Can You Trust Trump
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Trump isn't anti-establishment, he's just the other side of the establishment.
On the cover:
Donald John Trump, Sr., born June 14, 1946, is an American business magnate, investor, television personality, author, and 2016 US Presidential candidate. ©2017 Gage Skidmore
How do you solve a problem like The Donald?
But the true Oscar winner this election cycle has been Donald Trump, who has managed to dominate media coverage throughout the campaign season thus far, and currently leads the polls in the GOP primary.
It's difficult to pin down just what Donald Trump believes in (other than Donald Trump). His positions have vacillated wildly over the years, and even during his current campaign. Many of his positions have more in common with the Democrat Party than with Republicans - to the point that, on a stage filled with too many candidates, he is the only one to have advocated for universal health care.
I play to people's fantasies... I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration, and an effective form of promotion... My leverage came from confirming an impression they were already predisposed to believe.
-The Art of the Deal
In fact, the only area where Donald Trump has significantly distinguished himself from the Left is on the issue of immigration - and even there, he's been a bit difficult to pin down. He gained popularity early on with calls to build a wall on the Southern border (and have Mexico pay for it, an idea which he has been less-than-clear on how he would implement), to banning all Muslim immigration...yet at the same time, he has come out and stated that he's open to amnesty for illegal aliens.
More reasonable candidates have advocated for similar policies - building a strong border fence, curtailing immigration from nations where we know Islamic terrorists operate and train...but this isn't the time for reasonable candidates. Only the loudest and most obnoxious voice gets the media's attention.
These are the days of the anti-establishment, and Trump is the loudest anti-establishment voice on the stage...or is he? In some of his campaign speeches, Trump has talked about what a great deal-maker he is, and how he'll go to Washington and make deals with the establishment.
Let's get to be a little establishment.
So he's supposedly an anti-establishment candidate, but he hasn't even come close to proving that he's anti-establishment. Trump spent years praising establishment politicians, mostly on the Left (Pelosi, Reid, the Clintons, etc.). He has donated at least $100,000 to the Clintons' money laundering scheme...er...Foundation. He has tried to use eminent domain (remember Kelo?) to try to use the government to take private citizens' property for his business (perhaps the most notorious case was when he tried to take an elderly widow's home so he could expand one of his Atlantic City casinos). He has admitted publicly that he donated to politicians in exchange for favors to his business interests. In the unholy alliance of Big Government and Big Business, he represents Big Business. He's not anti-establishment, he's just the other side of the establishment.
His status as a political outsider is supposed to be one of Donald Trump's greatest strengths, yet even a cursory look at Trump's campaign tactics should be enough to make one wonder how much of an outsider he really is.
I've been in politics all my life.
Trump has left a path of destruction in his wake, making friends and enemies along the way, but rarely (if ever) leaving any middle ground. He loves those who fawn over him, then turns around and bashes anyone who voices even the slightest disagreement - to the point where, when they showed Ted Cruz with a slight lead in Iowa, he trashed Monmouth University for a poll they had released, but then described them as "highly respected" just one week later when a new poll showed him in the lead. He was very congenial toward Ted Cruz until Cruz started edging closer to him in the polls, and since then has unleashed a never-ending stream of negativity (including many out-and-out lies) toward Cruz.
And just look at the tactics that he has used: when he brings up the "issue" of Ted Cruz's citizenship, he goes to great lengths to deny that he's actually bringing the issue up - he's always citing someone else (which didn't work in his favor when Cruz called him out for citing a left-wing law professor during a debate). It's really reminiscent of Harry Reid standing on the Senate Floor citing some unnamed source who had supposedly told him about how Mitt Romney hadn't paid taxes in ten years.
And when the issue came up of Ted Cruz questioning Trump's "New York values," Trump invoked 9/11, blatantly using a horrible tragedy to score cheap political points - just like what Hillary Clinton did when she was backed into a corner on questions about her Wall Street connections during the Democrat debate that had occurred just a couple of months prior.
Donald Trump's petty, vindictive brand of narcissism has far overshadowed any positives he has brought to the Republican primary - namely, a stronger discussion on immigration issues.
His latest antics - skipping the FOX News debate because they wouldn't cave to his demands and remove Megyn Kelly as one of the debate moderators - smacks of pure childishness. The entire disagreement stems from one question she asked in a debate six months ago! Trump felt the question was unfair, and to this day seems incapable of letting it go. Instead, he will host a fundraiser the same night - using wounded soldiers to score political points just like he used 9/11 in the previous debate.
To his supporters, this makes him a Statesman. Meanwhile, the rest of the world wonders, "However did we fall so far?"
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)