Yesterday, Erick posted a piece that is well worth reading that details Trump’s attempts to woo him a few years back with free trips to Mar-a-Lago and such. It is entirely in keeping with Trump’s MO and I’m not sure anyone, including Trump supporters, has any reason to disbelieve Erick’s story. After all, there was never any quid-pro-quo offered, just some nice, free vacation time from a very famous rich person and Obama critic. Who would turn such a thing down or find it nefarious in and of itself?
Erick, as you’ll note, turned down the offer, but he is right to question – if Trump went to such lengths to woo him, even as relatively unknown as he was back then, to what lengths did he go with other prominent conservative pundits? How many were awed by the Trump glam, and brought into his favor with free trips to Mar-a-Lago and comped stays to first class hotels? How many accepted the showering of gifts from Trump and then found themselves in either in an awkward position or just bowled over by their perceived personal friendship with Trump when Trump declared for the presidency?
Many people have asked how so many allegedly conservative pundits could have abandoned their principles when Trump showed up on the scene and treated him like a legitimate expression of conservatism when he clearly opposed everything they had ostensibly stood for for years. The Occam’s Razor explanation is that they were bought – not with any sort of quid-pro-quo exchange of cash; just with the outpouring of seemingly unprompted generosity that caused them to feel personal loyalty towards Trump or to just not question his assertions as aggressively as they would literally any other candidate who had never sent them on an all-expenses-paid trip to Mar-a-Lago and made them feel like a VIP.
It’s a question worth asking of the early Trump adopters in particular. The late adopters are doing it just out of a misguided sense of party loyalty, but the ones who jumped on the Trump Train from day one jumped in aggressively and with both feet, as they would for someone who they believed was a close friend or who had done a lot of good things for them and their families. And if Trump tried with Erick, it beggars the imagination that he didn’t try – and succeed – with many others.