We can better understand what Trump has done successfully, as well as his ultimate limitations as a candidate and why he would be such a terrible president, using the ideas of military strategic theorist John Boyd. Trump has been, thus far, the true Boyd candidate in this race, yet he is already exhibiting symptoms of precisely the flaws that Boyd saw as fatal in combatants.
Observe, Orient, Decide, Act
Boyd, an Air Force fighter pilot, Vietnam and Korea veteran, and fighter design engineer, is best known for the “OODA Loop” or “decision cycle,” a concept he developed as part of a broader study of “patterns of conflict” in the 1970s and 1980s later widely adopted in the military, especially the U.S. Marine Corps. OODA stands for Observe-Orient-Decide-Act, and refers to the process by which soldiers in combat—or humans engaged in any form of conflict—absorb information, make decisions, and act on them. Boyd illustrated this with a graph: