Trump Columns By David Grace

All my columns related to Donald Trump collected in one place.

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