Sat. Jun 10th, 2023

By Rick Wilson

There is a moment in the 1999 film The Matrix when Joe Pantoliano’s character Cypher Reagan asks to be reinserted into the simulation that consumed almost all human life on Earth. “Ignorance is bliss…re-insert me into the Matrix. I’ll get you what you want.”

Right now, the Matrix is beckoning even stalwart members of the Never Trump and pro-democracy movement. The temptation to return to the tribal campfire is powerful and persistent.

I have the dubious distinction of being one of — if not the — first Republican strategist to draw the line on Trump far, far back in the dark times of 2015. I never wanted to go back into that Matrix, thought it would have been the smart thing to do financially, personally, and probably mentally.

After all, hundreds of friends and colleagues learned the easy way that once you bent the knee to Trump, the sting of shame and moral compromise faded fast in the comfortable fraternity of Washington life.

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