In a last-ditch effort to stop Donald Trump from trampling all over their presidential primary, billionaires, tech leaders, and establishment Republicans met last weekend on a private resort on Sea Island, Georgia, to come up with a plan.
The Huffington Post reports that attendees of the American Enterprise Institute’s World Forum included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, political operative Karl Rove, House Speaker Paul Ryan, several members of Congress, and business luminaries like Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Larry Page, Napster creator Sean Parker, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, and Tesla founder and libertarian clean energy advocate Elon Musk, who really, really hates Donald Trump. Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, was also in attendance at the off-the-record meeting, and he reportedly wrote in an email that “A specter was haunting the World Forum — the specter of Donald Trump.”
While the event is notoriously secretive, the main attraction (beside the spa), according to insiders, was a presentation by Karl Rove, the Bush policy advisor who has nearly as many scandals linked to his name as Trump himself. Rove reportedly used data from focus groups to show that most Americans don’t view Trump as “presidential” or think he should be “anywhere near a nuclear trigger.” We don’t know where Rove got his data, but a quick Google test tells us basically the same thing.
Of course, Trump’s continuing dominance in the polls and primaries shows that some American voters might not actually have a problem with a man they think is a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler — even an orange-tinted reincarnation who thinks climate change is a liberal hoax and talks about his penis on national television. Regardless, Rove argued at the Forum that Trump’s presumed victory could be thwarted if rivals John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio can siphon off enough votes to deny him a plurality at the Republican National Convention. If that happened, Rove would likely throw his considerable weight behind Kasich or Rubio — anyone else, Rove wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, will lose to his presumed Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
So did the power players down in Georgia come up with plan? Doubtful.
“Whatever becomes of Trump’s campaign,” wrote Sean Illing in Salon, “this much is certain: the people on that island won’t have a say in it. Trump owes his existence to the angry mob supporting him, and that mob was born of decades of Republican propaganda.”
The men of Sea Island, Rove, McConnell, Ryan, among others, have used their political will to spread this propaganda and divide the nation. Whatever plan did or didn’t come of AEI’s forum, it’s almost uplifting that the Republican party elites have found someone besides Obama and his fellow Democrats to dump their rage upon — and it’s someone of their own creation.