If there is one quality that Donald Trump has always regarded as sacrosanct, it’s loyalty. That’s the attribute that he most fervently demands on the part of anyone wishing to associate with him. They must be 100% devoted to his interests. Unfortunately, that has also always been a one-way street.
There are innumerable people who have learned the hard way that no matter how faithful they are to Trump, he will not hesitate to throw them under a fleet of buses when he decides that it’s in interest to do so. He has repeatedly attacked his Ministry of Propaganda (aka Fox News) when they are insufficiently worshipful. And he had no problem banishing his vice-president, Mike Pence, from his good graces when Pence declined to help him undermine democracy.
Now Trump is turning on the Republican Party and anyone in it who dares to use his name or image in any fundraising efforts. Never mind that he has no legal grounds to enforce such demand because the Constitution protects political speech. According to Politico…
“The Trump campaign has sent a warning shot to the Republican Party’s House campaign arm and some of its most prominent digital consultants: Stop using the former president’s image and likeness in your fundraising pitches or you will pay.” […]
“The threat was driven by concern that small-dollar donations that could otherwise be sent to Trump’s own 2024 campaign would instead be diverted to other Republicans.”
Naturally, what is most important to Trump is that he be the sole beneficiary of every money-making operation connected him personally, professionally, and politically. And those who any other politician would regard as an ally, are required to bend to his greed and grifting.
Among the consequences for disobeying Trump are that he would blacklist any offenders from serving in his imaginary, future administration. And firms that implement the use of his hallowed likeness without giving him his cut will be banned from doing any work for his campaign.
Trump’s threat also warned that he would refuse to endorse any candidates who misappropriated his image. Which would be a blessing in disguise since he has often proven to be more hindrance than help. In the 2022 midterm elections, his endorsement was the kiss of death. What’s more, some of the firms he’s threatening are already working for his 2024 rivals, such as Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, and Tim Scott.
Politico points out that this isn’t the first time Trump has issued this self-exalting edict. His campaign legal team sent out cease and desist orders to the Republican National Committee in March of 2021. But because his demand had no legal standing, it was an empty threat and the RNC flatly refused to refrain from using his likeness. There were, therefore, no apparent repercussions, proving once again that Trump is all mouth.
The treachery of Trump is a lesson that Republicans still fail to grasp. Because, as it turns out, experience shows that it would be more detrimental to actually acquiesce to Trump’s demands than to ignore them. As some Republicans found out when they agreed to participate in joint fundraising ventures with Trump…
And yet, there are still glassy-eyed disciples who think that they will get a fair deal with Trump. Which just goes to show how powerful desperation and cult programming can be.
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