Behold five overt Trump contradictions that, especially as visibility increases, block his presidential chances. No doubt there are others: bring ‘em on. With the country roughly divided 35-40% Republican and 40% Democratic, that means the 25% of less party affiliated, less engaged centrists will again decide our next president. Clinton looks to survive her email disgrace, still leading in key states per post-Comey polls, plus surpassing Obama-Romney parallels with white college-educated voters.
1) If America’s Kaput, Why Are Key Economic Numbers Improving? Why are Trump’s Rich Cronies Still Getting Richer?
If Trump’s perpetual disaster scenario is valid — reducing the entire US to pathetic victim of domestic crooks and scheming foreigners — where’s proof of collapse? Why hasn’t the US economy capsized, sunk by a crumbling dollar (actually rising)? Why are domestic real estate and stock markets improving (even record-breaking), along with monthly employment, car sales, and housing starts? The macro sky is not falling, even the reverse.
Naturally, ambitious politicians paint the bleakest picture possible, blaming the other side for every ordeal. Trump here is the rule, however over-the-top, not the exception. But overwrought doom and gloom has a short political half-life, especially when exposed as deceptively fraudulent. Will non-Trump centrists warm to his craven jeremiads, especially absent any real-world escape hatches? Key economists dread his sound bite, a grab-bag of non-solutions augur recession, not job redemption.
2) Nothing Trump Says Will Stimulate Job Growth.
Trump’s vacuous job propaganda assumes what is not at all in evidence: that presidents, willful or not, are alone significant job producers. Even government itself only increases staff if Congress (or state houses) do the currently unthinkable: pump prime budgets to compensate for a stingy recovery. Okay, starting wars or facing catastrophic emergencies stimulate growth but not solid, good paying, permanent employment. That’s about world trade, corporate risk-reward measures, growth in factories, small businesses or new industries, at times tax incentives — all beyond executive privilege.
Further, Trump’s blinkered “America First” bias views trade as suspect and threatens tariffs and retribution, all the while pushing reduced minimal wages AND millionaires tax breaks. Does Trump, easily the most undiplomatic candidate imaginable, think intimidating trading partners and exposing his macro-ignorance on economics will magically create jobs? What insulted foreigner rushes to “co-operate” with the Trumpster — whose crude measure for good negotiation is winner take all?
3) Trump’s Campaign Train Wreck Disproves Competence Claims.
The best predictor I know for administration success is the quality of the campaign (without which winning is impossible). Trump’s primary dominance reflects neither organizational or staff brilliance, not soaring oratory or mastery of techniques. His nervy dog and pony show ambushed a gang of GOP mediocrities, clueless against infantile taunts. Originated as a vanity prank, Trump’s narrow run got away with empty messaging, weak national organization and defiance of party elites he gleefully skewered. His main appeal: the biggest, brashest mouth alongside the smallest electoral experience, thus no public voting record to attack. What Trump never did, and never bothered to learn about governing, was enough to hoodwink know-nothings.
But since then, this most wayward modern campaign stuns with negligence, lack of focus, and blown opportunities. Trump continually commits unforced errors galore, many that estrange critical general election voters. No clearer now than months ago in conveying what his presidency means, Trump so far models how not to run for president. His learning curve from spoiled, rich TV celebrity to winning, professional politician is notable by its absence. Truth is, his political brand is repeatedly coming up as “incompetent.” Par for the course: instead of goosing up the Clinton email infamy, Trump last week wasted days on a needlessly offensive, “anti-Semitic” Tweet. No wonder top Republicans already write off the White House and look to the Senate or House for salvation.
4) Unpredictability — the Least Trustworthy Tactic for Scary, Unstable Times.
Learning on the job to be president (or presidential) recalls the wildly unqualified Dubya. Trump rashly touts unpredictability (laughable, as he doesn’t even know political norms). So, does “winning” happen after disrupting friends and rivals alike with reckless shock and awe. Will Trump be more or less unpredictable than brutal terrorists who openly ambush civilians? One can’t wait for the revealingly “unpredictable” Republican convention, if not VP choice.
Secrecy and planning matter, but Trump “unpredictability” so far comes down to talking up torture, bombing the crap out of ISIS (meaning?) or their families (a war crime) — let alone pre-emptive nukes. When everything is on the complex, global table, and winners crudely take all, dreadful unintended consequences loom. Would “unpredictability” lead to dropping bombs and starting wars so you can brag, like Dubya, you’re a war president?
5) Trump is More Rogue/Authoritarian Isolationist Than Self-financed, anti-Elitist Republican.
Do 50% of GOP voters smell a rat, favoring some other nominee? As Jeb says, he’s barely a Republican and no conservative. What other Republican gratuitously attacks a federal judge on private litigation, treats party skeptics as treasonous enemies, or endorses Putin (and other dictators) as like-minded strongmen? What other Republican stands by less free trade, Birtherism, juvenile name-calling, promoting violence at rallies, or displaying open ignorance of Constitutional law?
Where’s the penalty for this hypocritical contradiction: the great, self-financed primary hero desperately begs billionaire buddies for enough scratch to compete? And how long before this other lingering contradiction exposes hucksterism: bragging about transparency, honesty and straight-dealing while refusing to reveal tax returns, like all others?
Trump is a walking, talking contradiction machine: a guy drenched in money pitching working class crowds who think they deserve more but, instead of getting retrained, blame minorities for “stealing their jobs, if not “their country.” Where else but in America would the suspect “people’s billionaire,” selling out his campaign in an NY second, look the aggrieved masses in the face and promise the moon: jobs galore, great salaries and perks, lower taxes, and more security against all foes?
Herein lies the ultimate, contradictory Trump con: getting something for nothing — whether money or opportunity, a Muslim ban to keep terrorists at bay or a fortress wall paid by Mexicans to keep out their riffraff. And tax relief, too! Nothing Trump promises will cost taxpayers a dime, thanks to his godly negotiation skills. We can only hope that Yosemite or Yellowstone, the Lincoln Memorial or the Brooklyn bridge, are not on the block when Trump “negotiates” his “unpredictability” hustles.