David Limbaugh: No, I Don't Believe Donald Trump Is a Conservative

Source: Townhall | March 22, 2016 | David Limbaugh


On the issues, Trump appears to have no ideological core. He can’t sufficiently define “conservative” and, when pressed, says that even Ronald Reagan wasn’t that conservative. Trump cites Reagan’s earlier affiliation with the Democratic Party as his excuse for having supported liberal causes and politicians all his life, though unlike Reagan, Trump can never point to a personal conversion. He prefers to work with the uncompromising, extremist left, represented by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, rather than defeat it.

But having no internal conservative antenna, what goals would he seek to achieve through his legendary negotiating wizardry? Indeed, many conservatives sense that Trump is not one of them because while he champions national sovereignty and patriotism, he evinces no understanding of conservative ideology and much less of the Constitution and its design of limited government. Under some political pressure, Trump promises to appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court, but there is no indication he has any real commitment to this vital principle.

It’s not just that Trump, for a presidential candidate, is conspicuously ill-informed on political science and policy but also that he has no abiding allegiance to conservative policy solutions, as evidenced by his flip-flops, which are wider-ranging and more frequent than those of other notorious flippers. Even on his signature issue of immigration, he’s exhibited a surprising openness to soften his positions. In any event, he is easily less reliable on this issue than Ted Cruz.

Movement conservatives are also uneasy with Trump’s conflation of “Art of the Deal” business practices with conservative governance. Trump’s success in creating thousands of jobs signals to conservatives that he is a friend of business, but it doesn’t assure them that he comprehends the government’s role (or lack thereof) in creating a job climate. Presidential statecraft isn’t the same as private entrepreneurship. Government doesn’t “create jobs”; it enacts policies and laws to remove the shackles of government so that the private sector can flourish on its own power. A private CEO is under different constraints than the president. Though Trump’s acolytes boast that he “knows how to get things done,” he won’t — and shouldn’t — enjoy the same latitude to operate as president.

Trump seems disinclined to laissez faire and too comfortable with a major role for the federal government on economic issues. More troubling is his support for tariffs and protectionism, which could significantly damage our economy. Tied to this issue is one of the most distressing developments of this campaign: the emergence of class warfare themes emanating from the “right.”


It’s not just on economic issues that Trump betrays an alarming lack of knowledge. Indeed, Trump substitutes slogans for serious policy proposals on many issues, and conservatives instinctively know that he doesn’t get it — that he’s not even interested in getting it.

Accordingly, Trump’s promises to make America great again and to restore winning are pathetically devoid of specific plans to achieve those goals. No presidential candidate in my lifetime has demonstrated less command of the issues than Trump, and his lack of intellectual curiosity and interest cannot be adequately remedied by his selecting smart advisers. We need someone at the helm who has an understanding of important issues and who will be guided by conservative instincts. Instead, Trump has shown a tendency to favor strong government action to get “results” — more government, more authoritarianism, not less. This is a serious danger signal to conservatives.


It concerns me that after Americans had finally united in strong opposition to Barack Obama’s leftist record, the movement was co-opted by a populist with a super-amped megaphone. The solutions to America’s problems are not some hodgepodge of policy goals fueled by nationalistic pride that is untethered to principles of limited government. You don’t restore America’s greatness by burning the house down, especially when you can remodel it from the inside out through a rededication to America’s founding principles and constitutional conservatism.

I could better understand the support behind Trump if there weren’t an infinitely superior candidate in Ted Cruz, who would specifically address the problems that plague us — and without abandoning the principles that made America unique in the first place.

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  • Discussion
  • Consistent #3010

    kleindropper #3016

    Walter Hudson has an article on True North asking what a post apocaylptic conservative movement should look like:


    I’ll throw the question out there: If Trump gets the nomination then gets destroyed in the general (taking many Senate and Congressional seats with him) – what is the proper way forward for the Republican party? I’m sure the Establishment will try to say “I told you so” and try to retain power, but with Trump/Cruz being #1/#2 I think the writing is on the wall for them.

    A lot of Trump’s message resonates for me (my problem is that I don’t trust Trump from a values or competence side). I lean more towards free trade personally but the message of strong border controls and citizen based government resonates.

    Polls show that conservative libertarian-ism is the way the country is trending, and I think that is the way forward for the Republican party. Shrink that federal government down and fight ideological battles at the state level.

    slhancock1948 #3025

    Trump resonated at first, until I saw the holes in his rhetoric, the quickness to grovel to one group then another. I heard his lies begin…as one can tell when you are a “junkie” like me, the inconsistencies and the slandering of other candidates to take the attention away from what he just said and place the scrutiny onto another person. All of a sudden THEY had to defend themselves in some way while he went on with his spectacular empty speeches. About 6 weeks into Trump’s campaign, I knew for sure he had no core values, he had no lows to which he would not stoop, that he could wing it through any speech and his loyal followers would think him a messiah. We conservatives need to reassess what our core values are…which I think for most of us go back to the founding documents…in their original intent, not in the 20th century politispeak.

    I was always a Cruz supporter, as we have followed him now for about 6 years, or more. However, when Trump came out, publishing his manifesto, it looked good, really good, and with the name recognition, we felt that we could vote for either candidate. Like I said, though, 6 weeks later we saw clearly that Trump has no core values, he talks from both sides of his mouth one day to the next, even contradicting himself the same day at different events or with different reporters. It became bizarre.
    And now, this whole cult thing is out of hand.

    As for the republican party, I don’t see them changing from statism anytime soon. They are quite happy with the slow progress towards the government being in control of everybody’s lives. You can see the expressions on their faces when asked conservative questions and then asked again because the questioner didn’t believe them the first time. It’s the same old arrogance of the left and you can see their minds saying, “When will we be done with these lamebrain conservatives who only want to go backwards?”

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

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