Memo to Trump supporters: Sorry folks, you've been had.
While polls are tightening and Hillary Clinton's email scandal has resurfaced, Donald Trump is unlikely to be president. Beyond the fact that he is unfit, unqualified, and a danger to democracy, Trump never seemed to want the job.
Being president is too complicated for a brain that functions in 140-character bursts. Plus, the $400,000 salary would only cover a couple of paintings of himself. And he would have to pay income taxes.
Trump's scorched-earth campaign has been more about feeding his ego and extending his brand. Rather than go after undecided and independent voters in the closing weeks, Trump has whined about a rigged election, ripped the media, and threatened to sue the 12 women who allege he sexually assaulted them.
At times, it seems as if Trump is trying to lose. Last week, he stopped holding major GOP fund-raisers and interrupted his campaign to promote the grand opening of a hotel. The Trump campaign has spent more money on hats than on polling.
So what's his endgame? To borrow a Trump line, "many people are saying" he plans to launch a TV network. Trump has denied the reports, though his campaign recently began streaming a talk show on Facebook.
Trump TV makes sense. He would have an instant audience of angry white guys in Barcaloungers. One of Trump's debate advisers, Roger Ailes, who was recently forced out of running Fox News for sexual harassment, would likely relish taking on his old employer.
Trump's campaign chief executive, Stephen Bannon, is on leave from Breitbart Media, the extreme right-wing website that peddles conspiracy theories and hate. A Bannon-led Trump TV network would make the Fox anchors look like Walter Cronkite.
Trump already has a cadre of washed-up hypocrites in search of relevance and a paycheck to serve as talking heads. Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Chris Christie could fill hours of programming with crazy talk and fact-free blather.
So where does that leave the Trump supporters?
They were attracted to Trump because he was an outsider who was not afraid to tell it like it is. He was going to blow up Washington, bring back manufacturing jobs from overseas, deport immigrants here illegally, support torture, and block Muslims from entering the country.
Or so they thought. But the reality is Trump never had a real plan. His campaign consisted mainly of catchphrases ("Build a Wall") and 3 a.m. tweets. Most of his ideas were overly simplistic and unworkable. He devoted much of the campaign to attacking women and minorities.
Trump has no capacity to lead. He couldn't even get along with his own party, let alone Democrats. Trump seemed more eager to suck up to Vladimir Putin, something that would have made Ronald Reagan blanch.
Trump's boast of grabbing women by the genitals showed he remains a spoiled country-club brat who thinks the rules don't apply to him. Hard to imagine how someone so conceited and demeaning was ever going to be the champion of the downtrodden.
Trump's eagerness to throw Clinton in jail demonstrated his disregard for the rule of law. His loose talk about using nuclear weapons underscored his real danger.
Granted, many voters are angry and frustrated with Washington. The political class answers to lobbyists and corporate interests - not average citizens. But Trump was never the solution.
Trump's racist rhetoric alone disqualifies him for the job. Even if you can somehow put that aside, Trump's supporters are voting against their self-interest.
A report by Moody's Analytics said Trump's policies would lead to a recession that would result in the loss of 3.5 million jobs, while increasing unemployment to 7 percent. Home prices would fall, as would the stock market. Goodbye, 401(k).
Trump's plan to tax imports from China and Mexico would hurt growth, increase prices on many goods, and lead to more inflation, according to Moody's. "The economy will be significantly weaker if Mr. Trump's economic proposals are adopted," the report said.
Trump's plans would also leave the country deeper in debt. His proposed tax cuts would add nearly $10 trillion to the debt over 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Trump's proposal to reduce nondefense domestic spending by 1 percent a year, excluding entitlement programs, would result in cuts for veterans' programs and border security, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The reality is Trump doesn't care about anyone but Trump. He has been involved in thousands of lawsuits over the years. Many suits involve small-business owners and individuals that he or his companies stiffed.
Trump's companies have also been cited numerous times for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage. Trump's supposed business acumen doesn't jibe with his many companies that went bust.
Trump is a grifter who played his supporters like the gamblers that flocked to his now-bankrupt casinos: They were easy marks.