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Conclusion: The Five Rules of Trump

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Presidential Leadership and the Trump Presidency

Part of the book series: The Evolving American Presidency ((EAP))

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Spitzer offers five rules the he argues explain Donald Trump’s decisions and actions as president. The rules, derived from Trump’s business career, are explicated by applying them to Trump’s handling of the issue of gun policy. They also provide a framework for examining the findings of the other chapters in the book, including addressing presidential lying, threats to the Constitutional Order, unilateral powers, and court actions. Finally, the case of Trump is examined for the numerous avenues of future presidency research suggested by this unprecedented presidency.

My thanks to Debby Dintino for helping me formulate the arguments I make here.

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  1. 1.

    I argued as much in Spitzer (1993): 88–104.

  2. 2.

    An extensive expose by the New York Times revealed a vast family tax scheme, “including instances of outright fraud,” that increased the money he received across decades from his father to the tune of $413 million, largely by relying on dodging taxes that would otherwise have been due (Barstow et al. 2018).

  3. 3.

    In a remarkably clear and written example of Trump’s manipulation of information to serve his goals, Trump authored an unusual (for him) op-ed in USA Today to criticize Democrats as posing a severe threat to affordable and available health care (Trump 2018). A fact-check analysis of Trump’s article found that “almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood” (Kessler 2018).


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Correspondence to Robert J. Spitzer .

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Spitzer, R.J. (2020). Conclusion: The Five Rules of Trump. In: Lamb, C., Neiheisel, J. (eds) Presidential Leadership and the Trump Presidency. The Evolving American Presidency. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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