Trump Versus Reagan On Immigration

All this talk about how Donald Trump resembles Ronald Reagan has only reminded me of Reagan himself, and what little Trump and Reagan share in common. For example, we have Trump’s recent statements on immigration and removal of birthright citizenship. Compare this with what Reagan said in 1980 when he accepted the GOP nomination for the presidency:

Here is a transcript:

I have thought of something that is not part of my speech and I’m worried over whether I should do it.

Can we doubt that only a Divine Providence placed this land, this island of freedom, here as a refuge for all those people in the world who yearn to breathe freely: Jews and Christians enduring persecution behind the Iron Curtain, the boat people of Southeast Asia, of Cuba and Haiti, the victims of drought and famine in Africa, the freedom fighters of Afghanistan and our own countrymen held in savage captivity.

I’ll confess that I’ve been a little afraid to suggest what I’m going to suggest–I’m more afraid not to–that we begin our crusade joined together in a moment of silent prayer.

God bless America.

To be honest, I was upset with Reagan at the time of this speech, as I thought that prayer was not a valid substitute for policy. Yet, even if his remark was devoid of substance, the tone and intent was exactly right.

Trump’s latest immigration proposals are diametrically opposite from his immigration proposals from several months ago (proposals which have disappeared down the rabbit hole, never to be seen again). Yet, whether any of Trump’s proposals on immigration are right–whether they be his current proposals or earlier ones–his tone is aggressive, hateful, and strident. It may be right to deport some people in the end, but these are people who came to America, even if illegally, to be a part of the American dream. As someone who has been deported from a country in which I made my home over a visa snafu, I know how hard it is to be on the other end of this process. Yes, laws need to be enforced, but there is no need for the people of the US to be hateful about it.

At the same time, note the lack of consistency in Trump’s character. Trump is forever shifting with the wind. Several years ago, Trump was so pro-choice that he even defended late-term abortions, then when he decided to run for president he suddenly claimed to be pro-life and wanted to defund Planned Parenthood–yet, literally within less than a week of wanting to defund Planned Parenthood, Trump is on record as wanting to preserve Planned Parenthood funding, and has in fact received an endorsement from Planned Parenthood. You may like Trump’s proposals today, but did you like the ones he made yesterday, and will you like the ones he makes tomorrow? The man is a model of inconsistency and incoherency.

Throughout his life, Reagan was consistent and clear in his principles. For example, earlier in his speech above, he had this to say:

And, the time is now to redeem promises once made to the American people by another candidate, in another time and another place. He said, “For three long years I have been going up and down this country preaching that government–federal, state, and local–costs too much. I shall not stop that preaching. As an immediate program of action, we must abolish useless offices. We must eliminate unnecessary functions of government…we must consolidate subdivisions of government and, like the private citizen, give up luxuries which we can no longer afford.”

“I propose to you, my friends, and through you that government of all kinds, big and little be made solvent and that the example be set by the president of the United States and his Cabinet.”

So said Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention in July 1932.

Trump supporters claim that somehow Trump is the same as Reagan, because as little as six weeks ago Trump left the Democratic Party. However, Reagan could honestly say that he never left the Democratic Party: the party left him. Reagan’s principles may have evolved some, but by and large he was the same man with the same beliefs in 1932 as he was in 1980. Trump cannot even say that he has the same beliefs now that he had two weeks ago. At the same time Trump hasn’t changed one bit over the years: He is just as hypocritical, unprincipled, godless, and duplicitous now as he was thirty years ago.

And somehow, this makes Trump like Reagan?

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1st GOP Main Event Debate Recap

This is a recap of the GOP main event debate on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The moderators were Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. Debate participants were Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

The debate format and the questions asked left a lot to be desired. The debate moderators should have stuck with three or four broad topics and let every candidate have a chance to respond to the same question. As it was, many of the questions were too closely tailored to the individual candidates to get any kind of response that would allow a comparison between the candidates on the issues. This was not a debate in any meaningful sense of the word, but a series of disjointed and often trivial interview questions.

As the debate was not broadcasted online and we do not have access to Fox News, the recap is based upon a transcript of what was said.

Looking over the transcripts, my overall impression is that Walker had the best overall performance, followed by Cruz. However, given that Walker is quite wooden and Cruz is a very dynamic speaker, I suspect that most conservative viewers would say that Cruz won the debate. Rubio also helped himself, while Christie, Bush, Carson, and Huckabee were in the middle of the pack. Paul and Kasich probably hurt themselves more than they helped themselves with this debate.

The real wildcard is Trump. On my scorecard, he came in well behind everyone else, primarily because he refused to answer most of the questions, and when he did his answers were strong on theater and low on depth, basic morality, and–in some cases–intelligibility. I do not think, however, that his debate performance will hurt him in the short run, and I rather suspect that many people who liked him before will like him even better now, as he can now claim martyrdom as a victim of the press.

The recap:

Question: Can your promise that you will nor run as an independent if you fail to win the nomination?
Trump: No.
Paul: “Hey, look, look! He’s already hedging his bet on the Clintons, OK? So if he doesn’t run as a Republican, maybe he supports Clinton, or maybe he runs as an independent…”

Trump surely did not help himself with this answer. But did Paul help himself by going on the attack and pointing out the obvious? Probably not. It must be real frustrating for Paul to see Trump steal his thunder and support.

Question: Are you ready to be president?
Carson: I have a brain, so yes.

Frankly, this was all the substance we could get from his answer. And we like him. We like him a lot.

Question: Given his superior resume, can you tell Bush why you would make a better president than he would?
Rubio: This election cannot be a resume competition, because if it was Hillary would win. The election has to be about the future, and not the past.

Excellent response.

Question: What do you say to people who don’t want another Bush in the White House?
Bush: I’m my own man. I governed as a conservative, and I have a great record as governor.

Bush gave about as good an answer as he could have here.

Question: Based upon your Tweets, you’re a male chauvinist pig aren’t you?
Trump: I’m not politically correct, and I like to have a little fun by saying disparaging things about women.

The crowd loved his answer, apparently, but let’s face it: The man is an abusive bully. The only reason Trump could score points with such a bat guano answer is because so many people hate the press and hate that he was even asked such a question.

Question: “How can you win in 2016 when you’re such a divisive figure?”
Cruz: “I believe the American people are looking for someone to speak the truth.” There’s a reason the country is so screwed up, and it’s because politicians do not honor their commitments when they get to Washington. “I will always tell the truth and do what I said I would do.”

Great answer!

Question: You ran your state into the toilet. How would you be any different as president?
Christie: My state was in worse shape before I got there. We balanced the budget and cut regulations, and this created jobs.

Another good answer. Some people obviously came prepared for the debate, while others obviously didn’t.

Question: You recently signed a law that does not allow an exception for abortion in case the mother’s life in in danger. How can you be such a heartless bastard?
Walker: The unborn baby must be protected, and there are always alternatives that will protect the life of the child while protecting the life of the mother. Unlike Hillary Clinton, I am not in favor of infanticide.

This was about as strong a pro-life statement as one could make. Kudos to Walker for sticking to his guns.

Question: You are a radical extremist when it comes to social issues, so how could you ever hope to get independents and Democrats to vote for you?
Huckabee: Abortion is bad so we need to do something about it.

He did not answer the question at all. Was he paying attention?

Question: Why did you blame your own party for the rise of ISIS?
Paul: I never said that. However, Hillary and some Republicans want to send arms to ISIS’s allies, and this must not be allowed to happen. The way to stop the ISIS is to stop funding and arming them.

Obviously, Paul is off his meds once again.

Question: You defended expanding Medicaid in your state by saying that it was God’s will. Are you always going to use God as an excuse to expand government programs?
Kasich: Well, Reagan expanded Medicaid, and I had a chance to get federal money for Ohio and look at all the good things we did with it.

When an appeal to God’s will fails, bring up Reagan–it always does the trick. Of course, he failed to answer the question, but it was a nice try.

Question: Are you still in favor of amnesty?
Bush: Yes. These people simply want to provide for their families. But we need to control the border–I wrote a book about this. And amnesty is not amnesty, but earned legal status.

This will not go over well with immigration hawks. I’m also somehow doubtful that the primary motivation for most illegal immigrants is to provide for their families. At least he stuck to his guns and gave something of a straight answer.

Question: You said you had evidence that the Mexican government is sending criminals—rapists, drug dealers–across the border. Where is that evidence?
Trump: If it weren’t for me, no one would even be talking about immigration. My statement was misreported (because all reporters are liars), but somehow true. We need to build a wall.
Question: But you didn’t answer the question at all. Where is your proof?
Trump: Border Patrol told me this. Our leaders are all stupid, but the Mexicans are smart so they send the “bad ones over”.

The idea that no one was talking about immigration before Trump brought it up is pure bat guano, and anyone with their head out of their butt knows this. Yet, it got applause. The rest of his answer was equally stupid.

Question: What do you think of Trump’s answer?
Kasich: I’d just like to spend as much time as I can brown-nosing Trump. I balanced the federal budget, and I’m an effective governor.
Question: But can you answer the question?
Kasich: Well, we all have solutions to the immigration problem.
Question: Rubio, can you answer the question?
Rubio: Most of the people coming over the border illegally aren’t even from Mexico. But we do need a fence. We also need e-verify, and entry-exit tracking systems. We also need to do something about the people who are trying to immigrate legally, but who have been caught up by the system.

Who let Kasich attend this debate? Even Pataki would have given a better answer than this. Meanwhile, Rubio hit his answer out of the park.

Question: You were for amnesty before you were against it. What other issues are you going to flip-flop on?
Walker: I’ve acknowledged that I was wrong. I learned by listening to knowledgeable people on all sides of the issue and by going down to the border and seeing for myself what was going on. We need to secure the border, enforce our laws, and put American families and wages first. No amnesty.

Given his flip-flop, this was a great answer.

Question: Will you defund sanctuary cities?
Cruz: I’ve already sponsored a bill to do just that. We need to enforce our immigration laws. Unlike some of the people on this stage I’ve never been in support of amnesty, and I led the fight against the gang of eight amnesty legislation.

Another good answer. He was a little too polite here, however, given that Rubio was a member of that gang of eight, and Trump has been in favor of amnesty as long ago as last week. Cruz should have hit a little harder.

Question: You’ve said that Senator Paul’s opposition to the NSA’s collection of phone records has made the United States weaker and more vulnerable. Can you really say that?
Christie: Yes, because I’ve fought terrorists, and many of my friends were killed by terrorists.
Paul: “I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans. The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over!”
Christie: He’s being ridiculous. How are we supposed to know who is and isn’t a terrorist?
Paul: Get a warrant!

The whole discussion deteriorates from here on out. Paul reasonably wants the laws and the Constitution to be obeyed, while Christie keeps telling sob stories about victims of terrorism, in the end accusing Paul of making speeches just to raise money. One can’t help but think that the exchange hurt both of the men, but certainly Paul won on the merits. Why is it that Paul had to interrupt, once again, in order to speak? Since the question was about him, shouldn’t the moderator have given him a chance to respond?

Question: You asked Gen. Dempsey how he would destroy the ISIS in 90 days, but you didn’t like his answer. How would you do it?
Cruz: General Dempsey said that there was no military solution to the situation, but there is. The solution is for ISIS recruits to know that they are signing their own death warrants.
Question: You don’t see this as an ideological problem?
Cruz: Of course it is an ideological problem, which is why I’ve sponsored a bill stating that any American who goes to fight on the side of ISIS forfeits his citizenship. But we need to stop acting as apologists for these terrorists, as Obama did at the prayer breakfast.

This was a good strong answer for a crap question.

Question: To the families of those who died in the Iraq War, how do you look at them now and say that your brother’s war was a mistake?
Bush: Knowing what we know now, I wouldn’t have gone in. Obama abandoned Iraq, and this has allowed the ISIS to flourish. We need to stop the Iran agreement and we need to stop the ISIS with everything we have at out disposal.

Including ground troops? But wouldn’t this be the same thing his brother did? Don’t get me wrong: It is a great answer. But isn’t he trying to have things both ways by sounding anti-war and pro-war at the same time?

Question: You said that we need to gain partners in the Arab world. Apart from the partners we already have, who do you have in mind?
Walker: We need to focus on the partners we already have.

A trivial question with a largely uninformative response. What a waste.

Question: As president, would you bring back water boarding?
Carson: Thank you for allowing me to speak. We shouldn’t be broadcasting what we are going to do. The war on terrorism is a politically incorrect war. We shouldn’t tie our military’s hands behind its back.

A fair answer to a relatively trivial question. Why not ask him what his overall strategy would be for fighting ISIS and dealing with Iran? Water boarding is simply not a political issue in 2016.

Question: You say that you are against Obamacare, yet 15 years ago you wanted the US to have a healthcare system like that in Canada. What happened?
Trump: I was against the Iraq War. Well, the healthcare system works well in Canada and Scotland. We need private systems for each state, but insurance companies are making a fortune because they control the politicians.
Paul: The GOP has been fighting a single-payer for decade, so you’re on the wrong side of this issue.
Trump: “I don’t think you heard me.”

Did Trump answer the question? No. Meanwhile, Paul interrupted again. Being rude to his majesty is unlikely to go over well with many people.

Question: You’ve donated to a host of liberal policies and politicians, including Hillary. “You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, ‘When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.'”
Trump: “You’d better believe it.” I’ve paid off most of people on this stage.
Unidentified: Not me!
Unidentified: Not me!
Unidentified: You can give me money if you like!
Unidentified: I hope you give to me!
Trump: “I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.”
Question from unidentified candidate: “What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?”
Trump: Well, Hillary came to my wedding.
Walker: Hillary! Everything she touches turns to crap.

Actually, there was a considerable amount of crosstalk and back and forth, but the upshot is that Trump is a crook who sees nothing wrong with buying politicians, and who blames the system for his own moral lapses. Disgusting.

Question:  Is the government simply too big for any one person, even a Republican, to shrink?
Huckabee: No, but the donor class has a strangle-hold over the federal government. We need to shift power back to the states, and we need to abolish the IRS. We need a consumption tax instead.
Question: Do you agree?
Carson: We need to base our tax system on tithing–everyone pays ten percent, no deductions or loopholes.
Question: Governor Bush …?
Carson: But I’m not done!

Huckabee makes some fair points, but it is not possible to have a consumption tax and still get rid of the IRS. Carson’s idea is great, as a 10% tax is something just about everyone can afford. On the other hand, the last time we saw figures, any flat tax would have to be at least 17% in order to generate the necessary revenue to keep the government going. Without a cut in the size of government, a 10% rate is a non-starter. Of course, Carson was cut off.

Question: You’re for Common Core. Would you agree that those who are against it are lunatics?
Bush: No. And I don’t believe that the federal government should be involved in education at all. School choice, vouchers, higher standards, etc.
Question: Is Bush wrong on Common Core?
Rubio: I believe in curriculum reform, but this should be done on a state level. Common Core is optional at the moment, but inevitably it will turn into a mandate.
Question: Do you agree with Rubio?
Bush: If states want to opt out of Common Core, fine.

What an incredibly stupid question, but Bush never really answers it, and never really says if he is for or against Common Core. He is trying to have it both ways. Rubio, on the other hand, gives a very thoughtful and articulate answer.

Question: Hillary says she wants to move the country forward while you, the Republicans, want to take the country back to the past. How would you answer that?
Kasich: My father was a mailman, so I know what it is like to be one of the little people. However, we need pro-growth policies, balanced budgets, etc.
Carson: Hillary is a progressive tool who thinks people are stupid. If I were wanting to destroy our country, I would advocate the same policies that Hillary has.

Both men seem earnest, but out of their depth. Hillary doesn’t play nice and she’s not in this business to make friends. They need to step up their game if they want to defeat her.

Question: You have promised four percent economic growth and 19 million new jobs as president. How will you accomplish this?
Bush: We need to lift our spirits and have higher expectations. Deregulation, simplified tax code, get rid of Obamacare, embrace the energy revolution.
Question: You’ve promised an economic plan in which everyone will earn a piece of the American dream. Given your crappy record in Wisconsin, why should voters believe you?
Walker: Well, I must not be doing that bad as governor, as I have been reelected twice. The unemployment rate in my state is almost half what it was when I first came to office. Meanwhile, Hillary wants to grow the economy by growing the government. Most people understand that the government does not create jobs. Repeal Obamacare and many regulations, energy policy, education, tax reform.

Both men gave good, strong policy answers.

Question: Huckabee says that we can save Social Security and Medicare without raising the retirement age and cutting benefits. What do you think?
Christie: No, Huckabee is simply wrong. We have to raise the retirement age by two years, and means-test Social Security so that wealthy people don’t receive it.
Huckabee: The money for the Social Security benefit was money paid into the system by people who have worked all these years, and they are not the one’s responsible for the government screwing things up. We shouldn’t be stealing from people by cutting their benefits.
Christie: The money is already stolen–the trust fund is full of IOUs. We have to fix the system because it is broken.
Huckabee: The reason there’s no money for Social Security is that there is no money coming in. Only wage earners pay into it. A consumption tax is the answer because “money paid in consumption is paid by everybody, including illegals, prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, all the people that are freeloading off the system now.”

This is just a summary–Christie was actually quite detailed and specific in his plans. Anyone following the Social Security issue closely would know that Christie gets the better part of the argument here. Huckabee comes across as ill-informed and more than a little wacky. At the same time, many voters are just as ill-informed as Huckabee, and actually believe that their Social Security benefits are paid using money previously withheld from their paychecks when they were wage earners. (That has never been true–people on average have always received much more money from Social Security than they originally paid in, and in fact Social Security payments have always come, not from the trust fund, but from current withholdings. The reason the system stayed solvent in the past was in large part because there were more people working and paying into the system than people receiving benefits. However, this is no longer the case.)

Question: You’ve gone bankrupt four times. Why should anyone trust you with our nation’s finances?
Trump: I’ve never personally gone bankrupt.
Question: But your companies have.
Trump: On four occasions I’ve taken advantage of the laws of this country. Everyone does it. I’m worth over $10 billion dollars. I’m great.
Question: Trump Entertainment Resorts went bankrupt in 2009, “lenders to your company lost over $1 billion and more than 1,100 people were laid off.”
Trump: My lenders “are total killers.” Screw ’em. Every company in Atlantic City goes bankrupt. “And by the way, this country right now owes $19 trillion. And they need somebody like me to straighten out that mess.”

By declaring bankruptcy? Is this what he plans for the US government? With all due respect, Trump is completely amoral, and proudly so. How would this be an improvement over Hillary Clinton?

Question: “Please describe one action you would do to make the economic environment more favorable for small businesses and entrepreneurs and anyone dreaming of opening their own business.”
Rubio: Tax reform, deregulation, get rid of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank.

A solidly wonkish response.

Question: “You’ve said that you would tear up the Iran deal on day one. If this deal is undone, what then?”
Walker: Iran is not a country we should be doing business with. We need to re-institute sanctions.
Paul: I would try to negotiate from strength and get a better deal.
Huckabee: We got nothing from this deal. Obama is just a bad president, and the Iranians are bad people.

So Paul would not re-institute sanctions and would negotiate with Iran, and Huckabee doesn’t have a plan. Advantage Walker.

Question: You favor a rape and incest exception to abortion bans. Don’t you care at all about the unborn?
Rubio: That is a misstatement of my record. I have advocated a law that would protect life at every stage of development, but we actually already have such a law–the Constitution.

Good answer.

Question: “Mr. Trump, in 1999, you said you were, quote, ‘very pro- choice.’ Even supporting partial-birth abortion. You favored an assault weapons ban as well. In 2004, you said in most cases you identified as a Democrat. Even in this campaign, your critics say you often sound more like a Democrat than a Republican, calling several of your opponents on the stage things like clowns and puppets. When did you actually become a Republican?”
Trump: I’ve evolved, just like Ronald Reagan evolved. But I’ve always been pro-life, and you know New York is almost completely Democrat, and “I have a lot of liking for this man, but the last number of months of his brother’s administration were a catastrophe. And unfortunately, those few months gave us President Obama. And you can’t be happy about that.”

The section in quotation marks is a direct quote. I’ve no idea who he is talking about at the end. The transcript says that the audience applauded after this statement. It can only be because they hate the press, and are giving Trump a pass on every nonsensical statement he makes.

Question: “An anonymous GOP donor who said you called Mr. Trump a clown, a buffoon, something else that cannot be repeated on television.”
Bush: Untrue. I said his language was divisive. We need to get past the divisiveness of people like Obama and Hillary. Many people are suffering in America, and we need to give them hope by creating an environment where everyone rises up.
Trump: Of course my tone is harsh, when people are cutting Christian’s heads off and people are going all medieval.

A trivial question of there ever was one. Note the pandering in Trump’s response: He has never expressed any concern for Christians getting their heads cut off before.

Question: How would you explain your opposition to homosexual marriage to your child if he or she were a homosexual?
Kasich: I’m an old-fashioned person, but the court has ruled that homosexual marriage is the law of the land, and so we should accept it. And I will love my daughters no matter what they do.

So much for his social conservative credibility.

Question: “What will you do to ensure Christians are not prosecuted for speaking out against gay marriage and will Christians be forced to conduct business that conflicts with their religious beliefs?”
Paul: The government should not interfere with people’s religious beliefs or practices.

A nice sentiment, but what would Paul do to ensure Christians are not prosecuted for speaking out against gay marriage? He did not help himself with his answer.

Question: Many people believe that overly-aggressive police officers targeting young African Americans is the civil rights issue of our time. Do you agree?
Walker: Police need better training.

Walker went on at length about the need for better training, but never really answered the question. On the other hand, the question wasn’t all that good.

Question: A top Iranian general traveling to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He’s blamed for hundreds of U.S. troops death in Iraq, and Afghanistan. His trip to Russia appears to directly violate U.N. Security Council resolutions to confine him to Iran. How would you respond to this?
Trump: The whole thing that Obama is doing with Iran is a disgrace.
Question: In your view, have Russia and China committed of cyber war, and if you were president, what would you do about it?
Cruz: Of course they have. And this Iranian general, he’s a bad dude.
Question: Would you have used military force on Assad after he crossed the red line and used chemical weapons on his won people?
Carson: Our military is at its weakest state in years, and this limits our options. Our friends can’t trust us anymore. We’ve turned our back on Israel.
Question: What would you do if Russian President Vladimir Putin started a campaign to destabilize NATO allies Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, mirroring the actions Putin took at the early days of Ukraine.
Walker: That cyber attack by Russia the other day was terrible! I would send weapons to the Ukraine, I would put NATO on the borders, and I would reinstate our missile defense system with the Poles and the Czechs.

Walker was the only one to actually answer his question, and his answer was quite good.

Question: The US military is preparing to let transgender people serve openly. What are your thoughts?
Huckabee: The military is not a place for social experiments–it’s there to protect our country. However, it is being destroyed under the Obama administration, and it has forgotten its mission.

This was Huckabee’s best answer all night.

Question: The first budget your proposed as senator cut all financial aid to Israel. You have since changed your view on that issue. What made you change your mind?
Paul: I’m the only one who has even had a budget. “But even Benjamin Netanyahu said that ultimately, they will be stronger when they’re independent. My position is exactly the same.” We should not be borrowing money from China to send to other countries. We cannot give money away that we do not have.
Christie: We should be strengthening our military, and while we shouldn’t be giving aid to our enemies, we certainly should be doing what we can to fund Israel.

So, Paul is not in favor of giving aid to Israel after all. This is just a rehash of his father’s talking point–that Israel would actually be stronger without US aid, and so aid to Israel should be cut. This talking point makes no more sense coming from Rand than it did from Ron.

Question: Have any of you received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first?
Cruz: God speaks to me through his Scriptures. My father was an alcoholic, and God turned my his life around. Scripture says that we will know people by their fruits, and we see a lot of “campaign conservatives”, but if we are going to win we need a real conservative who is willing to fight for liberty.
Kasich: My father was a mailman. I do believe in miracles. But elections are not about campaigns, they are about movements. God wants America to succeed.
Walker: I’m not perfect, but Christ has redeemed me of my sins. God calls us to follow his will, and that’s what I’m trying to do. I want to live as a testimony to him.
Question: Talk about your relation to God, and veterans.
Rubio: God has blessed our country. We are all so blessed. We need to do more for the people in uniform and clean up this VA mess.
Question: Talk about your relation to God, and race relations.
Carson: We need to heal the divide. Our skin color doesn’t make us who we are. “Our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states.”

Afterwards come to closing statements, which are boilerplate and will not be repeated here.

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GOP Undercard Debate Recap

This is a recap of the GOP undercard debate on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The moderators were Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum. Debate participants were Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, and George Pataki.

In summary, Carly Fiorina proved herself smart and capable, and was the clear winner of the debate. She did not belong in this debate at all, and should have been invited to the main event. Lindsey Graham came in second in the sense that he gave a very good debate performance which is sure to gain him some support among low-information voters. However, few conservatives will really ever trust the man, given his record as a senator. Perry and Santorum came in the middle of the pack. Perry in particular seemed to disappear in this debate, and was not a factor in the second half. Jindal did not help himself at all, which is a pity, and Pataki and Gilmore would have been better off skipping the debate altogether.

As the debate was not broadcasted online and we do not have access to Fox News, the recap is based upon a transcript of what was said.

Question: Why should someone vote for you?
Perry: My record as governor of Texas, the greatest country state in the world proves I would make a good president, and I have spent the last four years preparing for this moment.
Question: How dare you compare yourself to Margaret Thatcher!
Fiorina: Like Thatcher, I understand how the economy works and I am able to make tough decisions.
Question: You’re a loser, so what makes you think you can win this time?
Santorum: I have a track record of getting things done.
Question: In your home state, your approval ratings are in the toilet. How can you be considered a plausible candidate?
Jindal: I have a great track record as governor, and the Dems and Republicans in Washington are running up a huge debt, and boy does that Iran deal stink!
Question: You are a lib when it comes to climate change, how can conservatives trust you?
Graham: I’m not for cap and trade. We should drill for more oil and find more ways to save energy.
Question: You’re a fossil! Doesn’t the party need new blood?
Pataki: Yes, I’m a fossil, but I can bring us all together.
Question: You’re a loser and a fossil. How can you run for president?
Gilmore: Things have gotten much worse since I began to fossilize, but as governor I had extensive foreign policy experience and I know how to run things.

This line of questioning was about as softball as one could get, and surely all of the candidates should have been prepared for it. At the same time, the biased way some of the questions were pitched shows the genuine weaknesses of some of these candidates. On this basis, Santorum, Jindal, Pataki, and Gilmore really did not help themselves with their answers as they did not address the basic point of their questions, or (in the case of Pataki) they reaffirmed preconceptions that they were not all that conservative.

Question: Is Trump getting the better of you?
Perry: He’s a celebrity, and at some point his poll numbers will fall to earth. He was for nationalized healthcare, and on illegal immigration he is all talk.
Fiorina: The man got a phone call from Bill Clinton urging him to run for president, and he is a Clinton donor. He has successfully tapped into the anger many Americans have, but has flip-flopped on so many issues, how can he possibly be trusted as a principled conservative?

Perry scored some points. One the other hand, Fiorina kicked Trump in the nuts and whacked him on the head. Impressive.

Question: How would your fight against ISIS be any different than Obama’s?
Jindal: Obama can’t even bring himself to identify the enemy for what it is–radical Islam–so no wonder he is failing. I would coordinate with the Pentagon to come up with a game plan to win the war, even if it means sending in ground troops.
Graham: I would do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes, to defeat them.

Both men were impressive, and surely Jindal scored more points by being willing to talk about Obama’s failed worldview. However, are voters really wanting to get involved in a ground war in the Middle East once again?

Question: What would you do about the threat of Islamic terrorism here at home?
Pataki: The preaching of jihad and radical Islamism is not protected First Amendment speech. We need to shut them down and destroy them.

The above is just a summary–Pataki goes into some detail as to how he would do this, but much of it would involved putting the Bill of Rights into the trash heap and giving the police more power to spy on people and trample on civil liberties. Why not fix the real problem first, which involves a broken immigration system that allows radicals and terrorists into the country legally?

Question: Do cyber walls need to be torn torn so that we can be more secure, or is this a threat to our liberty?
Fiorina: The intelligence agencies need to develop a different mindset so that they can see and connect the dots using the information they already have. We do need to tear down some cyber walls, but only on a targeted basis–like those existing in China and Russia.
Gilmore: I have experience fighting terrorism, and we need to use all our technological advantages to fight this scourge …

Fiorina hit her answer out of the park once again. On the other hand, apart from generalized sentiment, it was hard to see what Gilmore was on about.

Question: How could you be so heartless to tear families apart with your immigration proposal?
Santorum: I come from an immigrant family which played by the rules, and that meant waiting on visas and sometimes being apart. It is hard but it is also a small price to pay. We are a country of laws, and so it is important that everyone live by those laws. My position is anti-illegal immigration and pro-legal immigration.
Perry: Everyone is tired of hearing about this, and no one trusts Washington to do anything. I would secure the border.

Perry’s response will be welcomed by some people, but in truth he did not at all answer the question and did not really help himself with those skeptical of his candidacy. Santorum, on the other hand, excelled.

Question: How do you get Americans who are able to take a job instead of a handout?
Graham: People want to work, but need a chance. Hillary is bad. Obama is bad.
Santorum: We need to create better paying jobs, we need a 20% flat tax, work requirements and time limits for all welfare.

Graham gave no specifics, while Santorum did. At the same time, a 20% flat tax would destroy the livelihoods of everyone except the upper class. When combined with withholding taxes, it would mean that everyone would find their income cut by more than 30%.

Question: Isn’t it heartless to cut entitlements?
Gilmore: But it will grow the economy so people will have jobs. We also need to lower the tax rates, have tax reform, and eliminate regulations. This will help grow the economy.

This was Gilmore’s best answer of the night.

Question: Why is Kasich a bad governor for expanding Medicaid ?
Jindal: Babble, babble, babble.
Question: Jindal didn’t answer the question, can you help us Pataki?
Jindal: Medicaid should not be expanded.
Pataki: I agree with Jindal. Babble, babble, babble.
Question: Would you have expanded Obamacare in New York if you had been governor?
Pataki: Obamacare should be repealed.

This exchange did not help either man in the least.

Question: Which side should we be on, the Iranians who want the bomb, and who support terrorism, or the Saudis who also support terrorism?
Perry: We should be the side of whoever will keep Iran from getting the bomb. The Iran agreement is bad and I’d tear it up.
Fiorina: Well, sometimes things are not so black and white, but I would stand with Israel against Iran. We have to destroy this deal and stop the money flow to Iran.
Question: Would you help Arab countries get nuclear weapons to counteract Iran?
Fiorina: I would provide all the conventional weapons, intelligence support, and coordination required to help Arab countries fight ISIS in the Middle East.

Let’s face it: The question was crap. Both candidates did the best they could under the circumstances, though Fiorina made more of this opportunity.

Question: Is the recent SCOTUS decision on homosexual marriage now settled law in the US?
Santorum: “Not anymore than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln.” The SCOTUS was also wrong on partial-birth abortion, but we were still able to pass laws restricting it.

Yep. Sadly, this question was not asked of the other candidates. Fiorina is on record that it is settled law, for example.

Question: Should abortion be a litmus test for the appointment of SCOTUS judges?
Gilmore: SCOTUS judges should follow the law and not make the law, but no litmus test. Also, we need a Middle East NATO to combat terrorism.

Gilmore not only whiffed the question, but then proceeded to double down on stupidity. He would have been better off to say that he had no opinion on any issues and talk warmly of Ronald Reagan.

Question: You’re pro-choice, but you would defund Planned Parenthood. Have the recent videos changed your mind about infanticide?
Pataki: I am appalled by abortion, but it is settled law and I don’t think we should try to change it. I would pass a law outlawing late-term abortions, however.
Question: Would you be willing to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding, in the same way as Fiorina would?
Jindal: No, I would not shut down the government in order to protect their funding, and I would start criminal investigations of them as well.
Question: Isn’t this talk of defunding a war on women?
Graham: “I don’t think it’s a war on women for all of us as Americans to stand up and stop harvesting organs from little babies.” Let’s use the money for things that really help women’s health. The real war on women is in Iraq and Afghanistan–we need to send more soldiers to protect them.

Pataki is in the wrong party. Fiorina helped herself by just being at the debate–she didn’t even have to answer the question. Jindal’s choice of wording was so poor that he took what should have been a home run and turned it into a suicide bunt. Graham really shined. If you didn’t already know anything about him and his record, you might actually want to support him.

Question: What would be your first executive order as president?
Gilmore: I would void all of Obama’s executive orders that I did not agree with.
Graham: Stop funding abortions overseas. Restore the NSA.
Jindal: Repeal Obama’s executive orders. Go after sanctuary cities. Call the IRS off conservative and Christian groups. Executive order protecting religious liberty.
Perry: Tear up Iran deal, secure the border, void Obama’s executive orders.
Santorum: Ditto. First Amendment Defense Act, protecting religious freedom.
Fiorina: Ditto. Void all of Obama’s executive orders. I am an conservative because …
Pataki: Void all of Obama’s executive orders. Hiring freeze on new federal employees.

If one is against the idea of using executive orders to institute new laws, then some of the candidates seemed a little soft here. For example, on what legal basis could Jindal go after sanctuary cities or create an executive order protecting religious liberty? Isn’t this a matter for Congress to take up?

Question: How would you be able to inspire the nation?
Fiorina: Our rights come from God, and cannot be taken away by the government. People are being crushed by the weight of government, so we need someone who can challenge the status quo. I can do that.
Santorum: My biography shows that I can get things done in Washington.
Graham: I will defend our nation. I will protect Social Security and Medicare. I will make sure that everyone knows I will put my country ahead of my party.

Fiorina comes out strongest once again. Graham sounds good in sound bites, but in action his stance that he should put the country ahead of party means that he is willing to sell out to the Democrats every time. Santorum needs to stop talking about his biography. It isn’t helping him.

Question: How would you describe Obama?
Pataki: “Divisive and with no vision.”
Fiorina: “Not trustworthy. No accomplishment.”
Perry: “Secretive and untrustworthy … Good at email.”
Jindal: “Socialist and government dependent.”
Graham: “Not the change we need at a time we need it.”
Gilmore: “Professional politician that can’t be trusted.”

So they all dislike the man.

After this there were the final statements, which are always just boilerplate, and in this case pretty much just repeat what has already been said.

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Sometimes The Truth Is Not Enough

Many people imagine that if enough information comes out about what Planned Parenthood is doing and if people would only find out what abortion really entails, there would be a groundswell of opposition against abortion, and it would be outlawed.

I am not so sure.

Let me explain why.

I once worked in a church which had a pastor whom I sincerely believe was not a Christian. He has since passed away, and I am fairly certain that he died in his sins. Indeed, I have met others who were not members of his church who apparently agree with this assessment. He was abusive, controlling, conniving, lying, and taught a false gospel that did not rely on grace, but was based on obedience to a set of rules which had utterly no relation to any law or moral imprecation in the Bible. Further, he vigorously persecuted Christians who taught and lived by grace, doing everything he could to drive them out of his church and denomination, and out of the entire fellowship of believers via his link with other churches in other denominations.

Once I saw and understood who he was and what he was about, I was in a quandary. I was not in any kind of position to go to anyone else and explain what I saw, nor was I going to whisper against him or do anything to undercut his ministry. I resolved that the only solution to the problem was to continue to live and walk in grace, speaking the truth while at the same time not attacking him, and pray that the church would see the light. I reasoned that the church elders and deacons were people like myself, but were not fully informed. If they could only see the truth of the situation, I thought, they would deal with this false pastor.

And I was wrong.

In time, they did see the pastor undeniably for who he really was, they did see the truth of the situation visibly before their own eyes, and they did absolutely nothing. He served as pastor of that church until he died.

Why did they refuse to act? I suspect that many people in the church could not be bothered to do anything, because they could not stomach a fight. Others took the path of even less resistance and simply stopped going to church. At the same time, there were others–people with influence and power in the church–who did nothing because they saw nothing wrong with the situation. Like the pastor, the truth was simply not in them.

And if the church members did not care enough to do anything even when the truth was before their eyes, imagine what the neighbors of the church thought. To them, the church was just full of crazies anyway, and so it did not matter if the pastor was crazier than the rest. Indeed, it should be expected.

In my life, I have often prayed that the truth would be revealed, expecting that when it was revealed people would repent. It has seldom if ever worked out that way. Usually, when the truth is revealed, people just shrug their shoulders. If they have any emotion at all, it is to rejoice in the evil they see, because that is what they wanted.

Think about it for a moment: What was the reaction when Christ, the eternal Truth, was revealed in the flesh to mankind? Did people repent? Some did. However, the first reaction for many people, especially those of power and influence, was to want to kill him.

So, to get back to the videos about Planned Parenthood, I am not confident that they will have the immediate result that many people hope. Surely, many people who are already horrified by abortion will become even more horrified and motivated to rid America of this abomination, and some people will be challenged to get off the fence and decide which side they are on. However, most of those who couldn’t be bothered to act before the video will not be bothered to act after the video, and very few people who are in favor of abortion will have their minds changed.

The silver lining is that most people in the US are in fact against abortion, and so it is possible that the videos will provide enough impetus for us to finally rid ourselves of the pro-life pretenders in the GOP and vote in congressmen and senators who are in fact pro-life, in words as well as in deed. And even if this does not occur, at least we might be able to strike some fear into the hearts of these frauds and force them to defund Planned Parenthood, if for no other reason than to preserve their place at the public food troth.

Having said this, I really doubt that many people will have their minds changed by these videos. Heinrich Himmler was noted for his delicate sensibilities and would almost faint at the sight of blood, but this did not keep him from setting up extermination camps to kill the Jews. The people who support Planned Parenthood are all just little Himmlers. Even though their sensibilities may be offended by the videos, they will do everything they can to insist that the extermination camps be kept opened and even expanded. It is simply who they are.

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Are You Failing The Trump Test?

I said this on Twitter, and I’ll repeat it here.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I sincerely believe God had a question as to whether or not people claiming to be Christians and conservatives were really willing to stand for the truth, or were just so full of anger, hatred, and spite that they would follow anyone who told them what they wanted to hear. So God sent Trump to test them, and many people who should know better are failing that test. And if it means that Trump is elected or Trump’s candidacy allows a Dem to sneak into the White House, then America richly deserves whatever judgement comes its way.

When people who claim to stand for the truth follow after a lie, what hope does a country have? And Trump’s candidacy is nothing but a lie, from one end to the next. He is no better than Hillary.

There are perfectly fine candidates who have toiled in the trenches for years in support of conservative causes, who have never been in favor of abortion, who have never been fans of nationalized healthcare, who have never supported amnesty, who have never been supporters of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, and who have never given Hillary money. However, Donald Trump is not among these candidates. To support him is to support his lies. You cannot say that you are a conservative who stands for the truth if you are willing to stand behind or tolerate this man as a supposed conservative candidate.

You simply can’t.

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The #Cuckservative Con

Recently, we’ve been seeing the #cuckservative hashtag thrown around a lot on Twitter, usually in defense of Donald Trump. Ostensibly, the people using this hashtag are upset conservatives who feel like they have been “cuckolded” by the GOP establishment. However, there is a strong anti-Semitic, racist tinge to many of the Tweets, and terms such as “white power” and “mud people” are thrown around a lot.

Some of the people throwing around the term have actually attacked Ted Cruz, no doubt because he is Hispanic:

The idea that somehow Cruz has cuckolded conservatives should be too much of a stretch for anyone who has had their head out of their butt for more than five minutes in the last year. And, try as I might, I cannot find a more hateful and obnoxious term in the English language than the term “mud people”. Prior to this week, the last time I had ever heard the term used was by a member of the KKK, many, many years ago. It is a term that is not used by civilized people, and it is certainly not a term characteristic of conservatives or Christians.

Ace of Spades ever so gently tried to deal with this issue:

I’m not going to say that everyone using the term “#cuckservative” is a white supremacist. In fact, when I first saw it yesterday, I assumed it was a reference to the McConnell/Boehner wing of corporate cuckolds.

In fact, many people might think it means just that — and for them, it does. If that’s what you think it means, that’s what it means, for you.

However, it’s an objective fact that many using the term, and stinging social media like race-warring hornets, are indeed out and proud white supremacists, or at least the sorts of person who casually uses the word “muds” (as in “I’m not going to stand by and see my country polluted by muds” — that sort of thing) in the belief that this is a socially-acceptable shorthand for “anyone who isn’t a Scots-Irish-or-Germanic white person.”

Ace never really offers a prescription for what should be done about this issue, but he does note that it will be used by liberals to discredit people who are hard-liners on immigration.

The result of his post? Ace of Spades suffered a coordinated Twitter attack.

Erick Erickson has also gotten involved on Twitter, pointing out some of the implications of the #cuckservative hashtag:

As Matt Lewis notes, Erickson does not do the term #cuckservative full justice. Nevertheless, Erickson still sustained a coordinated Twitter attack.

Finally, Robert Stacy McCain got into the act:

So, yeah, I know a lot of radical “New Right” who think the Republican Party is hopeless, and some of them have rather idiosyncratic opinions on certain other issues we need not further belabor here. However, the anti-Jew vibe coming off the #cuckservative hashtag is just a bit too blatant. And the thought crossed my mind: agents provocateurs.

There was an old joke down in Georgia that if five guys show up for a KKK meeting, at least three of them are working for the FBI, and I’ve got a hunch something like that must be behind this #cuckservative thing. My bullshit detector is pretty reliable, and if I had to bet money, I’ve got $20 that says either Justice Department informants or Democrat Party dirty tricksters have infiltrated the “New Right,” because this #cuckservative thing is just way too perfect to be a coincidence …

As James Carville says, if you see a turtle sitting atop a fence post, you know it didn’t crawl up there by itself and — in case nobody told you yet — Team Hillary is playing for keeps. Don’t be a chump. Know who you trust and trust who you know. Beware of dirty tricks.

If we can’t defeat Team Hillary, America is doomed and deservedly so.

The result? He suffered a coordinated Twitter attack. As he pointed out:

Certainly, all the evidence points to this being a false-flag operation mounted by progressives in order to discredit Trump, the push against illegal immigration, and conservatives in general. Yet, some people have claimed that those engaged in the #cuckservative are actually quite sincere, and have been active on Reddit for some time. In response to this, here is a screenshot of the description of what a “cuckservative” really is, from the Cuckservative Clubhouse on Reddit:

cuckservative definition

(H/t Rick Wilson)

In short, the #cuckservative meme is just a con job.

Of course, some people who are apparently sincere have fallen for this con job. Some of these people even follow me on Twitter. If you are in this category, you need to wake up and realize that you are being played for a chump: The only reason the #cuckservative hashtag exists is to discredit and destroy all that you hold dear.

Indeed, The New Republic already has an article out dissecting the #cuckservative phenomenon and essentially calling all Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters racists, saying that “Conservatives Are Holding A Conversation About Race.” It may or may not be true that conservatives are holding such a conversation, but as the #cuckservative meme was invented by liberals, it has nothing to do with conservatives and their views on race.

Unless conservatives strike back early and hard, expect the racist-conservative meme to define the 2016 election, and if this happens Hillary may well become the next president.

So, here is the bottom line:

  1. If you are a racist, then you need to get right with God. There is no debating you, and I have nothing more to say to you than you should repent.
  2. If you are confused and angry, and tempted to use the #cuckservative hashtag because somehow it resonates with you, then I implore you to “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5: 21).
  3. If you are a Trump supporter because you somehow think he is a conservative or even believe that he is a strong advocate against illegal immigration, read this.
  4. If you are a liberal troll peddling this racist meme in order to advance your cause, then you need to slink back to the foul depths to where you belong.

At any rate, if I see someone using the #cuckservative hashtag on Twitter in anything but a negative light, exposing those who are pushing it, then I will immediately block the person, even if the person is a sincere conservative.

Our nation is too valuable to lose simply because of a lousy hashtag.

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Telling The “Truth” To Power: Fake Republican Engages In Fraud Debate

When I was young, one of the heroes of the churches I went to was Bob Harrington, the so-called Chaplain of Bourbon Street. Bob had made a big name for himself by ministering in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and was a major celebrity on the evangelical circuit in the 1970s. Of course, there was more hype than substance to this.

When I stayed in the French Quarter to do street evangelism in 1986, some of the people in our group asked our host where Harrington was, and why he wasn’t there ministering.

“When has he ever ministered in the French Quarter?” our host answered. He went on the explain that Harrington’s ministry had always been a charade and that the man had never really done much work in the French Quarter.

During the height of his fame, Harrington “debated” atheism with Madalyn Murray O’Hair, first on Donahue, and then in a touring roadshow. The debates were quite theatrical, with plenty of red meat to please both sides of the issue. However, as William Murray, O’Hair’s son, later recounted in his book My Life Without God, the debates were a complete fraud–after each debate, they would meet and divide up the money over a bottle of whiskey, laughing at the way they had conned everyone.

In short, the debates were nothing more than a money-making venture for both parties. Of course, one rejoinder is that whatever his motives, Bob Harrington was still speaking the truth and some good may have come of it.

This may be an accurate assessment. For example, my father found freedom and deliverance from Mike Warnke’s The Satan Seller, even though that book was later debunked as a complete fraud. Truth is truth, even when spoken by a liar, and truth brings light.

At the same time, do you really want someone who is morally bankrupt to be your pastor or your leader? Merely because someone says something you happen to agree with, are they worthy of your support and praise, and should their errors be glossed over? Arguably, the best thing that ever happened to Harrington and Warnke is that they were exposed for the frauds that they were. At least in Harrington’s case, this has led to a degree of repentance. If one really claims to love such people, then for their own sakes, if for no other reason, they need to be exposed for what they are. It may be their only hope.

Which brings us to Donald Trump.

In 2004, Donald Trump noted that he identified more as a Democrat than as a Republican:

And as late as April 2009, Trump was giving high marks to President Obama. In an interview with Larry King, Trump said,

Well, I think he’s sort of a guy that just has a wonderful personality, a good speaker, somebody that people trust. And I also think that the comparison with his predecessor is so different — it’s so huge that it really has made a great impact on people … I think he’s doing a really good job… He’s totally a champion.

Finally, Trump has been a big financial supporter of the Democrats over the years:

The real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” host has made more than $1.3 million in donations over the years to candidates nationwide, with 54 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal disclosure records.

Recipients include Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, and Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Obama who received $50,000 from Trump during his recent run to become Chicago’s mayor, records show. Many of the contributions have been concentrated in New York, Florida and other states where Trump has substantial real estate and casino interests.

In this regard, Trump has been especially close to the Clintons:

[Trump] has been especially cozy — financially and personally — with Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former New York senator who had some say over policy that could have impacted Trump’s vast business dealings, received donations from both him and son Donald Trump Jr. on separate occasions in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to state and federal disclosure records.

Trump has also been generous with the Clinton Foundation, donating at least $100,000, according to the non-profit.

In another sign of their closeness, Clinton attended Trump’s 2005 wedding to current wife Melania Knauss at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, along with the likes of Katie Couric, Billy Joel and then-“American Idol” judge Simon Cowell. (According to People, Clinton had front-pew seating. Though Bill missed the ceremony itself, he did show up to the reception.)

Trump’s retort is that as a businessman he sees fit to curry favor with people on all sides of the political spectrum, but that in his heart he is really a conservative. Let’s skip over the fact that giving money and support to politicians in the hope of receiving quid pro quo is the very essence of corruption and crony capitalism, and ask where, before he sought to curry favor with Republican voters, Trump really stood on the issues.

As Jonah Goldberg points out:

Immigration: You seem to think he’s an immigration hardliner, and he’s certainly pretending to be. But why can’t you see through it? He condemned Mitt Romney as an immigration hardliner in 2012 and favored comprehensive immigration reform. He told Bill O’Reilly he was in favor of a “path to citizenship” for 30 million illegal immigrants:

Trump: You have to give them a path. You have 20 million, 30 million, nobody knows what it is. It used to be 11 million. Now, today I hear it’s 11, but I don’t think it’s 11. I actually heard you probably have 30 million. You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that.

Question: Just how many rapists and drug dealers did Donald Trump want to give green cards to?

Abortion: In 1999 he said, “I’m totally pro-choice. I hate it and I hate saying it. And I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m pro-choice but I am pro-choice because I think we have no choice.” Man, it’s like he’s channeling Thomas Aquinas there. Now he says he’s pro-life. But I’ll spare the mocking on this because at least he’s flip-flopping in the right direction, and I don’t like to second guess peoples’ professed religious convictions.

Obamacare: The man wrote in his own book and said elsewhere that he was in favor of Canadian-style socialized medicine — which would put him to the left of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and on pretty much the same page as Bernie Sanders.

Hillary: Speaking of her, Trump praised Hillary Clinton and her health-care reform plan — in 2007! She attended his (most recent) wedding. He donated to her campaigns and to the Clinton Foundation. In 2008, he couldn’t get his head around the fact that Obama didn’t pick her for VP. “I’m a big fan of Hillary. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a friend of mine.”

Economics: People tout the guy’s business record. But he represents almost exactly what his supporters think he opposes. He’s a crony capitalist par excellence. He gives to whatever politician can grease the skids for his next deal — and he makes no apologies for it. He’s an eminent-domain voluptuary. He abuses bankruptcy laws like a stack of homemade get-out-of-jail-free cards.

So, who–or what–is Trump really?

Trump is first of all a huckster, which is another way of saying that he is a fraud and a con man. He is in it for himself, and will do anything and say anything if he thinks it will bring profit to himself. He is certainly not in it for the American people or because he loves his country.

Yet, behind all of his bluster and bombast, politically Trump is well to the left of every Republican candidates running for president, and the vast majority of Republican voters. Perhaps this is why, instead of debating the issues with other Republicans, he just hurls insults at them.

Finally, no matter what Trump may say right now, it is hard to believe that he would really regret Hillary becoming president. Indeed, a number of people have speculated that Trump is really a stalking horse for Hillary. That is, his purpose is to advance Hillary’s campaign. And Trump’s campaign has already had that effect, by sucking all of the air out of the room for a host of otherwise viable conservative candidates, and by diverting national attention away from Hillary’s many questionable positions and scandals. If Trump were to win the nomination, it would be a win-win for him, as it does not matter to him who is in the White House so long as it is either him or Hillary. And, if Trump does not get the GOP nomination, he can run as an independent, guaranteeing a Hillary win.

So in the end, when all is said and done, no matter who wins the election, Hillary and Donald will go to a back room, and divide the spoils over a bottle of whiskey, laughing at the gullibility of the American voters.

“But Trump is telling the truth to power!”

That’s what hucksters do–they tell you what you want to hear as they pick your pocket.

“But Trump is the only one telling the truth right now!”

That’s not true at all. Cruz, Perry, Fiorina, Rubio, Walker, and a whole host of other candidates have been sounding off loudly on the issues, and have also been attacking Hillary–something by and large Trump refuses to do–but Trump has stolen all of their press.

“But it doesn’t matter what his motives are, he’s telling the truth!”

Whether he tells the truth or not, do you really want a fraud for your president? Or have you been happy with the last eight years with a snake-oil-salesman as commander in chief?

“Telling the truth” is what hucksters do, and many of them are so good at it that they even start to believe the crap they are spewing. However, if America is to be saved, we must stop allowing ourselves to be taken in by con men and rank frauds such as Donald Trump.

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