I must confess that I’m mystified as to why so many Republicans are utterly convinced that Donald Trump will be a better president than Hillary Clinton. Trump, of course, makes it easy for them to delude themselves, because each time he begins to sound like Noam Chomsky, he’ll immediately pivot to mimic Rush Limbaugh, and he never stops talking long enough to be pinned down. But which words matter? Which words can we trust?
The answer, of course, is none of them. But for those people who might be clinging to some tiny shard of hope that the presumptive Republican nominee now has coherent, conservative principles despite his well-documented left-wing past, I present to you the following non-exhaustive list of liberal, extreme, and outright insane things he’s said in this campaign. Let’s begin:
2. Trump supported raising taxes. And he keeps supporting raising taxes. ….
3. Trump supported large-scale touchback amnesty for illegal immigrants. ….
Also note that he buys the “jobs Americans won’t do” justification for large-scale, low-skill immigration:
4. Trump is running to Hillary’s left on trade — expressing greater skepticism about the virtues of free markets than even the Democratic front-runner.
5. He thinks it’s “wonderful” when the government seizes private property and gives it to powerful corporations. In a move that should trouble anyone who purports to trust his judgment on judicial nominations, Trump praised the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London, a case that upheld the right of the government to take private property from one private landowner and transfer it to another private landowner. In other words, if Trump had his way, the government would be given the power to turn your home into a Target parking lot.
6. As long as we’re on the topic of judicial nominations, let’s not forget that he said his leftist, pro-abortion sister would be a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice.
7. And then of course there’s his scorn for the First Amendment. During this campaign he’s expressed a desire to “open up” libel laws:
8. Trump has now signaled support for job-destroying minimum-wage increases, in a breathtakingly brazen flip-flop:
9. He keeps praising Planned Parenthood, saying that it does “good work for millions of women” and slamming the “so-called conservatives” who disagree.
10. Trump not only expressed support for gender-neutral bathrooms, he used corporate-progressive bullying to justify his position:
11. Going farther than any Democratic candidate, Trump has advanced the completely discredited conspiracy theory that George W. Bush deliberately lied about weapons of mass destruction to justify the war in Iraq:
12. In the category of non-ideological craziness, Trump actually expressed a belief that he could defeat ISIS by “bomb[ing] the sh*t out of them” and then sending in Exxon to mop up:
13. And who can possibly forget his oft-repeated vow that he would order American troops to commit war crimes by deliberately targeting terrorists’ families and torturing detainees, followed by this chilling promise:
14. Trump has repeatedly parroted the Democratic line about 9/11, completely ignoring or glossing over the failures of two successive administrations, including the Clinton administration’s wholly inadequate response to the African embassy bombings and the near-sinking of the USS Cole.
15. Finally, there is this now-infamous bit of lunacy, which can’t be stressed enough: Trump tied Ted Cruz’s father to John F. Kennedy’s assassin:
….But if the Republican party isn’t conservative, what does it stand for?
The list above provides a clue to Trump’s answer: It stands for whatever will put him in power. And to think there are still Republicans who ask me to trust that Trump will do the right thing. The only thing I trust is that Trump will do what he wants, when he wants, and that neither principle nor reason will stand in his way.
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