As the prospect of Donald Trump clinching the Republican nomination for the presidency becomes more probable, I can't help but reflect on an observation that I made during his first primary night "press conference" at Mar-a-Lago: That crowd of elite Americans is precisely who a Trump presidency would represent.
Since that first primary night celebration at Mar-a-Lago, I've only been more troubled by what it tells us about a potential Trump presidency. Both the environment and attendees demonstrate how out of touch Donald Trump is with the experiences of everyday Americans.
First, consider the environment. In a place of unquestionable opulence, Trump addresses the American public. Mar-a-Lago is not some football field in middle America, instead it is a significant distance from the places where middle class Americans, not to mention Americans living in poverty, are likely to find themselves for a relaxing afternoon.
Of course, Trump has had his fair share of well-attended rallies in public spaces, however, when it comes to celebrating his victories, he has chosen to do so behind the gates of the well-insulated grandeur of Mar-a-Lago. What does this tell us about Donald? When it comes to celebrating, he's most comfortable doing it in a familiar environment, an environment that is something 99% of Americans have not had the opportunity to experience.
Second, scan the crowd at these victory press conferences and you quickly realize that these are not ordinary Americans. These are "club members" who represent a small percentage of Americans that can afford the membership fees for the club -- the membership fees that contribute significantly to Donald Trump's coffers. Through these membership fees, they now have an added perk: Unprecedented access to the presumptive Republican nominee for the highest office in the land.
As wealthy club members mingle over champagne and pose for photos in front of a step-and-repeat, it's clear who a President Donald would choose to celebrate with. In fact, speaking from the podium, he frequently refers to the club's "members" in a way that is perhaps a foreshadowing of the interests that would be represented by Trump should he get the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Don't let the rhetoric fool you, he may be "self-funding" his campaign, but the funds he's using are from individuals and corporations that Donald is just as beholden to as any politician accepting a traditional political contribution.
Anyone who thinks Trump is going to represent the average American is gravely mistaken. Mar-a-Lago, and Trump's other investments, tell us a lot about who he has chosen to represent not only in this campaign, but also throughout all of his business dealings. The attendees at Trump's primary victory events, his friends (aka "club members"), are quite clearly the people he has chosen to surround himself with.
In a letter on the Club's website, Trump refers to it as, "one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world." Perhaps "private club" is what Trump has in mind for the White House should the American people extend a carte blanche invitation to him.