Advisers who once hoped a Pygmalion-like transformation would refashion a crudely effective political showman into a plausible American president now increasingly concede that Mr. Trump may be beyond coaching.
Naturally, Trump being Trump, what bothers him most is the suggestions that he pays any attention to advisers at all:
In the article, colleagues who spoke on the condition of anonymity called Trump "exhausted, frustrated and still bewildered by fine points of the political process."
"The failing @nytimes, which never spoke to me, keeps saying that I am saying to advisers that I will change. False, I am who I am-never said" Trump wrote on twitter.
Trump is not accepting reality -- but I can see why he thinks he should be winning.
The Times story says:
[Trump] veers from barking at members of his staff to grumbling about how he was better off following his own instincts during the primaries and suggesting he should not have heeded their calls for change.
... he is in a dire predicament, Republicans say, because he is profoundly uncomfortable in the role of a typical general election candidate, disoriented by the crosscurrents he must now navigate and still relying impulsively on a pugilistic formula that guided him to the nomination.
The multi-ethnic general electorate is very different from the rage-addicted lily-white Republican primary electorate -- but Trump probably believes what he's repeatedly heard: that there's no real difference between the two electorates.
The mainstream media tells us over and over again that both parties are exactly the same with regard to anger (and everything else, for that matter). The MSM says that the Bernie Sanders phenomenon was exactly analogous to the Trump phenomenon, even though Sanders didn't win, and even though the vast majority of Sanders backers are now supporting Hillary Clinton. There are angry Sanders supporters who, like Trump diehards, want the world to burn, but for all their visibility, they're a distinct minority. Trump assumes he should get the votes of all Sanders supporters -- hey, the MSM says both insurgent movements are alike, therefore they must be equally rage-fueled.
And the conservative media's message is that everyone either is or is potentially a conservative Republican. The only reason anyone isn't a conservative Republican is brainwashing (by the "liberal media," by academia, by the "Democrat Party"). This is true, according to the right, across all races. Blacks would be conservative Republicans if they weren't trapped on the "liberal plantation"; all blacks who "think for themselves" instantly migrate to the right. Same thing for Hispanics: They're "culturally conservative" and have "traditional values." So of course Trump has boasted that he'll win the black and Hispanic vote.
The overriding message of the conservative movement for years is that the Democrat currently in the White House was elected by people who aren't really Americans -- they may be citizens and they may vote legally (though that's doubtful!), but it's not their country. We have to take our country back from them. So of course Trump thinks that he should be winning the election -- isn't he winning with "real Americans"?
Trump's confusion is understandable -- and I hope he remains confused and continues his primary-campaign style all the way to November.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog