How Donald Trump conned conservatives

The reality of a con doesn’t truly set in until you know you’ve been had with no chance of an exit – a Trexit, if you will. At this point, solely to save face, you’ll scramble to convince others and most importantly yourself that it isn’t that bad and pretty much what you wanted in the first place.

This is the predicament many of Donald Trump’s fiercest supporters find themselves in after his most stunning flip-flop yet. Newsflash: the original vote-garnering plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants is not going to happen.

Instead, the attempted new and kinder politics (has he been taking tips from Jeremy Corbyn?) from The Donald has offered up some thoughts that it’s “tough” to deport those who’ve been here for a long time and if they pay back taxes then all will be fine and dandy. I know, it doesn’t sound like him either.

No one has been left smarting more than Ann Coulter, the renowned author so strongly supportive of the real estate magnate since he announced his candidacy last June.

She has already stated that the tour for her new book In Trump We Trust could be the “shortest book-tour ever” if he comes up empty on immigration. But, true to the form of somebody too far invested to get out at this late stage, Coulter herself now seems to be softening on the issue.

“Perhaps it is in our interest to let some of them stay,” she mused, buyer’s remorse on full display. After all, the wall’s still going up, for now, and shipping 11 million out was never going to work anyway, was it? And some of them, I suppose, are good people – aren’t they? Correct, Ann.

It’s a far cry from the chatter that had Coulter and co stumping for Trump as he battled off RINOs and Lyin’ Ted prior to and during the primaries. While Trump himself may never have been committed, Coulter and the likes of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) – who is reluctantly contemplating concessions – were then and are now.

But they are in such a hole, with trusted conservative Cruz long gone and Trump confirmed as the nominee, that they have little choice but to stay on the train. After all, what happens if conservatives back out on Trump now? They get Hillary Clinton. And whatever the fallout of the GOP cart crashing and burning in November, it still wouldn’t be as bad as aiding a Clinton victory. The doors are locked and they’re in it to win it, at whatever cost to their principles – except for Cruz, who now looks ripe for a second coming should Trump fall short.

While it’s true that Trump’s bid is not entirely fuelled by his immigration stance (during the primaries, many Republican voters cited the economy as their biggest concern, particularly further north), his positions in this field have dominated his campaign’s narrative.

Hence, flip-flops in other areas were forgivable, with Trump voters consoling themselves that whatever happens in other areas, the immigration package is being sold as promised.

Conservatives are now lumped with a candidate espousing similar views to Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich, without the much-needed caveats of electoral advantage and smooth delivery. At least with those weak, low-energy choices, the chances of getting into the most obscene and unnecessary spats is negligible. Even in the unlikelihood these incidents haven’t done Trump damage, they certainly haven’t helped and have prevented him from going all-out on (Crooked) Hillary.

We now have a scenario where the new, admittedly 70-year-old kid on the political block is forcing some give out of even the most hardened immigration voices. Perhaps he is the ultimate negotiator after all.

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