August 4, 2016 by David K. Sutton
Is Trump Trying To Win? Because It’s Not Clear To Me
In the week after the two conventions, Donald Trump is suffering from an existential crisis of candidacy, something you’d expect to happen during primary season, resulting in an exit from the race. The only problem for Trump is that he actually won the Republican primary and was nominated by his party to be our next president. So what else can explain Trump’s post-convention failings? Is it just Trump being Trump? I guess for most of his supporters nothing has changed, save for the “lamestream media” being unfair to their candidate, as they’d like us to believe. His supporters have already established that in their minds Trump can do no wrong, and some actually say this out-loud. The problem for Trump, however, is that he needs to win over people less inclined to believe he can do no wrong, and he is failing miserably.
Trump’s post convention failures started in head-scratching fashion with further attacks on his primary opponent, Ted Cruz. If Trump knows one thing, its how to give a platform to someone long out of the race. But the biggest post-convention Trump failure involves the Khans, the Gold Star mother and father who appeared at the Democratic Convention. Trump conjectured that Ghazala Khan, mother of Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004, was silent at the Democratic Convention because her faith and/or her husband did not allow her to speak. This of course was not true, and the backlash was swift as expected.
But it does not stop there, because this week Trump also said the election will be rigged, basically setting up the Fox News and right-wing conspiracy talking point if he shall lose in November. Trump has also refused to endorse two fellow Republicans, Senator John McCain and Speaker Paul Ryan, even though both have endorsed him. And there’s even more this week from the non-stop Trump-a-thon, but I’m sure I don’t have to give you the play-by-play analysis.
So what exactly is Trump doing? For those of us who always saw Trump as a narcissist with a limited attention span, this week is not exactly shocking. And while I used to think Trump might be smart enough to know how to say the right things to an audience larger than the Republican base, I do have to admit I’m surprised at just how small-minded this candidate really is. Let’s just say, this is a man who is not intellectually curious enough to know what that means.
So where does this leave us? Is Trump incompetent and wholly unqualified for the position he seeks? Or is Trump up to something more nefarious? I recognize the two are not mutually exclusive. There’s little question Trump lacks the qualifications and temperament to be president, and that quite likely is all she wrote. It’s just Trump being Trump. Or, is it possible Trump’s candidacy is a grand vanity exercise, just the latest cog in the wheel of the Trump empire? People find it hard to believe Trump could intentionally try to lose this election because his whole shtick is about winning, but all you have to do is look at Trump’s many business failures to understand he is fine with losing as long as it (a) makes him money, and (b) keeps the Trump name in the spotlight.
Because it’s not clear to me Donald Trump wants to be president. That’s four long years, an eternity for a man who is never satisfied, always moving from conquest to conquest. And it might just be that Trump feels he has already subjugated the American electoral machine by in effect taking over one of the two major political parties. To take it any further means putting himself in a position of authority I’m not convinced he wants. For someone likely already distracted by his next triumph, the office of president requires more responsibility and focus then he is willing (or able) to offer.
At this point you probably are saying, that’s interesting, but its a little too conspiracy-tinged. To that I say, I’m not telling you I believe Trump intends to deliberately lose this election, I’m just saying it would help explain this past week. I honestly don’t know Trump’s true intentions, and I’m not sure any of us do. But if we live through another three months of this, and Donald Trump is still elected president, I will know one thing. This is a country I don’t recognize.