What is Donald Trump’s Endgame?

Los Angeles, CA (TFC) – Ever since Donald Trump’s entrance into the race for the presidency, the American public, whether they support him or not, has been captivated.  His meteoric rise in the Republican field, which has been fueled by his brash and unapologetic personality, has shocked much of the country.  Trump has not been without controversy and his rambling statements and shocking “policy positions” have caused many people to dismiss him as either crazy, delusional, or attention-seeking.  However, the course of this rather strange presidential race has left me to conclude that there is, in fact, a method behind Donald Trump’s madness.

Since Donald Trump entered the presidential race, people have speculated as to his intentions.  Many view his statements to simply be the ramblings of a crazy or delusional person.  Many others believe that he is using the presidential race to generate self-publicity.  However, some observers have proposed theories that attempt to rationalize Trump’s behavior.  There is one such theory that has captured my attention and I believe that this theory carries some merit.  This theory claims that Donald Trump’s presidential bid is an attempt to help the Democrats, and specifically Hillary Clinton, to win the presidential race.

The notion that Donald Trump is trying to help Hillary Clinton win the election initially seems far-fetched.  However, if you examine the ties between the Clinton and Trump families, this theory becomes more plausible.  The relationship between these two families is rather close as Trump has donated large amounts of money to Hillary’s charitable foundation and has previously praised her abilities.  The Clintons also attended Trump’s wedding and Bill and Donald have played golf with each other in the past.  Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton also reportedly have developed a close friendship.  This provides further evidence, despite Hillary’s denials, that these two families have a close relationship.  Given these ties, it seems rather strange that these two families are running against each other in the presidential race.  This, combined with the fact that Bill Clinton and Donald Trump talked on the phone shortly before Trump launched his campaign, have raised suspicions about collusion between the two presidential candidates.

Donald Trump’s behavior on the campaign trail seems to support the theory that he is colluding with Hillary Clinton.  Trump has made many incendiary and offensive statements about Latinos and Muslims.  This is rather strange because it is well known that the Latino vote is playing an increasingly important role in American politics and that such statements would be damaging to the Republican Party as a whole.  However, it appears that there is a reason for this as Anthony Zurcher from BBC, claims that Trump’s inflammatory statements have coincided with the release of potentially embarrassing revelations about the Democrats.  Thus, he argues that Trump has effectively been drawing negative media attention away from the Democrats.

Trump’s rhetoric has also harmed the other Republican candidates.  The popularity of Trump’s divisive rhetoric has forced his opponents to explicitly take sides on contentious issues, like immigration.  This is particularly damaging to establishment Republicans who would likely prefer to remain more ambiguous on these issues.  This has effectively pushed many of these candidates further to the right, which could damage their prospects in the general election.

Image Source: Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons Donald Trump Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Image Source: Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons
Donald Trump
Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Lastly, Trump has alluded to the possibility that he could run as an independent candidate if the Republican Party treated him “unfairly.”  Trump later backtracked on this possibility by promising to support the eventual Republican candidate.  However, he did so only a week after making a veiled threat of launching a third-party presidential campaign, which makes me doubt the sincerity of his pledge.  If Trump were to run as an independent, it would likely split the Republican Party which would greatly harm their chances of contesting the Democrats in the general election.

In light of all this information, I believe that Trump’s aim is to split the Republican vote to help the Democrats win the election.  It would appear that Trump has the means and a plausible motive for doing so.  Furthermore, it seems that he is setting the stage to split the Republican Party.  Donald Trump boycotted the Fox News debate ahead of the Iowa Caucus, because he claimed that Megyn Kelly was treating him unfairly.  In addition, following his disappointing loss at the Iowa Caucus, Trump alleged that Ted Cruz engaged in voter fraud.  These accusations allow Trump to claim that the Republican Party is treating him unfairly.  This would give him a pretext for launching a third-party campaign, which would likely draw votes away from the Republican Party.

Given that Trump appears to have a close relationship with the Clintons and his actions are to their benefit, it seems reasonable to question whether his entire campaign is an attempt to help Hillary.  I admit that I could be wrong and that Donald Trump really might just be a lunatic who wants to be president.  However, I think the evidence indicates otherwise and that all of this is a Machiavellian plot to help Hillary win the presidency.

However, this plan might fail to come to fruition as there are still many things that can go wrong.  The main threat to this plan is that Donald Trump’s support implodes.  Following his disappointing performance at Iowa, this is a real possibility if Trump fails to gain momentum at the New Hampshire primary.  This plot could also be derailed if Hillary Clinton were to fail to win the Democratic nomination, which is within the realm of possibility.

I realize that this narrative might sound like a conspiracy theory to some.  However, I believe that there is strong circumstantial evidence that supports it.  Furthermore, I am not the only one who subscribes to this theory and even some elements of the Republican Party have made similar accusations.  Only time will tell whether this theory is eventually vindicated.  Either way, I think that we have a very eventful presidential race to look forward to.