Even though he’s vying for the Republican nomination, many have questioned whether or not Donald Trump is liberal or conservative when it comes down to the issues.
Donald’s former friendships with leading liberals like the Clintons and so-called “New York values” have made some skeptical of his intentions in the GOP primary. Trump was formerly a corporate Democrat in every sense of the word, which makes the suddenly conservative streak seem disingenuous to some.
Vox wrote an editorial arguing that, in the end, there was no answer to this question, because there is no real Donald Trump.
“[Donald] has given campaign contributions to Democrats for years, and this is usually the thing conservatives point to as evidence that he is ‘really’ liberal. But Trump himself has a plausible explanation for this: He made donations to whomever was needed in order to continue to accrue wealth and power. And besides, the fear of the ‘real Donald Trump’ comes up less in concerns about, say, his support for single-payer health care than it does in controversies about his views on immigration and same-sex marriage.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 30, 2016
Some of the evidence is pretty damning. Donald’s most controversial opinions have been related to his conservative stances on issues like same-sex marriage and immigration. In a private meeting with the New York Times editorial board, Trump may or may not have suggested that he wouldn’t actually go through with his hard-line anti-liberal rhetoric. One of the attendees of that meeting, Gail Collins, wrote an editorial that Buzzfeed took as a hint that Donald may be striking poses.
“The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.”
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 2, 2016
Even Donald himself has somewhat admitted to this flip-flopping publicly. When Ben Carson gave his endorsement of his former conservative rival, Trump said that there were two versions of himself: one for the public, and one behind closed doors. He later backpedaled on the statement, but Ben’s speech also seemed to reflect the same idea, reported The Atlantic.
“Some people said ‘But, well, he said terrible things about you, how can you support him? That was political stuff… That happens in American politics, the politics of personal destruction. All that is not something that I particularly believe in or anything that I get involved in. But I do recognize that it is a part of the process.”
— CNN (@CNN) April 1, 2016
Another recent editorial from The Intercept suggested that its not Donald’s socially conservative followers who are to blame for this phenomenon, but the mainstream media who created him in the first place.
“It wasn’t some Klan newsletter that first brought Trump to our attention: It was Time and Esquire and Spy. The Westboro Baptist Church didn’t give him his own TV show: NBC did. And his boasts and lies weren’t posted on Breitbart, they were published by Random House. He was created by people who learned from Andy Warhol, not Jerry Falwell, who knew him from galas at the Met, not fundraisers at Karl Rove’s house, and his original audience was presented to him by Condé Nast, not Guns & Ammo. He owes his celebrity, his money, his arrogance, and his skill at drawing attention to those coastal cultural gatekeepers — presumably mostly liberal — who first elevated him out of general obscurity, making him famous and rewarding him (and, not at all incidentally, themselves) for his idiocies.”
What do you think? Is the real Donald Trump liberal or conservative?
[Image via Scott Olsen/Getty Images]