Remember how the last Harry Potter movie took one book and turned it into two movies? Or how Peter Jackson turned the single book The Hobbit into three movies? Well now we've got one personality playbook trying to define four presidential terms. That is, if Trump and his fans get their way.
We in the conservative movement, in Republican circles, we here at RedState, we activists online ... we've often made fun of President Obama's habit of making everything about himself. From Rosa Parks' bus to Nelson Mandela's funeral, it's all about him. It's a gross personality trait he is probably unaware of, not being able to see himself from any point of view but his own.
And Donald Trump is pretty much exactly the same way.
Last night, as has been well-covered here at RedState, Trump held his own event as counter-programming to the final GOP Primary Debate. Next week, Iowa caucuses. Trump's event was designed to take away ratings from Fox (the better to teach them a lesson), to aggrandize the Donald himself (the better to get votes with), and finally, to have a side benefit for America's veterans.
And hey, that's not my snark talking. It's straight from the billionaire horse's mouth.
Did you listen to that? If not, listen to that. He's literally saying that he put on the veteran's benefit in order to stick up for himself, and that he'd rather not have had to do that. Seriously, can you hear that? I'm asking. I'd rather be doing something else, but I had to do this in order to stick up for ME. That's what he just said!
Yesterday, we noted that not only were no vet groups listed on Donald's donation website for the event, as either participants or recipients, but also that his spokesperson couldn't name even one just three or so hours before the event began. We did have a list of some vets groups though. They were the ones who were stating they'd have no part of Trump's fundraiser because they saw it as a stunt.
I'm going to restate this again. Vets groups said this was a crass political stunt. Then Trump himself said he staged it as a defense of himself for being mistreated by Fox News. That can't be repeated enough.
Let me tell you something. Fundraisers for veteran groups are a great thing. We've covered them here at RedState. I've participated in them as have several others here. We have many vets at RedState, both among the contributors and the readership. Veteran support groups are wonderful organizations for the most part, and raising money for them is great, and it is great when they get big donations.
During the early morning hours, CNN updated their report on Trump's lack of named vet groups, saying that despite Trump's son claiming on Twitter there would be a listing during the event, they still had to wait until after the event for an actual list.
What was finally released was a list of 22 charities that will benefit from the nearly $6 million dollars raised, mostly in a few very large donations, including one from Trump himself for a million. Here is that list(pdf).
Long before that list came out though, they had plenty to say on Twitter and on stage about how many cameras he had, how many people showed up, how it was so much more than the debate had, and how their ratings did. Because priorities.
Oh and, don't let's forget about Trump's priorities up to this point. Don't let's forget he constantly brags about being worth over $10 BILLION dollars, and certainly brags about how much he cares for veterans ... when he is not mocking them for being POWs of course.
Even so, I'm happy for the groups that will receive this money, if and when they ever do. I am sure everyone is happy for them. I was in the Marine Corps for six years myself. But it is clear to me that in the community of veterans, and veteran aid organizations, this was seen as exactly what it was: an event primarily for the benefit of Donald J. Trump.
Which once again I remind you, and I can't stress this enough, is exactly what Trump himself says it was. He is telling you that out loud.
But don't let the moment go to waste. The money is now being raised. You can donate through Donald Trump's organization or, as I choose to do, go find your favorite group and donate there today. Raise money for veterans because you want to, because it means something, not because Donald Trump is in another spat. And if you do, let us know in the comments. Here's mine: