In 1910, a group of banksters and politicos secretly met on Jekyll Island and birthed the Federal Reserve — a strange public-private hybrid of privately-owned banks that act as America’s central bank with limited government supervision. (See “Federal Reserve’s Secret Taxpayer-Funded $12 Trillion Bail-Out of Global Banks“)
In early March 2016, another group of extremely wealthy élites also met secretly on an island a mere skip, hop, and jump away from the infamous Jekyll Island, this time to devise a plot against Donald Trump. (See Trail Dust’s “About the Saint Simon’s Island Meeting“)
In yet another sign that Establishment Republicans are extremely worried about a Trump presidential candidacy, a group of billionaires and Republican political élites attended the secretive annual World Forum of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute (AEI), held in a luxury resort on Sea Island, Georgia, March 3-6, 2016.
As reported by Huffington Post, the main topic at the closed-to-the-press meeting was “How to stop Republican front-runner Donald Trump.”
Borrowing the opening lines of nothing less than Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto — and entirely oblivious to the irony of a conservative mouthing a communist — Bill Kristol, founder of the supposedly-conservative magazine Weekly Standard, wrote in an emailed report from the AEI meeting:
“A specter was haunting the World Forum — the specter of Donald Trump. There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated.”
GOP political guru Karl Rove gave a presentation outlining Trump’s weaknesses. Rove insisted voters would have a hard time seeing Trump as “presidential,” which must be why they are turning out in droves to vote for him. [Sarc]
Here’s a list of the AEI World Forum attendees:
(1) High-tech billionaires:
- Apple CEO Tim Cook
- Google co-founder Larry Page
- Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker
- Tesla Motors and SpaceX honcho Elon Musk
(2) GOP political élites:
- Political guru Karl Rove
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky)
- House Speaker Paul Ryan
- Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Ben Sasse (Neb.).
- Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (Mich.)
- Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas)
- Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)
- Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.),
- Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.)
- Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas)
- Diane Black (Tenn.)
In addition to the Sea Island meeting, according to Bloomberg, there are yet other “stop Trump” conspiracies: “A trio of conservative groups not affiliated with any candidate has spent about $28 million against [Trump], mostly on negative ads that aired in the past few weeks. So far, the effort has failed to dent his popularity.”
According to FEC filings, contributors to the “stop Trump” conservative groups include:
- The Warren brothers, Stephens and Jackson, who gave a total of $3.5 million last month to two of the groups, on top of $500,000 last year. Stephens Warren has given a total of $300,000 to super-PACs supporting Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie, all of whom have since dropped out.
- The Ricketts family of Omaha, Nebraska have given $5 million since January.
- New York hedge-fund manager Paul Singer gave $1 million.
- San Francisco investor William Oberndorf gave $500,000.
- Club for Growth: A super-PAC run by Club for Growth (CFG), a powerful conservative group that pushes for limited government and lower taxes, is one of the first organizations to take on Trump. According to The New York Times, the super PAC raised $4 million in February, three times as much as it had raised any other month this election cycle. Donors include:
- The Warren brothers gave $2.5 million in February.
- Richard Uihlein, an Illinois shipping-supplies manufacturer who backed Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign last year, gave the Club for Growth $500,000.
- Richard Gaby, who gave $50,000 to a super PAC backing former Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
- Robert Arnott, a California-based investor who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into groups backing Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
- Robert Mercer, who backs Ted Cruz, gave $100,000.
- A political network led by billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch, which is the biggest and deepest-pocketed independent political force in the conservative world.
To beat Trump, you need to figure out how to tap into the same anger and yes, in some cases the same perceived narrow-mindedness, of his support base and you need to give them an alternative that addresses their concerns without resorting to the same type of bombastic rhetoric that so alarms the frontrunner’s detractors.
Like it or not, Trump’s support base are voters. They’re also Americans. It’s more important to understand what they want and why than it is to disparage the man they think should lead the country. Until someone in the GOP figures that out, the party won’t stand a chance of stopping Trump.
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