And it’s, “Hi ho, silver lining,”
Anywhere you go now, baby.
I see your sun is shining,
But I won’t make a fuss,
Though its obvious.
– Scott English & Larry Weiss
Ever since Donald Trump dared hackers in Russia to break into Hillary Clinton’s computer in the interest of finding missing emails at a press conference in Florida on July 27, 2016, and in the aftermath of the same thing actually happening two days later, the Donald’s behavior has become increasingly bizarre and erratic. On August 2 alone, he found time to offer petty slams at both President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton via Twitter, made withering comments about fellow Republicans Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House; John McCain, a Senator from Arizona and Kelly Ayotte, a Senator from New Hampshire to The Washington Post for taking issue with his belittling the parents of an Humayan Khan, an American Muslim serviceman who was killed in combat; and during his rally in Ashburn, Virginia he callously ejected a woman with a crying baby and accepted a veteran’s gift of a Purple Heart medal, despite having received multiple draft deferments during the Vietnam war and the fact that he once ridiculed John McCain’s military record:
“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
Trump has also refused to back House Speaker Paul Ryan in his primary battle, a gesture that has severely infuriated Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus.
More recently, on the morning of August 3, 2016, Joe Scarborough reported on his television program Morning Joe that Donald Trump repeatedly asked a foreign policy expert:
“If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?”
On the day of Donald Trump’s rally in Virginia, renowned clinical psychologist George Simon remarked that Donald Trump has been showing signs of denial, narcissism, a sense of entitlement, and living in an alternate reality, then noted:
“That’s a common thing for people with character disturbances to do. It’s not that they don’t know what they do, it’s simply that they feel entitled to do it. And Donald Trump, by the way, is not the only person who has this problem. We live in an age of character disturbance…and we’re getting a real lesson in what can happen when these disturbances come to an extreme.”
Hence, it comes as no surprise that CNN reports that several among Trump’s campaign staff including campaign manager Paul Manafort feel as though they are wasting their time. According to one of Trump’s campaign operatives, who opted for anonymity:
“I did not think he’d be great in a general election, and thought there’d be episodes of paranoia/irrationality, but this is surprising for me. Trump is getting nuttier and nuttier.”
Elsewhere, the morale is low and the frustration is high among several of Trump’s campaign donors, with one in particular fit to be tied over the Donald’s behavior, according to The Hill’s Jonathan Swift:
"I would break his f—ing thumbs if I could" – top Trump donor/fundraiser to me just now.
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 3, 2016
As a result of this, senior Republican officials have been racking their brains for an alternative candidate, anticipating that Donald Trump might bow out of the race. During a New Yorker journalist Mark Singer, under the impression that Donald Trump does not actually want to be President, asked during a talk about his new book Trump & Me at Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.:
“Would a person who really wants to be elected run without a staff, without a ground game state-to-state, without a fundraising network, without any regard for policy nuances, no concept of governance and all the other things that one does to prepare? Can you imagine Trump debating Hillary Clinton?”
Singer then stated:
“I think his greatest fear is losing, period. I think he’s at best very conflicted about it… His ego is — there’s nothing like it really. We’ve never witnessed anyone like this in public life. I mean, people compare Trump to P.T. Barnum, but P.T. Barnum was promoting other acts and things like this, and [Trump] has been promoting himself. There is no real Donald Trump. There is ‘Donald Trump.’ He is his brand… He’s predicated his whole existence on leveraging his name, Donald Trump, and everything that he’s ever done, I thought, has been calculated as an extension of the brand. He’s not a details person, plainly.”
Trump’s lack of concern for his campaign is particularly evident in that while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been airing campaign ads on Ohio television stations and has opened two campaign offices in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area, Donald Trump’s campaign presence in that state is practically nil, despite the fact that Ohio has been a decisive battleground state in Presidential elections dating back to 1896 and that Trump has a goodly amount of supporters in the southern and eastern portions of the state.
According to Stephanie Cegielski, a former Trump public relations staffer:
“His candidacy was a protest candidacy. It pains me to say, but he is the presidential equivalent of Sanjaya on American Idol.”
And meanwhile, Donald Trump is sanguine, seeing nothing wrong.
There is great unity in my campaign, perhaps greater than ever before. I want to thank everyone for your tremendous support. Beat Crooked H!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2016
Little does he know, the joke’s on him. When it comes time for the actual Presidential debates, the election will likely become only a formality.