Donald Trump heads for personal and professional disaster as billionaire “boys club” members bail on his brands and pile-up cash to derail his presidential ambitions.
Faster than a speeding bullet train, Donald Trump is driving his presidential campaign and personal fortunes over the cliff of no return, and the Billionaire’s Boys Club is cheering him on. In fact, they’re giving him unprecedented help. According to the Washington Post, by the end of July, the latest reporting period, they’ve lined up to give him an appropriate burial in the graveyard of shattered dreams and unrealized ambitions. The top ten “donors” to the “Dump Trump” effort have given a staggering, record-breaking total of $170 million, a princely sum even by billionaire standards.
Just last week, the co-founder of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz, very publicly chipped in $20 million in the war effort to defeat Trump’s candidacy, calling it, “…quite possibly a deliberate con.” For someone who’s never waded into the murky waters of presidential politics before, Moskovitz’s contribution is making quite a splash. Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, another member of the exclusive California Billionaire’s Boys Club, has coughed up a whopping $39 million to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office, and that’s not chump change…even for the west coast mega-wealthy.
While typical Democratic heavyweight donors, like George Soros and Donald Sussman, can be counted on to write ten or twenty million dollar checks for any of the party’s presidential nominees, 2016 is unprecedented in that so many of the super-rich are weighing and chipping in because this is personal–very personal and dangerous. Donald Trump has become an embarrassment, a liability, an existential threat to their own fortunes and way of life. Common folks, brandishing pitchforks and crying, “Kill her!” do not warm the hearts of the moneyed class, nor are they going to embrace a candidate who incites such vitriol and rage among the masses.
One well-known member of the Billionaire’s Boys Club, Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has decided to put his mouth and fame where his money is. In a recent interview on FOX, (see video) he came out swinging against Trump and has now been banned from appearing on the network. Stumping for Hillary Clinton this last weekend, the high-tech guru turned sports team owner, eviscerated her opponent on National Public Radio. “Yeah, I mean, look, Donald Trump has got [an] unlimited number of insecurities. But the No. 1 one thing, I would say, is his insecurity with his intellect.” Ouch, that has to hurt any would-be president! And considering only months before in the primary season Cuban reached out multiple times to the tarnished reality television star and high-end developer trying to gauge whether or not to back his candidacy…it surely speaks volumes how Cuban came away with such a bad taste in his mouth.
Some would think the two would be natural allies. Cuban, the Dallas billionaire, with his own successful reality TV series, Shark Tank (where he and three other wealthy business people listen to sales pitches from would-be entrepreneurs), has decided that Trump isn’t a gamble worth taking. So who exactly, among the ultra-rich, supports the flailing candidate? Inquiring minds would like to know, and oddly enough, the usual suspects are not among them.
The infamous industrialists, Charles and David Koch, America’s second wealthiest family and staunch supporters of all things Republican, quietly decided to sit the presidential election out in 2016 and concentrate on down-ballot races. Another reliably Republican member of the Billionaire’s Boys Club, Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino impresario, has yet to place an actual bet on the bombastic New Yorker’s bid for the White House, although he did meet with Trump in August and cautioned him reign in the over-the-top rhetoric. Again, given Trump’s background in games of chance on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, why is no one willing to take a gamble on one of their own?
Quite possibly, the Midas touch and its gold-plated patina have worn incredibly thin and gotten under the skin of those who know how easily great fortunes ebb and flow. Fired from his own now-defunct reality show, The Apprentice, in addition to his colossal casino bankruptcy in New Jersey, maybe the Trump brand isn’t what it once was.
Could it be that in the stratosphere of tremendous wealth, all that glitters isn’t actually gold?
Few of us will ever know, but it certainly seems like at least, inside the Billionaire’s Boys Club, they certainly know a loser when they see one.