I Don’t Know What Trump Believes – Neither Does He
I understand popular support for Donald Trump.
It’s a way for the middle class to give the establishment the middle finger. They feel betrayed by the elites of both parties. They see a Republican Party that regularly shoves candidates like Mitt (Obama is a “nice guy”) Romney and Jeb (illegal immigration is an act of love) Bush at them and Democrats who offer them a choice between a chronic liar and a classic loon.
They loathe the media. They think political correctness is moronic. They believe politicians will create jobs when turnips sprout wings and fly to the moon. Illegal immigration infuriates them. They’re sick of listening to knee-jerk celebrities spout pretentious nonsense. Hearing cops slandered, our military denigrated, our allies abused, and our enemies exalted, makes them see red. Their way of life is disappearing before their eyes.
I get Trump supporters. What I don’t get is Donald Trump. I could say that I believe in unicorns, fairy dust and the little people – and that someone called Caitlyn Jenner is a woman – but not that Trump is a conservative. Then again, labels really don’t apply to Trump. I don’t know what Donald Trump is. Neither does Donald Trump. For him, issues are slogans to shout at rallies – applause lines.
In the last Republican debate, as between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump said he’s “sort of a neutral guy.” Besides, it doesn’t help to take sides. But he’s also “very pro-Israel” and Obama has “treated Israel horribly.” Trump is parroting the left’s moral-equivalency argument: That between a loyal ally and a breeding ground for terrorism, we must remain detached to further an imaginary peace process. One of Trump’s favorite applause lines is “We have a serious problem with radical Islam.” What does he think the Palestinians are – mainstream Methodists?
If you don’t like any of his positions, just wait; it could change in the blink of an eye. You can talk about Mitt Romney’s flip-flops. But Donald Trump’s brain is a revolving door.
He says he wants to defund Planned Parenthood because he’s “very pro-life.” Still, “Millions and millions of women – cervical cancer, breast cancer (sic) – are helped by Planned Parenthood.” (Just once, could Trump speak in a complete sentence?) “So you can say whatever you want, they have millions and millions of women going through Planned Parenthood that are helped greatly.” Planned Parenthood does not treat cancer. It does basic screening – screening that could be done at any clinic – in between the slicing and dicing. Can someone so enamored of this great, humanitarian organization really be trusted to defund it?
Trump frequently goes to absurd lengths to reconcile contradictory positions.
He cited his “brilliant” sister as the kind of keen judicial mind that belongs on the Supreme Court. When Senator Ted Cruz noted that Maryanne Trump Barry was the author of an opinion striking down New Jersey’s partial birth abortion ban (she called it a “desperate attempt” to undermine Roe v. Wade), the Donald demanded that the Texas Senator apologize for doubting the brilliance of his brilliant sister. He also claimed that, as a lower court judge, Justice Samuel Alito “signed that bill.” Leaving aside that judges don’t sign bills, Alito’s ruling was exactly the opposite of Trump’s brilliant (pro-abort) sister.
The only thing consistent about Donald Trump is his inconsistency:
• Trump thinks Hillary is the worst. But he gave the Clinton Foundation at least $110,000. When he was criticized for donating to truly despicable Democrats, the dealmaker explained that he’s in the real estate business in New York, so, naturally, he has to grease politicians. And that’s how we’ll bring integrity to D.C.
• Controlling illegal immigration is his signature issue, but he gave a total of $50,000 to the pro-Amnesty Gang of Eight. Perhaps he should build a wall around his checkbook.
• Although Trump said he “hates the concept of it,” Still we have to “accept (Syrian) refugees,” because “they’re living in hell.” That was on the O’Reilly Factor in September 2015. By October, we had to send them back, because, if Obama has his way here, it will constitute “one of the greatest military coups of all time.” “We’re not gonna have a country if we don’t start getting smart.” And what could be smarter than electing a president whose positions are as changeable as the weather in March?
• Flat tax anyone? Trump: “You can have a fair tax, you can have a flat tax, you can take the existing plans we have and simplify.” That was in a FOX News interview on August 24 of last year. Later in the interview, Trump observed: “The one problem I have with the flat tax is that rich people are paying the same as people that are making very little money.” Actually, they’d pay the same percentage of their income, not the same amount. Any candidate can take contradictory positions over time. But to do it in the same interview, that takes talent.
• U.S. involvement in Afghanistan was “a terrible mistake.” (October 6 on CNN). A few days later (also on CNN), “Iraq was a disaster.” “Not Afghanistan, because that’s probably where we should have gone in the first place.” In Trump’s defense, he may not know the difference between Iraq and the place we should have gone in the first place.
It’s possible Trump bases his positions on perceived popularity (a moratorium on Muslim immigration after the San Bernardino slaughter), which is not reassuring. It’s equally possible that he puts positions on a board and throws darts at them.
It’s become the ultimate cliché to say that a particular election is the most important in our lifetime. But there’s no other way to describe 2016.
The next president could appoint three Supreme Court justices – making the left’s social agenda the law of the land for decades to come, or reviving original intent.
We could get serious about defending civilization from radical Islam, or we could continue to hamstring national security in the cause of hyper-sensitivity. We could stop the left’s war on Christians, or continue to treat those who believe marriage is what it is as war criminals. We can take the family back from cultural Marxists, or we can continue to treat the family as a social construct to be reshaped at will without negative consequences.
There is a chance, however slim, that if he’s elected president, Donald Trump will get it right. There’s also a chance that if you go to Atlantic City, you can win big at the craps table. But do you want to stake your country’s future on a roll of the dice?
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