A nice explanation of the donald phenomena here – basically he’s smarter than he acts and he’s in no way a conservative. He’s his usual opportunist self, sensing that the GOP was so weak that it was ripe for conquest.
Reagan famously described the GOP as a three-legged stool with legs of financial conservatism, national defense, and social conservatism. All three must be balanced for it to stand.
Trump was smart enough to realize that it had expired. Bush/Cheney/Palin/Fox News killed it. All of the Bush-era bailouts scared off the financial conservatives, all of the pointless Bush-era warmongering scared off strong defense types, and the latest supreme court decision to uphold gay marriage rights crushed the social conservative angle.
None of Reagan’s 3 stool legs are now required to get the GOP nomination. All that is left is personality and promotion and donald has been mainlining that his entire life.
His company does little more than buy property, put gold and TRUMP signs all over them, and resell for more money. It’s primarily branding used to make millions in real estate.
Don builds his brand and this is his primary motivation. All of his profit is derived from this ego-driven branding.