Donald Trump is completely obsessed with revenge. How do we know that? Because he has talked about revenge and retribution repeatedly himself.
In 2013 he tweeted “Always get even. When you are in business, you need to get even with people who screw you.’ – Think Big.” In 2014 he tweeted this quote: “‘Revenge is sweet and not fattening.’ – Alfred Hitchcock.”
In 2011, he gave a talk with a list of things they don’t teach in business school. The first thing on his list was this:
Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.
A year later in a speech, he said it again, even stronger:
One of the things you should do in terms of success: If somebody hits you, you’ve got to hit ’em back five times harder than they ever thought possible. You’ve got to get even. Get even. And the reason, the reason you do, is so important…The reason you do, you have to do it, because if they do that to you, you have to leave a telltale sign that they just can’t take advantage of you. It’s not so much for the person, which does make you feel good, to be honest with you, I’ve done it many times. But other people watch and you know they say, “Well, let’s leave Trump alone,” or “Let’s leave this one,” or “Doris, let’s leave her alone. They fight too hard.” I say it, and it’s so important. You have to, you have to hit back. You have to hit back.
There are plenty of other examples, stretching back in time. In 2012, he spoke twice about this:
The point is, one of the things I say later is…get even. When somebody screws you, you screw them back in spades. And I really mean it. I really mean it. You’ve gotta hit people hard. And it’s not so much for that person. It’s other people watch.
And for good measure, he demonstrating by attacking Rosie O’Donnell, saying “If she stopped looking in the mirror, I think she’d stop being so depressed.” He also attacked O’Donnell the second time, calling her a “pig” and a “degenerate”, and explained his first rule of business:
It’s called “Get Even.” Get even. This isn’t your typical business speech. Get even. What this is a real business speech. You know in all fairness to Wharton, I love ’em, but they teach you some stuff that’s a lot of bullshit. When you’re in business, you get even with people that screw you. And you screw them 15 times harder. And the reason is, the reason is, the reason is, not only, not only, because of the person that you’re after, but other people watch what’s happening. Other people see you or see you or see and they see how you react.
The first link above has many other examples. Donald Trump believes in revenge and he had advocated for it for decades. And notice how he always escalates. You have to hurt them far more than they hurt you.
And we’ve seen plenty of examples of this philosophy during the election. If anyone says the slightest bad thing about him, he goes on a rampage. It doesn’t matter if they are a political opponent, a fellow Republican, a member of the media. Anyone he doesn’t like.
It shouldn’t be surprising he has so few friends. And is it any wonder the women he sexually assaulted were afraid to speak out against him at the time?
At the final debate, he surprised me by not interrupting Clinton during the first 20 minutes, but as time went on he got angrier. And then he started interrupting and acting out to get vengeance against her. The need for revenge seems to be embedded in Trump’s DNA. That isn’t working for him as a presidential candidate, and would be even worse as president.
My only question is, what will he do when he loses the election?
UPDATE: Richard Branson relates the story of his first meeting with Trump, when Trump disturbingly went on and on about how he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying five people who had refused to help him after his latest bankruptcy.
Branson highlighted the real estate mogul’s “vindictive streak” as the most frightening thing about this election, warning it “could be so dangerous if he got into the White House.”
Also published on Medium.