If Donald Trump’s supporters tend to be conspiracy-minded, a new report from the Huffington Post will only confirm their worst suspicions. According to the story, elites from the tech, finance, and political realm gathered at a private island off the coast of Georgia this week to discuss how to stop the ascendant rise of the New York billionaire. While the event was not specifically planned for that purpose – the American Enterprise Institute holds their World Forum there every year – sources said that Trump’s campaign dominated the discussion.
The attendee list reads like a who’s who of important Americans, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google founder Larry Page, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and Facebook’s Sean Parker. They were joined by top representatives of the Republican establishment like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Karl Rove.
Rove apparently even prepared a presentation for the event. From HuffPo:
A highlight of the gathering was a presentation by Rove about focus group findings on Trump. The business mogul’s greatest weakness, according to Rove, was that voters have a very hard time envisioning him as “presidential” and as somebody their children should look up to. They also see him as somebody who can be erratic and shouldn’t have his (small) fingers anywhere near a nuclear trigger.
One of the attendants, conservative writer Bill Kristol, said there remained “hope” that Trump could still be stopped. “In general, there’s a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn’t be president,” he wrote.
One question: Do these elites realize that their efforts to keep Trump away from the Republican nomination only confirm to his supporters the importance of electing him president? Or have they lost touch with the American people to such a degree that they really don’t understand what’s happening here?
Their fear of Trump has gotten so ridiculous in its intensity that you can’t help but rethink even the craziest conspiracy theories out there. This can’t just be about worries that Trump will tarnish the Republican Party, because most of these elites are avowed Democrats. Even if you take them out of the picture, the concerns are clearly beyond what we hear party representatives say in the media – that he’s not a conservative, that he can’t beat Hillary Clinton, etc. In fact, it’s beginning to sound like they’re worried about just the opposite.
For a long time, political cynics have complained that there is no meaningful difference between Republicans and Democrats. And the closer Trump gets to the nomination, the more the two parties’ representatives sound the same. We’re getting a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain this year. Whether or not Trump actually wins this thing, we may look back at 2016 as the year the Washington charade fell apart.