Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Trump’s vanity kills his own convention


To believe the crazy conspiracy theory pushed by some supporters of Donald Trump, the campaign intentionally set up Texas Senator Ted Cruz to be booed off the stage. Supposedly the campaign orchestrated the whole thing.

Oh, wait, it’s not a crazy conspiracy theory. It’s being reported by Ben Shapiro and others. Donald Trump and his minions, after seeing an advance copy of Cruz’s speech, decided it was more important to settle a personal score with the one-time rival rather than have a error-free convention night with a speech by Governor Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, as the highlight. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort even orchestrated the booing by delegates, and Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump became the only moment worth remembering from the night.
ted cruz
It was absurd of Trump to expect an endorsement from Cruz after Trump insulted Heidi Cruz and accused the senator’s father of having a role in the Kennedy assassination. Trump, however, keeps harping about the “pledge” the candidates signed at the beginning of the campaign when it appeared Trump might run as an independent instead. Of course, Trump never considered himself bound by the pledge and threatened several times not to endorse the winner of the Republican nomination if it wasn’t him.

The Trump campaign was under no obligation to let Cruz speak. They could’ve imposed the condition on Cruz’s speech that the senator had to endorse Trump. Even when they saw the prepared remarks, they could’ve refused to let Cruz speak, although it would have been more difficult. Instead, they let Cruz go on, and then (supposedly) they whipped up the crowd to boo Cruz off the stage.

This incident comes after three days of lying about the plagiarism in Melania Trump’s speech and the non-stop carping about Ohio Governor John Kasich’s absence from the convention. It comes after Trump upstaged his own speaker on the Benghazi attack by calling into Bill O’Reilly to complain about Kasich. And if the Cruz distraction wasn’t enough, Trump has an interview in Thursday’s’s New York Times in which he says he would completely undermine our security commitments to NATO. Because, of course, he needed to be in the spotlight rather than let his vice presidential pick have a moment to try to unify the Republican Party.

Trump’s own vanity is more important than a successful convention launching his presidential campaign. Somehow that’s supposed to instill in a national audience the confidence in Trump’s leadership. If we can’t trust Trump to put aside his pettiness and his vanity for four days for his own best interest, how are we supposed to trust Trump to set aside his pettiness and his vanity for four years so he can be a successful president?

Four years from now, how will Ted Cruz's refusal to endorse Trump be remembered?

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