Why did Trump run for president? It’s an honest question. I don’t recall anyone asking him publicly. He was rich. He could have spent the rest of his life playing golf, hiring prostitutes, gambling, and eating over cooked steaks till his heart gave out. His entire career he only behaved in ways that benefitted himself. He was never a public servant.
Clinton’s reason for running is easy. She was a career politician. Being president is simply the highest ranking politician you can be. She’s spent her entire life working for others. Same with Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. I get them. Why did Trump do what he did? Does he even know?
I try to put myself in his head and imagine what he must have been thinking before the Iowa caucuses. He’s successful. He’s healthy. He has one young family, and two fully grown ones. He’s every right to just do fun stuff, like his TV show and see what kind of deal he can get by negotiating things. So why announce his run? Here are some possibilities:
It was random. He had the idea on a whim, and has the money to make his whims into reality. His success would have surprised himself more than anyone else.
It was to enrich himself. Other people have pointed out that if he gets the estate tax repealed that will mean his family will make an extra billion dollars when he dies, at an absolute minimum. Not to mention the opportunities for corruption the presidency offers.
It was to help the country. He already set himself up and his family for generations to come. He has no need for more money, but he does see ways of improving the country that no one else was acting on. Rather than slowing building a career in public service, he knows his life is closer to the end than the beginning, so he aims right at the top in a long shot bid that would give him the best platform for change.
Those are all the reasons I can think of. Maybe it was some combination of the three. Maybe there’s another idea entirely that hasn’t occurred to me. I should point out here that I have no idea what his presidency will look like. I have some predictions, but I know nothing with certainty. I just want to explore his motivations. And I suspect that his motivation was to help the country. Maybe he also saw ways to enrich his family, and it was also a whim, but I think the most important reason to him was that he genuinely believed he was the best agent for change.