One of the biggest running jokes of the campaign season has been Trump’s repeated assertion that he hires “the best people” in spite of all the evidence to the contrary (which is quite a lot). Trump himself has proven remarkably resilient and has far surpassed expectations, mainly due to the fact that people vastly underestimated the number of idiots who exist in this country – a mistake that Trump did not make.

But up and down the board, Trump’s actual campaign operatives have been unmitigated disasters, as evidenced by the manifold ways in which Ted Cruz and his organization ran circles around them from start to finish. A campaign that intentionally sends Katrina Pierson and Omarosa out to talk to the press doesn’t really have competent people on hand.

Buried in this CNN article, Trump’s campaign operatives have explained why Trump always seems to be relying on people who are in over their heads:

Several Republicans who have been approached by the campaign say the organization has struggled to hire even for some of the most basic functions — like communications and advance. Several younger staffers who have been approached as potential hires tell CNN they worried their professional reputations would be at stake if they were associated with Trump’s more inflammatory rhetoric.
As Trump continues to stir controversy, some donors don’t want their names on checks that go to Trump effort. Some are very carefully navigating the different fundraising committees set up by the RNC to ensure that their money is earmarked solely to help the party and other Republican candidates running in 2016.

This is the calculation that anyone with a lick of sense is making right now. Trump may or may not be able to survive saying that he can’t get a fair shake from a judge because the judge is Mexican. He survived mocking a disabled person for his disability, after all. Maybe he’ll stun us all and come out of this thing still being able to walk about in polite company.

On the other hand, unless your name is Donald Trump, you cannot possibly hope to do so. Everyone who is actually working for the Trump campaign knows that unless Trump is a) actually elected and b) a relatively successful President, they are done working in politics for good. No one wants to have on their resume that they worked for the guy who made fun of women, minorities, and the disabled, and then got destroyed in the general. Being associated with Trump is going to be even more damaging than being Trump, by far.

The end result of this, of course, is that Trump is going to have to continue to rely on the formula of “Trump being Trump” for success. He’s going to have to hope that his earned media drawing power carries him almost exclusively to the finish, since his fundraising and ground apparatus will probably continue to be as incompetent and amateurish as the rest of his campaign has been.