In a period of less than 48 hours, Trump reversed himself in four spectacular betrayals that tell you volumes about what to expect. First, at around 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, literally minutes after Kasich’s speech, CNN aired Trump telling Wolf Blitzer that he had changed his mind and is now open to raising the minimum wage.
Next, just a couple of hours later, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump would not be self-funding his campaign anymore. You know, the thing he bragged about every day forever, including just a day before in Indiana. Done.
Then on Thursday morning at about 8:00 a.m., CNBC released video of an interview with Trump essentially renouncing his own tax plan.
And finally, later that same morning, it was revealed that the man picked to head up fundraising for his no longer self-funded campaign, Steve Mnuchin, is a former Goldman Sachs partner, serious Hillary donor, and most unbelievably, a former George Soros bigwig. Seriously.
Now, make no mistake, each of these are major reversals, and what’s more, they are entirely revealing. Take the minimum wage increase. Trump’s most rabid base is mad about job losses, about low incomes, and are invested in class warfare. But they are also bitter about race relations and the perceived unfair advantages given to minority groups. They hate talk of minimum wage increases when Democrats do it, because they see it as some sort of affirmative action, but when presented by Trump as a way of increasing income to them they’re willing to swallow the pill.
He was softening the target. He got them to agree to a betrayal of their own prior convictions. It’s like a sales technique. Get them to say yes to something small and they’ll keep saying yes to bigger and bigger things. “Come on, high interest doesn’t really matter, what matters is your monthly payment.” Get them to betray themselves.
Of course, the really big one is that he won’t self-fund. Now, Trump people are already trying to spin that one, saying he never intended to self-fund the general, that he can’t possibly be expected to front that kind of money, but that’s all a huge load of crap. Trump’s voters heard what he told them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. They heard and believed and repeated ad nauseum that his self-funding was his biggest asset because it put him outside the system. It made him his own man. What’s more, those who were taking money from outside sources were considered to be owned by those sources. Trump explicitly stated time and again that his opponents were beholden to those who funded them. That they were owned and that he wasn’t. The reason he wasn’t owned was that he wasn’t taking the money.
But taken all together … well it’s not pretty. He has immediately destroyed his every core principle that isn’t related to immigration. Because that’s the big one, and he will betray his voters on it. But he has to work up to it. It’s called softening the target. It’s what salesmen do.
And man, did you Trumpers get sold.
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