A poll conducted last month for Alabama state Senate and House Republicans showed that Donald Trump might win our state’s GOP presidential primary by a comfortable margin.
One in three of my fellow Republicans told pollsters that they’re voting for the New York billionaire even though he was quite recently a registered Democrat who has donated a small fortune to liberals (including Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and the campaign committees overseen by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi).
“Never mind all that,” these voters must think. “Trump will build the wall, crush the competition, defeat the jihadists, and ‘Make America Great Again.’”
I’ve been, and steadfastly remain, justifiably suspicious of the authenticity of Trump’s conversion to our way of thinking, but to borrow a classic line from the X-Files: I want to believe.
I want to believe that Trump will be a pro-life president who’ll defund Planned Parenthood and appoint justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, but I cannot forget that he once claimed to be “very pro-choice” and said that his sister, who is a radical pro-abortion federal judge, would make a “phenomenal” appointment to the high court.
I want to believe that Trump would protect our Second Amendment rights, but I cannot understand why he once supported the so-called “assault weapons ban,” which is an obvious scam to further disarm law-abiding Americans.
I want to believe that Trump would uproot Obamacare and bring some market-driven sanity and patient choice to our health care system, but there’s that time Trump said he was “very liberal when it comes to health care” and that he believed in “universal health care.”
I want to believe that Trump will respect individual freedom and appoint justices who’ll do the same, but Trump said that he agreed “100-percent” with the appalling Supreme Court decision that allows the government to seize an individual’s private property under eminent domain in order to give it to real estate developers.
I want to believe that Trump will support free market reforms, but when I hear supporters defend his contributions to Democrats as simply “buying access” I get to thinking that he’s just another crony capitalist who’d happily wield the government’s sword against his competition.
I want to believe that Trump will curtail the unconstitutional use of the presidential executive order and restrain the federal bureaucracy, but Trump isn’t running as a limited government guy at all. All he’s done is criticize the effectiveness of those behind the wheel, saying that he’d steer the ship of state much better regardless of its Titanic size. If anything smells of establishment, and arrogance, it’s the idea that we needn’t reduce the role and size of government, we only need to manage it more smartly.
I want to believe all of these implausible things because it appears that Trump might actually emerge from this historically crowded field as the GOP’s nominee for president, and I suspect that we only have one or two presidential terms to pull our country out of this death spiral of culture rot and financial recklessness. We must get this right, because nominating the wrong candidate now may prove irreversibly catastrophic.
Even so, the uncomfortable truth is that while we know with certainty what Trump believed yesterday, and while we can cautiously know what he believes today, we have absolutely no idea what he’ll believe tomorrow. He doesn’t even appear to have a core set of principles that’d hint at how he’d face the unknowable, which should concern everyone.
The only thing we know for certain about Trump’s belief system, other than his aforementioned record, is that he promises to “make deals.” But it’s deals that have landed us in this boiling pot, and it’s deals – both foreign and domestic – that promise to keep the temperature edging higher and higher until our country is good and cooked.
We’re sick of deals, Mr. Trump, and want nothing more to do with them. And while I want to believe all of your promises in order to close the deal on our upcoming primary and win the general election, I must look at the evidence and say, with confidence, “No deal.”