(CNN)Mark Cuban is, like Donald Trump, a flashy and controversial billionaire. He's also, to my mind, one of the most savvy analysts of Trump and the president's appeal out there.
Mark Cuban just coined a brilliant term to describe Donald Trump
In other words: When the Dallas Mavericks owner talks about Trump, I listen. Which brings me to Cuban's appearance on CNN's "New Day" Friday morning and his assessment of why Trump won. Here's the key piece:
"I call it political chemotherapy. One of my friends who I always thought was very smart said, Mark, I voted for politicians my entire life. He's in his 50s. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over expecting (sic) the same results. So I voted for Donald Trump. Is he poisonous in a lot of respects? Yeah. He's our chemotherapy. We hope he's going to change the political system."
"Political chemotherapy." That is a brilliant way to think about Trump.
Here's why: It was clear that even as Donald Trump swept to an electoral college victory on November 8, there were lots and lots of doubts about him even among those who voted for him.
Less than four in ten voters (38%) had a favorable view of Trump, according to exit polling. Just one in three (33%) said he was "honest and trustworthy." Less than four in ten (38%) said he was qualified to be president. (Hillary Clinton out-performed Trump on each of these measures.)
How could Trump have possibly won given that people didn't like or trust him to be president? Again, the exit poll tells the story. Thirty nine percent of voters said the most important character trait for a candidate was that he or she "can bring change"; Trump won that group 82% to 14%.
People knew Trump wasn't ready for the job. That he might do the job poorly. And they didn't care. Or, more accurately, they cared more about sending someone different to Washington than they did about who that person was and what damage he might do.
To extrapolate from Cuban's metaphor: Voters believed that politics was so sick that the only treatment left to fix it was also one that had the potential to kill it.
What's not clear -- at least to me -- is how Trump's version of political chemotherapy is affecting the body politic. His approval ratings are lower than any modern president at this time in a presidential term. Our divisions seem more cemented, not less so. He continues to stretch the bounds of truth and political propriety.
It's possible of course that the patient will get sicker because of this treatment before he/she begins to recover. It's too soon to know that.
But what's for sure is that Trump's "political chemotherapy" is producing some very, very concerning results at the moment.