Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Is Trump's Endgame?

I've been wondering, since a year ago when he announced in a controversial statement filled with hyperbole and seeming to aim for humor rather than substance, his bid for the White House, just what Donald Trump wanted.

His inability to articulate anything outside of slogans and catchphrases, his inability to properly debate issues in detail, and his seeming unwillingness to assume a presidential stature have all led me to wonder if he's not throwing this election for some reason.

It was put forth to me - also toward the beginning of his campaign (and by someone I respect profoundly for political analysis and intelligence, among other things) that Trump is likely shilling for his friend Hillary Clinton. And that perhaps this election campaign was just his way of ensuring her election.

See, Hillary Clinton could not have run at a worse time for her situation: saddled by scandal after scandal (old and new), in the 7th year under a presidency that went from bad to worse - economically, security-wise, and in sharply dividing the country along lines of race, and partisanship - was bad enough for Clinton. Then, the growing headlines of her email server becoming more clearly felonious in its existence and use, she could not win among savvy voters - could she?

She could, if she were pitted against the weakest link. And in a field of 17 Republican candidates, many of whom were weak but at least experienced, the one person she could beat, it became clear, was Donald Trump.

Could the country elect the narcissistic Trump whose ventures have continuously failed (to the point of litigation and loss), whose only claim to fame was his reality shows and philandering ways, and whose mouth was on constant overdrive without his brain being engaged?

It didn't seem so, at first. Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as "rapists and murderers," in a shocking, sweeping generalization that would insult the good, hard-working immigrants of all nations who are legally admitted to the USA every year.

He then continued his outrageous remarks. I have outlined many of my points of contention in another post, and won't repeat them here. But since that post, he has continued to gather more feet in his mouth, and flip-flop on issues than any other candidate I can remember.

Flip-flops and Bumblings

 For example:

It also gave Clinton an 8-point lead in Florida - another crucial battleground state.

  • Moving sharply to the gun control position of the left after the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando June 12th, where he stated he would talk to the NRA about banning people on the no-fly list from obtaining firearms (problematic, as people on that list are often on it for random, unjustified reasons; there is an 8-year-old boy who is on the list, and the late Ted Kennedy also had his name on it; problematic because the NRA has no say in laws over the no-fly list but does have a position on due process as a constitutional right). Denying anyone on that list their due process is a violation of the Constitution. It is also something the liberal left - including Hillary Clinton - has been pushing for without end.

In fact, Trump - who has held up a Supreme Court Justice nomination as his raison d'ĂȘtre to become the next President, to "protect the Second Amendment" - is no different than Clinton on the Second Amendment; his history with gun rights is extremely liberal, even as it changes constantly.

  • Trump is suffering from the highest disapproval numbers of any candidate in history: 70% of Americans have an unfavorable view of him. His disapprovals are high with women, men, blacks, Hispanics, whites, college students - to name only a few.
  • Trump has spent $0 on ads. Hillary Clinton has spent $21,000,000. So far. Perhaps Trump is counting on another $2,000,000,000 worth of free airtime that the media gave him during primaries; he won't get it. The only network in the tank for him is Fox; every other network is ramping up the negatives I'm listing here (and as they continue to pile up daily).

Clinton's filings showed her having raised $26,000,000 in May, finishing the month with over $42,000,000 cash on hand.

Trump's filings are another story. They show that he raised $3,200,000 and finished the month with only $1,300,000 cash on hand.

His expenses are astronomical. He spent $208,000 on hats. He paid his kids a salary. In a very unusual situation, he seems to draw a salary as well.

20% of his expenses go to his businesses (all bearing his name). This link will take you to some of the more eye-opening details.

In a bizarre entry, his filings show that he paid $35,000 in advertising to a recipient by the name of Draper Sterling. Yes, if you're a fan of Mad Men, you'll recognize those names. The address of this "firm" is a residence (above-ground pool included) in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

We can compare Trump's numbers to Mitt Romney's in 2012, at this point in time; Romney had raised $86,500,000.

In fact, Ted Cruz - who suspended his campaign in April - has $6.8M cash on hand as of today. Even Bernie Sanders has $9.2M in the bank.

All this is a stunning revelation, as Trump has trumpeted his wealth all along, stating that he is "very, very rich," and declaring he was self-funding (proven to be untrue - he accepted at least $14,000,000 in donations during the primaries).

In May, Trump boasted that he didn't need the Republican party. Yet, this week, he asked for Republican help. 

Unpresidential Behavior

All this time, he has continued to behave in decidedly unpresidential ways: nicknames worthy only of high-school bullies (and even then), constant "clarifications" from his campaign staffers due to impulsive - or unscripted - statements that raise eyebrows among conservatives and liberals alike, and a confrontational, self-centered demeanor that slightly overshadows his lack of substance in his speeches.

Yet an advisor for his campaign has warned against expecting changes: "If you read any of this to believe Trump is going to change in any way, you're probably misreading it," he said. "Donald Trump is Donald Trump and he's not going to change into something else."

The Real Agenda 

Here's what I believe is happening - and what will happen down the line.

In a shocking revelation, Donald Trump admitted, early on in the campaign, that he and Bill Clinton spoke on the phone before Trump announced his bid for the White House.

Ask yourselves why such a call would take place - especially if Trump were planning to oppose Hillary, either as a Democrat or Republican.

There's one reason, and that is to help Hillary. We all know that the Clintons operate this way; they bend break the rules, they create landscapes that unfold in their favor, and they tend to get away with it every time.

The theory I mentioned at the beginning of this article is sound; Hillary needed someone who would make her look like a more desirable choice for President. The only person in the race who could do that was Donald Trump.

The Clintons knew they could not hold their own against a poised, skilled, principled conservative like Ted Cruz, and that the field - including Jeb Bush (a popular candidate, even if many felt he wasn't right for the job), Rand Paul (consistently popular), outsiders like Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, and the wildly successful Scott Walker - to name a few - did not look like one Hillary could beat.

But they knew Donald Trump. They'd been friends for years. He praised Clinton's stint as Secretary of State, saying she'd been a "terrific Secretary of State", and is on record stating she would "make a great president."

He's known to have been a major donor to her campaigns, as well as to the Clinton Foundation. And he is seen, in a famous photograph, with the Clintons at his 3rd wedding. He is quoted as saying: "“Hillary Clinton, I said, ‘Be at my wedding,’ and she came to my wedding. She had no choice because I gave to [the Clinton] foundation."

What does this mean, besides an almost certain win for Hillary Clinton when she runs against the disastrous candidacy of Donald Trump?

Bold Prediction 

 I've been mulling over a bold prediction that - in this bizarre election cycle - could just be less outlandish than plausible.

See, I couldn't understand how someone could so blatantly, and clumsily be throwing this election the way Trump continues to bumble through. Shilling for Hillary to win is now widely believed among conservatives. But what does he get out of it? Because with Donald Trump, it's always about him.

What if, after Clinton wins (by the landslide she's expected to win against Trump's consistently low performance in polls against her), she then holds a joint press conference with Donald Trump?

What if, at this press conference, she announces that she is going to give Trump an advisory position in her cabinet?

And what if Trump declares that he is doing so "in the name of unifying the country", something he's been unable to do in the party he purports to represent?

You're laughing right now. You may be ridiculing this utterly ridiculous projection. But you probably laughed when Trump announced, and then advanced his candidacy for president too.

Don't dismiss it out of hand. He's friends with the Clintons, a major donor to her previous campaigns, he's a lifelong Democrat, and he is crazy enough to be throwing this election just to emerge with a seat on the Clinton train after all, having gotten a massive ego boost out of an implausibly conceived triumph in primaries (if you can call 44.8% of the entire primary count "triumphant").

We don't know what the phone call entailed when Bill Clinton and Donald Trump talked about the campaign. But knowing both of these two weasels, deals could have been struck to this effect.

I feel strongly about this possibility.

Time will tell; but in 2016, with these two highly questionable scampaigns being the last two standing, anything is possible.


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