In The Success Genome Unravelled: Turning men from rot to rock, I devoted a full chapter to describing how to acquire the seven indispensable qualities of a leader. Noting that physical attractiveness is largely determined by genetics, I offered this handy prescription to those souls who like William Shakespeare’s Richard III think themselves “curtailed of fair proportion” or “cheated of feature by dissembling nature” but nevertheless desire to be attractive: “Unattractiveness in combination with its bold display,” I wrote, “is an effective substitute for beauty since it duplicates beauty’s principal effects, namely the excitation of admiration, charm, and envy in the beholder. The beholder is susceptible to this effect because they are moved to wish that they too could carry their own defects with the kind of ease with which you bear yours, which to them may even be more repulsive in degree. You therefore become an inspiration to them.” This is my principle of perverse attraction, an expression of the magnetic effect of ugliness shared and aired.
The kinds of inner ugliness that we share with President Donald Trump, sightings of which mortify us but never him (in whom it’s probably manifest in greater measure)—such ugliness is the wellspring of the president’s perverse attraction. Each time he boldly airs the ugliness we share, he exerts a pull on our charmed hearts through the operation of the aforesaid principle. The genius of President Trump, therefore, was in mapping out the moral deficit of the nation lurking beneath its shroud of propriety and acting it out right before our eyes. Consequently, whatever his displays of unethical character, his popularity will never wane among those who feel themselves bound to him by ties of symmetric ugliness.