People who have followed my writing and my radio show will recall that I have believed from the very beginning of Trump's involvement in national politics, back in 2011, that his positions weren't heartfelt and were just designed to win the Republican nomination. See http://www.democratsforprogress.com/2011/04/08/trumps-birther-strategy-makes-sense-if-you-understand-its-purpose/ where five years ago I called it.
This past February I explained how I thought Trumps positions on immigration, that he has held for only the last 6-12 months, were part of this "just say what you need to say to get the nomination" strategy http://steveleser.blogspot.com/2016/02/if-it-is-donald-trump-vs-hillary.html .
It's fascinating that the far right, which has lamented not being able to nominate a "true conservative" the last two Presidential elections didn't fight harder to get a genuine conservative (Cruz) nominated when he was very much in contention for a while. Instead too many Republicans bought into Trump's spin, and make no mistake Trump has been out there trying to sell himself as some sort of straight talking Conservative.
Obviously this has worked. He is the presumptive Republican nominee. But throughout this process, he has talked himself into both sides of a multitude of issues. This is what happens when the basis for your campaign is to say whatever you think will get you nominated or elected rather than what you believe.
Sure, everyone says a contradictory thing or two now and again. I think a few can be forgiven. I remember Republicans going after John Kerry accusing him of being a flip-flopper for saying he was for $87 Billion in Iraq war appropriations before he was against it. In Kerry's case, the reason was because the earlier form of the bill reduced Bush's tax cuts to pay for it and thus was deficit neutral. The later form of the bill increased the deficit.
Kerry didn't have close to the number of contradictions as Mitt Romney, but of course Republicans supported Romney. Now we have Trump. People who are friends of mine on Facebook will note that I have called out a number of Trump's contradictory statements over the last few weeks, but I hadn't realized how bad it has become. The admins over at Democratic Underground alerted me to a few articles on the subject through their "Real Donald Trump" picture above. Thinkprogress (click here), Salon (click here) and in particular Politico (click here) did a good job of cataloging them. There are so many it's near impossible to discuss them all. Here is a very small sample of the contradictions listed in the Politico article:
“Politicians are all talk and no action.” (Twitter, May 27, 2015)
“I’m not a politician.” (CNN, August 11, 2015)
“I’m no different than a politician running for office.” (New York Times, July 28, 2015)
“If I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican—and that’s not because I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative.” (Playboy, March 1990)
“I’m a registered Republican. I’m a pretty conservative guy. I’m somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care.” (CNN, October 8, 1999)
“You’d be shocked if I said that in many cases I probably identify more as a Democrat.” (CNN, March 21, 2004)
“Look, I’m a Republican. I’m a very conservative guy in many respects—I guess in most respects.” (The Hugh Hewitt Show, February 25, 2015)
“I’ve actually been an activist Democrat and Republican.” (CNN, October 8, 1999)
“Folks, I’m a conservative, but at this point, who cares? We got to straighten out the country.” (Burlingame, California, April 29, 2016)
“I’m totally pro-choice.” (Fox News, October 31, 1999)
“I’m pro-life.” (CPAC, February 10, 2011)
“Look, I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject, but you still—I just believe in choice. … I am strongly for choice, and yet I hate the concept of abortion. … I am pro-choice in every respect … but I just hate it.” (NBC News, October 24, 1999)
“I am very, very proud to say that I’m pro-life.” (Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015)
As I said this is a VERY small sample, the contradictions in the Politico article go on for 23 pages. Everyone should read them. It's shocking at this point. And sure, some of the contradictions are separated by 10-20 years, but many are not. This goes far beyond standard political double-speak. I think there may be something really wrong with Donald Trump, psychologically. It's hard to imagine how someone could be normal and behave this way.
Whether he is normal or not, someone who does this does not belong in the White House.
Links mentioned in this article: