So, remember when conservative beacons assured us that Donald Trump was a real conservative?
That turned out to be a lie.
Last night, at the first presidential debate, Donald Trump mirrored the leftist agenda on issues including free trade and gun rights; he pumped isolationism, and agreed with Hillary Clinton on government funding for child care. Here were Trump’s greatest anti-conservative apostasies:
Free Trade Sucks. Trump led off the debate with one of his old Buchanan-esque standbys: free trade stinks. Jobs are fleeing for Mexico, that absolute economic powerhouse that is for some reason the source of massive illegal immigration thanks to Mexicans fleeing their country for the greener pastures of the United States. China is destroying us, even though China has had multiple stock market meltdowns in the last two years. Trump called Mexico the “eighth wonder of the world” in terms of industrial capacity. He said NAFTA was the worst trade deal in history (false). He said other countries are “stealing” our jobs, as though we have a central job bank and those nefarious bandoleers are holding it up at gunpoint. This is economic illiteracy of the highest order.
Government-Paid Child Care. Trump wants to initiate a massive new government program, just like Hillary: “As far as child care is concerned and so many other things, I think Hillary and I agree on that. We probably disagree a little bit as to numbers and amounts and what we’re going to do, but perhaps we’ll be talking about that later.” Here was Hillary’s proposal, with which Trump agreed: “Let’s have paid family leave, earned sick days. Let’s be sure we have affordable child care and debt-free college.” Oh.
No Due Process Before Gun Rights Removal. A few months ago, Trump got into hot water with the NRA after saying he supported a proposal to remove Second Amendment rights from anyone placed on the no-fly list, no due process of law necessary. He then backed down. He went back to his original position last night: “I agree [with Clinton], and a lot of people even within my own party want to give certain rights to people on watch lists and no-fly lists. I agree with you.” In other words, if you are on a no-fly list, and you don’t even know about it, you have no right to own a gun.
Trump Defends Putin. Hillary pointed out that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin was responsible for some of the hacks of American institutions including the Democratic National Committee. Trump replied, “As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said. We should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we’re not. I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t – maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”
Trump Reiterates Iraq War Incoherence. Trump did support the Iraq war in 2002. He then turned on it. Then he backed a pullout from Iraq. Then he didn’t. Last night, he said that we should have “taken the oil.” This is international piracy, and it also makes no sense, given Trump’s statements that he wouldn’t want continual troop presence in Iraq. Idiotic.
Trump Rips Defense Alliances. Again. In an attempt to defend his prior foolishness regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Trump said he would essentially blackmail the members of NATO by threatening to remove ourselves from the alliance. He also said we should abandon Japan to the tender mercies of the Chinese unless Japan pays us more money. “Nuclear is the single greatest threat,” he said in totally incoherent fashion. “Just to go down the list, we defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we’re losing a fortune. That’s why we’re losing — we’re losing — we lose on everything.” He concluded, “We cannot protect countries all over the world where they’re not paying us what we need.” This is Mafioso foreign policy, and it signals to our enemies that our allies are vulnerable.
This is your Republican nominee, folks. As some might say, own it.