What many have assumed that Donald Trump really wants is to lose the election in a way that doesn’t position him as a loser. That way, he can retain a great deal of influence over millions of voters, wielding immense political power while building a media empire from the ashes of his Presidential campaign. The delegate coup planned at the GOP convention will deliver Trump’s wildest dreams to him.
This is by no means a call for those plans to stop. Just because Trump will be the biggest winner in all of this is no reason to think of it negatively. Trump is not the direct enemy and if he can win while the Republican party and conservatism also score wins, so be it. He doesn’t have to lose for the party and the country to win.
With that said, it’s important to understand the dynamics. The details would be too long to delve into within a blog post so we’ll stick with the bullets:
- If Trump is denied the nomination at the convention, he’ll be able to walk away with his head held high knowing that he won but that he was cheated.
- The evil Establishment will be to blame, so Trump’s anti-Establishment base will go to war with the Republican party and will direct their anger in any way that Trump insinuates. It will be dangerous times for conservative patriots, vocal pundits, and any politicians who didn’t bow down to Trump before the convention.
- As a “winner” who was wronged, he’ll be the most powerful person on the right (even though he’s actually a liberal). Candidates at most levels will need to win his support in order for him to direct his minions in their direction. That means kissing the ring. That means owing favors. At the end of the day, Trump prefers favors and influence over Presidential power. The potency of influence can be more productive from a self-serving perspective than being President.
- His media empire will launch and will include a right-leaning news channel. The irony with that, of course, is that Fox News played a huge role in getting him the plurality of votes during primary season. Expect big names to defect once their contracts are up. Yes, that means Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, and probably some of his “opponents” at other networks.
- In the decades to come, this will be viewed as one of the greatest financial moves and power plays in the history of America.
There are many actions performed and statements made by Trump and his campaign that point to the validity of this theory, but the most telling is his lack of a violent response to things like the likely minority report victory in the rules committee and the ruling in Virginia. Instead, he’s mildly complained, even ignored the coup. That’s not how Trump handles threats. He is a master at asymmetric media warfare. If he didn’t want the coup, he’d be raising a huge stink about it, calling the system rigged and threatening lawsuits against everyone that even utters the word “coup.” Instead, he’s allowing it to happen. That’s because he wants it to happen. It’s the best-case-scenario for him. It’s the win-win that is better than his wildest dreams a year ago.
The Republican party will be greatly damaged by all of this. Unfortunately, it’s one of the only paths remaining to prevent him from becoming the nominee and doing even more damage from within. This is the ultimate con job. If it weren’t so damaging to the country, it might even be respectable because it’s not against the law and isn’t all that immoral. It’s a betrayal of values for a party that partially embraced him, but business is business.
I don’t like what Trump has done to the party or the country and this will make things worse in the short term. Still, it’s the path that we must take and the consequence we must accept. We could have stopped him before he made it this far. Now, we must pay the piper.
Image credit: Gage Skidmore