Not even Donald Trump was cynical and/or egotistical enough to believe that people would choose him in the primaries over a genuine conservative rebel like Ted Cruz. His candidacy is a publicity stunt that got out of hand when everyone involved underestimated the destructive power of nihilistic rage. Former top Trump strategist Stephanie Cegielski shares the view from inside the campaign:
Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.
The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.
Having semi-accidentally created the Frankenstein monster that now seems likely to incapacitate resistance to the Democrat agenda, Cegielski is having what has been called the Colonel Nicholson moment.
In 2015, I fell in love with the idea of the protest candidate who was not bought by corporations. A man who sat in a Manhattan high-rise he had built, making waves as a straight talker with a business background, full of successes and failures, who wanted America to return to greatness.
I was sold.
Last summer, I signed on as the Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC.
In that role, she was amazed to see that every time Trump said something outrageous, his numbers shot upward, so fed to the teeth is the public with political correctness.
I don’t think even Trump thought he would get this far. And I don’t even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all. …
What was once Trump’s desire to rank second place to send a message to America and to increase his power as a businessman has nightmarishly morphed into a charade that is poised to do irreparable damage to this country if we do not stop this campaign in its tracks.
I’ll say it again: Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now.
She makes a desperate plea to those who support Trump even at this point:
And if you are one of the disaffected voters — one of the silent majority like me — who wanted a candidate who could be your voice, I want to speak directly to you as one of his biggest advocates and supporters.
He is not that voice. He is not your voice. He is only Trump’s voice.
Trump is about Trump.
If there is one fact too gaudy and gigantic to deny, it is that Trump is driven by egotism. Cegielski notes his reaction to the latest Muslim atrocity in Pakistan:
Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2016
He alone can solve a problem that civilization has struggled with for 1,400 years, although he has no coherent strategy for doing so. This is pathological.
I, too, think our country has gone off track in its values. I, too, think that we need a dramatic change of course. But I am, in my heart, a policy wonk and a believer in coming to the table with necessary knowledge for leading the free world.
The man does not know policy, nor does he have the humility to admit what he does not know — the most frightening position of all.
Trump is just playacting. Other than who to bribe to get a casino built with minimal red tape, he knows nothing about government, and has shown no interest in learning.
And he has no problem abusing your support the same way he cheated hard-working men and women out of millions of dollars, for which he is now being sued. …
And here’s what he tapped into: the unprecedented, unbelievable anger.
Because we are all angry — and we all have a right to be. But Trump is not our champion. He would stab any one of his supporters in the back if it earned him a cent more in his pocket.
In the beginning, the Trump campaign seemed like a good thing. It brought the immigration issue to the forefront, and sent a message to the GOP that voters were not in a mood for Jeb Bush types. But what started out as a controlled burn is now a conflagration threatening to destroy the Republican Party whether or not Trump is given the nomination. This will leave the country defenseless against a radicalized Democrat Party led by the ruthless and corrupt Hillary Clinton. Soon we really will have something to be angry about.
On tips from Torcer, Wilberforce, and Nobama.