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Is Adelson Co-Opting Trump... Or Is Trump Co-Opting Adelson?
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May 17, 2016, 07:54 AM
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It turns out the winner of Sheldon Adelson primary is Donald Trump, as our bête noire will now be funding Trump to the tune of a reported $100 million [Sheldon Adelson Is Poised to Give Donald Trump a Donation Boostby Jonathan Martin, New York Times, May 13, 2016] Trump himself is promoting the news as a coup for his campaign and said Adelson is someone he has "tremendous respect" for.

Trump previously mocked Marco Rubio for accepting backing from Adelson, saying that this made the Florida Senator Adelson's "puppet." Not surprisingly, now that Adelson is backing Trump, leftists are mocking that the most "compelling" rationale for Trump's candidacy is being "swept away". [With Adelson ready to invest in Trump, who's the 'puppet' now? by Steve Benen, MSNBC, May 16, 2016]

Of course, a general election is much different than a primary, especially when Trump will being going up against the vaunted Clinton fundraising machine. It's obvious Trump would always need to start raising money once the primaries were over. And his campaign has always explicitly talked about using the resources of the Republican Party once the nomination was secured. Still, if people were expecting Trump to simply burn down the entire GOP and replace it, they are bound to be disappointed. Trump is even talking to Lindsey Graham about foreign policy, not a good sign.

What's going on? Three things.

First, whatever his original intentions, Trump wants to win the general election. To do that, he needs to stamp out any #NeverTrump movement and make sure he can unite the Republican Party the best he can. He is gambling his credibility on issues like trade and immigration will keep his core supporters on board.

Second, Trump is trying to secure resources. Even if Trump liquidated his entire fortune (a tough feat for someone whose wealth is tied up in real estate) it would not be enough for Trump to run the kind of campaign he needs to beat Hillary. Earned media may have pushed Trump over the edge in the primary, but in the general he'll need the kind of campaign infrastructure Trump has skimped on in the past.

The third element is the most interesting - Trump is taking ownership of the party and forcing ideological opponents to get in line. Who, after all, is bowing to whom?

Chris Christie is terrible on immigration but he's since become a Trump surrogate and now must defend Trump's hardline policies on these issues. Reince Priebus, the RNC head, is also defending Trump's policies. When Republicans show resistance to Trump's policies, as Paul Ryan did, Trump attacks them. Trump isn't moving to meet his critics, his critics are moving to him.

They are bending the knee. Nationalists should rejoice. This is how you have to transform the GOP, from a position of strength.

What about Adelson? As Hunter Wallace noted at Occidental Dissent, Adelson's major issue is Israel, and Trump is already in line with Adelson on that issue, especially when it comes to Iran [Donald Trump Wins the Sheldon Adelson PrimaryMay 14, 2016] Adelson is also a vocal proponent of mass immigration (in America, not Israel of course) but it seems likely he'd accept restrictions on immigration if it means America continues to support the Jewish State.

Well Trump cave on immigration? Not long ago, there were reports he'd soon be giving a major speech on the issue. That's the moment we'll know. And if he flip-flops, it won't be the first time. But in the past, when he's shown weakness on immigration, he's flipped back to a strong position after outrage from his base.

Adelson backing Trump is ominous, but inevitable. Any other Republican running on immigration restriction (like Cruz) would have faced the same same situation.

Don't trust anyone, not even the would be God-Emperor. But there's no reason to panic or scream 'betrayal!' At least not yet.