Trump on the Trail. Looking Back. Why the Irrational Confidence?

Did he know something the rest of us didn’t?

The unofficial release of the Trump dossier (the Steele Report) along with assertions going back many months of “close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government” (Harry Reid reported by CNN) raises suspicions about how much Trump knew in advance. The near-blind arrogance of certain notorious statements — for example, he said he could shoot someone and still get elected — evinced an outrageous level of confidence in a candidate with so few qualifications and practically no established political allies at the time. To the average spectator Trump appeared possessed by something close to delirium. He seemed so certain of winning despite the odds that he almost appeared to be gloating over certain triumph in advance.

Even for a celebrity billionaire that attitude was perversely reckless and normally would invite decisive failure. The normative thinking at the time was How could such a man ever be trusted in high office?

Also, he threatened an investigation into tampering if Clinton won. In other words, he was so confident of winning that he assumed the only way Clinton could win was by cheating.

Is the explanation for the above simply that Trump is a reckless, unstable, and politically tactless man who felt for some mysterious reason that he was going to beat the roulette wheel 25 times in a row because he was favored by fortune? Or could there be another basis for his invincible and irrational confidence?

Reid’s reference above to documented allegations (apparently found in the Steele Report) may provide an answer. Quite simply, it may have been the case that Trump knew he was going to win because of “coordination” between his camp and Russian operatives. How would that work?

It is possible that he knew that a relationship existed between Russian cyber operatives, Wikileaks, and his own high-level operatives that involved a plan to dump files related to the DNC and Clinton, and to acquire strategic information.

One possible sequence might be that the hacking of the DNC provided the Trump camp with important information on DNC strategy thereby allowing better calculations in Trump’s campaigning — especially regarding outlay for ads. You may have read that Trump’s campaign was extremely efficient financially. Each vote cost significantly less than each Clinton vote. DNC files may have revealed weaknesses in the Clinton strategy that otherwise would not have been known by the Trump camp. This hypothesis would explain a lot about the election results. Trump could concentrate more on regions and districts that were weak for the Democrats; they could concentrate on areas where democrats had under invested.

With possible knowledge of this strategic advantage and of the eventual disclosure of what were essentially DNC secrets, Trump may have had good reason for what appeared to be highly irrational confidence.