Stage One of Donald Trump’s long con is almost over.
According to the Associated Press, Trump’s lackeys told Republican leaders on Thursday that Trump’s entire persona has been manufactured from wholecloth: he’s now about to turn into Winston Churchill, but more eloquent. They said that Trump has been “projecting an image” and that “the part he’s been playing is now evolving.” Paul Manafort, Trump’s new brain after the demise of Trump’s old brain, Corey Lewandowski, said that there are, in fact, two Donald Trumps. “When he’s out on stage,” said Manafort, “when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose…You’ll start to see more depth of the person, the real person. You’ll see a real different guy.”
He gets it. The part that he’s been playing is evolving into the part that now you’ve been expecting, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to complete the first phase. The negatives will come down. The image is going to change.
Ben Carson reiterated the same message: “He’s trying to moderate. He’s getting better.”
This, of course, means that Trump has been lying.
Or it means that Trump is lying now in order to consolidate mainstream support.
Either way, he’s a liar.
Trump’s opponents have long claimed as much. After Trump apparently told The New York Times that his supposedly passionately-held immigration positions were negotiable, anti-Trump forces asked Trump to release the transcripts; he refused. He then went on to dismiss concerns that he is two-faced; he denied such a notion when expressed by Carson just a few weeks ago.
But now Trump is prepared to swivel. He took the rubes for a ride, and now he’ll flip on a dime and become a passionate statesman. That statesmanship, Trump’s spokespeople said, would help him compete in blue states. “He might not win some of these blue states, but you can make the Democrats spend money and time,” said political director Rick Wiley. Manafort added that Trump would dump more of his own money into the campaign.
Trump isn’t trustworthy, and he never has been. Now he’s using that untrustworthiness as a selling point. That’s clever – it’s worked throughout the campaign actually, since he’s used his corrupt quasi-bribery of public officials as evidence that he knows how to work the system but can’t be bought himself. But it also demonstrates that all those who thought Trump authentic got played. Either that or those who think that Trump will fulfill promises to change now are getting played.
We’ll find out in Stage Two: Trump’s Moderate Revenge. Stay tuned.