Although Trump is running under the Republican banner, Donald Trump has been a member of all of the major parties in the United States – a Democrat, an independent, a Reform Party candidate and, yes, a Republican which begs the question – how much loyalty does Trump really have for the Republicans?
Trump’s supporters like to argue that Donald Trump is a political outsider. They put Trump up as the savior of a corrupt political system. The problem for that narrative is that Donald Trump is not the outsider he has positioned himself as. As a matter of fact, he has been building up his political rhetoric and his campaign persona for over thirty years now.
On September 2, 1987, Donald Trump paid about $94,000 for a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and the Washington Post for an “open letter” to the “American People”. In the advertisement, Trump railed against Japan, for taking “advantage of the United States.” Trump complained that the US is defending the Persian Gulf, “an area of only marginal significance” to the country. Trump added that Saudi Arabia refused to allow the United States to “their mine sweepers (which are, sadly, far more advanced than ours) to police the Gulf.” Trump implored the US government to make “Japan, Saudi Arabia, and others pay for the protection” that they receive from the US. Trump closed his letter by writing that the US should reduce taxes, help the farmers and homeless. In essence, Donald Trump wanted the US to look inward instead of outward.
As a result of the letter and his popularity, in 1987 there was talk about Trump running for president in 1988. Mike Dumbar, a New Hampshire Republican activist, sent out mailers to voters floating Trump as a potential presidential candidate.
In a speech Trump delivered in New Hampshire, in October of that year, Donald Trump told supporters he would not be running for president in 1988. Although, in the speech he railed against trade agreements and countries, like Japan who were “taking advantage” of the United States. Trump also attacked Wall Street and politicians. Much of the same arguments he makes today. He warned his listeners that the US has headed to a major catastrophe “if the right man” isn’t elected. Not running for president was not new for Trump, as he had argued as far back as 1980 that he wouldn’t run for president because it was a “mean life”. (Barrett, Rona; NBC, Rona Barrett Looks at Today’s Super Rich; July 1980)
In the fall of 1999, Donald Trump quit the Republican Party. Surprised? Quitting the party, Trump stated; “I really believe the Republicans are just too crazy right.” (Clines, Francis X., The New York Times, National Politics; October 25, 1999) Yes, I’m still in shock that this quote is attributed to him. However, it gets more interesting. Pat Buchanan was also running for the Reform Party nomination, against Donald Trump. In the New York Times article other quotes by Trump are attributed to him, specifically about Buchanan. Among them are that Buchanan was a “Hitler lover,” “doesn’t like the blacks” and “doesn’t like the gays.” Clearly Trump believed in the scorched earth strategy then as well.
In the late 1990’s the Reform Party was a small, but viable third party. It was on the ballot in all 51 states and had a small war chest of federal election monies because of Perot’s successes in 1992 and 1996. The Reform Party had been founded by Ross Perot, who is notorious for his fight against NAFTA often arguing that NAFTA would result a “giant sucking sound” of businesses leaving the United States in search of less expensive manufacturing countries. But the Reform Party wasn’t too excited about a Donald Trump presidential campaign. Beverly Kidder, a Reform Party member said she didn’t think Trump should run because of “his treatment of women – his wives – is notorious.”
Trump formed an exploratory committee but spent most of his campaign time selling tickets to his speeches and selling his book, “The America We Deserve.” In his book, Trump proposed a 14.25% tax on all those worth more than $10 million. – I am not sure if Trump would have paid that tax anyway since he apparently has figured out a way to avoid paying personal income taxes. – Eventually, Trump quit the race for the nomination in February 2000, citing that the Reform Party “was self-destructing” and could not provide the support he needed to win the presidency.
In a 2004 CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Donald Trump stated that he “identified more as a Democrat” then a Republican. Yup, you read that right, Donald Trump identified more as a Democrat then a Republican. Trump had indicated that he was “seriously considering” a run for office but eventually did not pursue it. Trump has said he did not pursue it because he had just launched the television series, “The Apprentice”. In arguing why, he identified more as a Democrat, Donald Trump blamed the crashed economy. According to the Daily Caller, a conservative website founded by Tucker Carlson, Trump was a registered Democrat from 2001 through 2008.
In 2008, Donald Trump stated that George W. Bush “has been so bad, maybe the worst president in the history of this country, he has been so incompetent, so bad, so evil,” adding that he didn’t think “any Republican could have won” after John McCain, who Trump had endorsed, lost. At the time, Donald Trump thought the Barack Obama had the “chance” to become a “great” president. Yup, Donald Trump really said that.
Trump toyed with the idea of running for president before endorsing McCain but ultimately preferred to focus on his television show, “The Apprentice”.
By the time the 2012 election was nearing, Trump had had enough of Obama. Donald Trump indicated that he would seek the Republican Party nomination but ultimately decided to continue to focus on his television show. Trump, apparently had returned to the Republican Party, after stint as a Democrat. However, Trump even contemplated running as an independent after the Republicans didn’t embrace his nomination.
In drawing attention to his campaign, Donald Trump resurrected the 2008 notion that Barack Obama was an illegitimate president because of the questions about his birth certificate. Trump took on the birth certificate issue as his own arguing that he could easily beat Obama in a presidential race. Trump forced Obama to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011.
After spending “several months unofficially campaigning” Trump had taken up the “birther” issue as keynote argument for the presidency. According to a The Guardian (MacAskill, Ewan; The Guardian, Donald Trump bows out of 2012 US presidential election race; May 16, 2011) article, 71% of voters thought Donald Trump “had no chance of becoming president.” I guess voters were smarter then, than today. This according to a Politico and a George Washington University poll. During his half-hearted campaigning, Donald Trump told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation that the Republican Party was hurting itself because of the “hatred” that the presidential candidates were lobbying at each other. Trump ended up endorsing Mitt Romney. Yup, he really thought that Republican presidential contenders were too hateful to each other. Go figure!
On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump delivered his latest presidential announcement. In this speech he infamously labeled Mexicans as “rapists” and said they were “thieves,” adding that he supposed a few were “good.”
Now that the truth is staring almost everyone in the face, a few continue to refuse to accept the facts. The first are the Republicans that still believe that Donald Trump represents the core conservative tenets of the party. Sadly, for the Republicans, not only has he demolished the party but he no more represents the conservatism of the party then a Clinton would.
Donald Trump is likely to lose in November because the Electoral College is protecting the nation from a Trump presidency. I’ll have more on this tomorrow. However, the Republican Party is not only going to lose the presidential bid but it will likely lose the majority in the Senate and possibly the majority at the House.
If that happens, Donald Trump would not only put the final nail into the coffin of the Republican Party but he will hand the nation to the Democrats for the next four years. Not only would Hillary Clinton be the first woman president of the United States but she will practically have a subservient Congress ready to support her public agenda.
Although the record was clear from the onset that Donald Trump is not a Republican, the Republican Party allowed itself to be conned by the man destroyed the party. If you don’t believe me, look at the Republican Party civil war playing out today.
For those that argue that Donald Trump is the political “outsider” that is about to save the United States should consider how many times Trump has run for the presidency and how many times he has changed parties. The supporters should also pause for a moment and look at his record. I will agree that Donald Trump has been consistent in blaming international trade and political self-serving insiders but he is no stranger to the presidential politics. He’s been running for president for over 30 years and has contemplated it, officially and unofficially at least six times.
The important lesson to note is that Donald Trump changes party politics as he feels is necessary for his needs. He has no loyalty to conservatism or liberalism, vacillating between the two as the needs dictates. Without a central core of beliefs, other than self-serving money-making endeavors, how can anyone believe that Donald Trump has best interests of his voters in mind?