BY ERIC QUINTANAR
The greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled was convincing America that he is a conservative. This wasn’t an especially difficult feat to accomplish; Americans tend to have a lousy long-term memory. Consider Sarah Palin’s endorsement speech of Donald Trump in which she stated Americans wanted a politician who wouldn’t “hand over a blank check to fund Obamacare.” Presumably she forgot that last September Trump told 60 Minutes that he would provide for universal healthcare, and have the government pay for it. Palin went on to say that Trump mirrors her principles of “strict constitutionality”; she is seemingly unphased by his perversion of the eminent domain clause, which he has used for private gain. And of course the hallmark of conservative policy-making, establishing free markets, has no home in the Trump campaign; his tariff proposals resemble those last seen in the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930, which served to exacerbate the Great Depression.
If there were so much as allegations that any other republican presidential candidate had taken even one of these positions, they would be ostracized from the Republican Party. Many republicans are simply ignorant of his big-government temperament, but others are willing to overlook it because of his “outsider appeal.” The idea goes that because Donald Trump is an “outsider,” he will stick it to the Washington establishment and get the best deals for ordinary Americans. Not only is Trump not an “outsider,” Donald Trump is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the Washington establishment.
Since Jan. 1999, Trump has given $350,000 in campaign donations to members of the Democratic party, including Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He has stated that he did so because as a businessman, it was his job to “get along with everybody.” But if Trump supporters want someone who will fight for them, and “get good deals,” then wouldn’t it stand to reason that the best deal would be reached by someone who wasn’t getting cozy with the political adversaries in the deal-making.
Trump’s unnerving similarity to establishment politicians can be best exemplified when you compare his rhetoric to that of former Speaker of the House and living definition of the Washington establishment, John Boehner (R-OH). Last week, Boehner stated that he and Trump are golfing and “texting buddies.” Boehner went on to say, “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everybody . . . but I’ve never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch [than Ted Cruz] in my life.” Many principled conservatives considered this an endorsement for Cruz, considering Boehner’s willingness to stomp on the will and conscience of the voters that elected him and other establishment republicans– just last year, he funded executive amnesty, tried to raise the debt ceiling, and funded the DHS without restrictions on immigration. But voters should especially take notice that Boehner and Trump both have a “go along to get along” attitude. For Boehner, this manifested itself in his spineless reign as Speaker. If Trump were elected president, should we expect four years of a-la-Boehner White House policy-making?
Some members of the Republican Party have taken it upon themselves to disavow Trump, spawning the #NeverTrump movement. However, most Republicans are willing to vote for Trump, albeit some more reluctantly than others, in order to avoid a situation where Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be able to stack the Supreme Court with liberal justices. As “the Donald” broadens his appeal and tones down his bombastic demeanor going into the general, it may prove to be the case that he doesn’t need the Never Trump vote to win in November- as with everything, especially in this election cycle, only time will tell. But for those who are hell-bent on Trump being the conservative voice of the future, don’t get your hopes up. All the signs are there that he does not have conservative interests at heart. Yet, as we all know, Americans can’t resist the promise of a good deal.