Thursday, December 31, 2015

Expect Trump to Move Sharply Left if He Wins GOP Nomination

I ran across an article a few days ago in which the author made the argument that Trump could win the general election and the route to victory would be a likely sharp move to the left once nominated.  Unfortunately I've been unable to relocate the article.  I agree with the author's sentiment, however.

On issue after issue, Trump has shown himself to have very fluid views, changing those views (mostly) from liberal to conservative as he campaigns to win the GOP nomination.   For example, Trump has been for higher taxes, single payer health insurance that covers everyone, and has declared
Donald Trump
that he is "very pro choice" even willing to support partial birth abortion.  So many of my conservative friends have bought hook, line and sinker Trump's claim that his views have changed on a wide assortment of issues.  (Although I don't think he's ever refuted his support of a single payer health insurance, which would be a huge expansion of Obamacare.)  Trump's liberal political history has even won him the applause of liberal talk show host Joy Behar.  (See: "Joy Behar Touts Trump’s Liberal Views: ‘He Agrees With Bernie")

The thrust of the original article I referenced is that Trump, by moving sharply to the left, would have a chance of winning the general election against Democrat Hillary Clinton who is seen as very close to Wall Street.  Trump, riding a wave of populism, could make the case he is against the abuses of corporate America and for working men and women.  In essence, Trump would become the Republican Bernie Sanders, while maintaining his anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-Establishment populist views. 

Would conservatives currently supporting Trump abandon the New York businessman if he reverts back to his pre-election liberal self?  I don't think so. There has been a sort of cult of personality built up around Trump. Even when Trump has slipped up and expressed extremely liberal views during the campaign (which he often flipped on later), his supporters seem completely unwilling to holding him accountable.  So many of my conservative supporter friends start off with their defense of Trump with "What he really meant to say..."   It is not clear that anything short of Trump admitting he hung out with Bill Cosby trying to score women by giving them drug-laced drinks would derail his supporters from backing him.  Actually I'm not sure that would either.

I always thought Trump would revert to his former liberal self once winning the general election.  Upon further reflection, I think that is wrong.  I think he will revert to his liberal views once nominated.  Imagine Republican nominee Trump running to the left of Hillary Clinton, while retaining right-wing, anti-Establishment support.  That is a recipe for a general election win and for a conservative loss.   Of course, conservatives will have already lost the election if Trump is nominated.

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