There are two kinds of Trump observers in the potential GOP electorate: those who can plainly see the fluidity of his positions on the important issues and those who support him.
Donald Trump and his supporters keep trying to hide behind the fact that he has never been a politician and therefore has no really policy positions from which he could have “evolved.” He has, as he often likes to point out, been very supportive of politicians. He has also floated more than one presidential-run trial balloon since 2000. Add to that the fact that he never shuts up and has loudly expressed opinions on a variety of issues long before last year and there is quite a body of work to reference when coming to conclusions about what kind of president he might be.
Here has been my biggest problem all along: even if (YUGE “if”) I agreed with everything he is saying during this campaign, I don’t believe for a moment that any of the positions he holds dear today will be with him by the time he attends his inaugural luncheon.
Trump is an opportunist. He does what is best for Donald Trump at that moment. That is his only motivation. The people who think he’s going to get in there and fight for them are going to experience buyer’s remorse of epic proportions.
In last night’s debate, Trump was very comfortable repeating the leftist rhetoric about Planned Parenthood, which he followed up with a quick blurb about defunding it because of the abortions. He then admitted he didn’t exactly know the abortion numbers but “Blah, blah, blah…” and that was probably enough to convince his faithful. It was easy to see he remembered at the last second to mention defunding to save himself from his blatantly lefty stance on the organization.
When discussing his hiring of foreign workers, Trump once again revealed an overwhelming comfort with progressive rhetoric. While asserting that he hires some foreign workers because Americans don’t want seasonal employment, he gave credence to the centerpiece of boilerplate Democrat rhetoric on illegal immigration. He may have been talking about legal workers, but he used the same excuse that progressives use for letting illegal workers in: Americans don’t want those jobs. It’s not just something they say, it’s what they’ve built their entire “undocumented worker” posturing around.
Candidates usually drift towards their ideologically relative centers for the general election. On so many issues, Trump’s center was at one time left of even the most moderate Republican positions. With the primary behind him and feeling comfortable, these little rhetorical slips could, and probably will, become more frequent, largely because they represent his true political feelings.
It is the casual ease with which he slips into the parroted Democrat narrative talking points that is disturbing. Perhaps it’s time to update an old aphorism: “If it used to walk like a Democrat, now talks like a Democrat, maybe it’s going to govern like a Democrat.”