Stephanie Cegielski let’s all the beans spill in this open letter to Trump supporters. Do you think this letter will change any minds at this point?
Even Trump’s most trusted advisors didn’t expect him to fare this well.
Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.
The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.
It pains me to say, but he is the presidential equivalent of Sanjaya onAmerican Idol. President Trump would be President Sanjaya in terms of legitimacy and authority.
And I am now taking full responsibility for helping create this monster — and reaching out directly to those voters who, like me, wanted Trump to be the real deal.
My support for Trump began probably like yours did. Similar to so many other Americans, I was tired of the rhetoric in Washington. Negativity and stubbornness were at an all-time high, and the presidential prospects didn’t look promising.
In 2015, I fell in love with the idea of the protest candidate who was not bought by corporations. A man who sat in a Manhattan high-rise he had built, making waves as a straight talker with a business background, full of successes and failures, who wanted America to return to greatness.
I was sold.
Last summer, I signed on as the Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC.
It was still early in the Trump campaign, and we hit the ground running. His biggest competitor had more than $100 million in a Super PAC. The Jeb Bush deep pockets looked to be the biggest obstacle we faced. We seemed to be up against a steep challenge, especially since a big part of the appeal of a Trump candidacy was not being influenced by PAC money.
After the first debate, I was more anxious than ever to support Trump. The exchange with Megyn Kelly was like manna from heaven for a communications director. She appeared like yet another reporter trying to kick out the guest who wasn’t invited to the party. At the time, I felt excited for the change to the debate he could bring. I began realizing the man really resonates with the masses and would bring people to the process who had never participated before.
That was inspiring to me.
It wasn’t long before every day I awoke to a buzzing phone and a shaking head because Trump had said something politically incorrect the night before. I have been around politics long enough to know that the other side will pounce on any and every opportunity to smear a candidate.
But something surprising and absolutely unexpected happened. Every other candidate misestimated the anger and outrage of the “silent majority” of Americans who are not a part of the liberal elite. So with each statement came a jump in the polls. Just when I thought we were finished, The Donald gained more popularity.
I don’t think even Trump thought he would get this far. And I don’t even know that he wanted to, which is perhaps the scariest prospect of all.
He certainly was never prepared or equipped to go all the way to the White House, but his ego has now taken over the driver’s seat, and nothing else matters. The Donald does not fail. The Donald does not have any weakness. The Donald is his own biggest enemy.
A devastating terrorist attack in Pakistan targeting Christians occurred on Easter Sunday, and Trump’s response was to tweet, “Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve.”
Ignoring the fact that at the time Trump tweeted this (time-stamped 4:37 p.m.) the latest news reports had already placed the number differently at 70 dead, 300 injured, take a moment to appreciate the ridiculous, cartoonish, almost childish arrogance of saying that he alone can solve. Does Trump think that he is making a cameo on Wrestlemania (yes, one of his actual credits)?
This is not how foreign policy works. For anyone. Ever.
Superhero powers where “I alone can solve” problems are not real. They do not exist for Batman, for Superman, for Wrestlemania and definitely not for Donald Trump.
What was once Trump’s desire to rank second place to send a message to America and to increase his power as a businessman has nightmarishly morphed into a charade that is poised to do irreparable damage to this country if we do not stop this campaign in its tracks.
I’ll say it again: Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now.
You can give Trump the biggest gift possible if you are a Trump supporter: stop supporting him.
He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House. He’s achieved that already and then some. If there is any question, take it from someone who was recruited to help the candidate succeed, and initially very much wanted him to do so.
The hard truth is: Trump only cares about Trump.
And if you are one of the disaffected voters — one of the silent majority like me — who wanted a candidate who could be your voice, I want to speak directly to you as one of his biggest advocates and supporters.
He is not that voice. He is not your voice. He is only Trump’s voice.
Trump is about Trump. Not one of his many wives. Not one of his many “pieces of ass.” He is, at heart, a self-preservationist.
In fact, many people are not aware of the Trump campaign’s internal slogan, but I will tell you. It is stolen from a make-believe television presidency onThe West Wing where Martin Sheen portrayed President Bartlet. The slogan on the show amongst the idealistic group of Bartlet’s staff was “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet.”
Inside the Trump camp, the slogan became “Let Trump Be Trump.”