One of the biggest reasons that many Republicans are claiming to either reluctantly accept Donald Trump or to not accept him at all is that he isn’t a conservative. Moreover, he’s actually a liberal on nearly everything outside of immigration; Mitt Romney and John McCain appear to be right-wing extremists compared to Trump. This really isn’t the point.
As we’ve learned the last several Congressional election cycles, conservative promises usually don’t equate to conservative actions once elected. One of the biggest reasons I support Ted Cruz is that he said he’d promote conservatism during his Senatorial campaign and he kept his promise once in office. This is rare. The reason that candidates do it is simple. It works. They can talk about conservatism on the campaign trail, then act like a moderate Establishment crony for the majority of their term. Then, they start back with their conservative talk right before re-election. Republicans are so hungry for principled conservatives that they’ll listen to the pitch and cross their fingers.
The same thing is going to happen with Trump. In fact, we’re seeing it already with his release of a nice list of conservatives to potentially replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Don’t get me wrong – he’s still going to continue to shift his views to the left for the general election, but he’s the master at speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He is the only politician I’ve ever known who’s able to support both sides of an argument with ease. He’ll say the right conservative things without committing. He’ll say the right liberal things without committing. That’s his skill.
Unfortunately, America may buy into it. The GOP Establishment is already falling in line.
I’m a policy guy. I enjoy reading and analyzing policy proposals by candidates and elected officials. I usually make my decisions based upon these analyses. With Trump, it doesn’t work. He could come out as a full-blown Constitutional conservative and my opinion of him wouldn’t change for two reasons. The first is easy and needs very little explanation: I don’t trust him. Not a bit. Not an iota. He takes pride in being able to shift his positions at will. That means that absolutely nothing he says today has any meaning about his Presidency. The excuse that a man who claimed to be “very pro-choice” and supported partial-birth abortions is able to change his mind means that he can change his mind back.
The second reason is a bit more complicated. Trump is incompetent. He’s demonstrated that throughout his life. Millions of voters look at a billionaire and assume that he must be a great business man. He is not. He’s never been one. He’s a great marketer and an incredible salesman, but he’s successful in spite of his decisions. I contend that if Trump was born to a middle class family, he wouldn’t be a billionaire today. He might not even be a very successful person at all. Unlike candidates like Cruz and Marco Rubio, Trump didn’t work his way to the top. He was born on top. He was born into a real estate empire. He received “small” million dollar loans to get him started. He received more loans when he failed. Where is his success? Real estate. Where are his failures? Literally every other endeavor he’s ever attempted outside of real estate and his brand.
Trump Air took less than a Presidential term for him to completely blow it up. He was in the USFL one year before turning a thriving league with a ton of potential into a laughing stock. He built Trump Mortgage, saying that it was, in his highly intelligent opinion, a great time to get into the mortgage industry because it would be thriving for a long time to come. That was 2006 at the beginning of the mortgage crisis. Time after time, Trump demonstrates that he’s completely incapable of leading any company. How does he expect to the leader of the free world? More importantly, with a resume as horrendous as his, why would any voter be willing to risk the country on someone who has surrounded himself by failure.
The uninformed and easily-impressed wings of the Republican party have been enamored by false promises that are turning out to be lies (that they call “straight talk”) and the belief that he’s a strong man when he’s really a strongman. God help us if this man becomes President.