With Donald Trump’s latest proclamation of a call for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States you have to wonder if Trump is sabotaging his own campaign. With condemnations coming in from fellow republicans, Republican House Speaker Ryan, and a host of world leaders, the media is apoplectic trying to decipher Trump’s plan. What if his plan is actually an exit strategy?
I remember watching Donald Trump testify in 1986 in federal court during the United States Football League’s anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. I knew little about Trump at the time and left the court shaking my head thinking he was really full of himself. Over the last months with daily Trump media coverage we have seen him display behavior and characteristics similar to those found in narcissists and sociopaths.
Trump’s campaign has one singular message; it is all about Trump. The Trump brand feeds his voracious ego. He is the smartest, only he can save America, everyone loves him, even those he routinely disparages. What if his campaign is just a long con? He and his staff must know you can’t win a presidential election with just Republican votes. Independents are the key, and it seems like everything Trump says is to solidify his conservative base and alienate independents. It’s like a sitcom we’ve seen often where a fiancé tries to get out of the wedding by doing stupid stuff only to have his bride find him more adorable.
If Trump realizes he may win a primary but can’t win the general election what does he do. Protecting the Trump Brand is paramount, it will always come first. Being known as the guy who lost the general election for the Republican Party is unacceptable. Everyone must love Trump and Trump can never be seen as a loser. What’s the alternative? Trump the victim works, if Trump dropped to second or third in the polls he could portray himself as a victim of the liberal media while maintaining the admiration of his fans.
Trump has seized on recent world events to ratchet up the demagoguery and outlandish statements while dialing back the personal attacks on fellow candidates. The only question now is if he can find something to say that is so crazy it erodes his base without looking like he threw the race.