Did Donald Trump Admit He’s Not Conservative?

Ben Shapiro of Breitbart sure thinks so

Donald Trump has now made clear that the thrust of his campaign will not be conservatism. It will instead be populism and nationalism.

For those looking for a governing philosophy of The Donald, his checkered political history has provided little guidance. He’s seemingly endorsed single-payer healthcare; he’s said he rejects Obamacare. He’s blasted money in politics; he’s talked about the necessity for government use of eminent domain to help private parties. He’s ripped overregulation of capitalistic enterprises; he’s talked about tariffs on foreign goods. Trump isn’t conservative, and he never was.

I’ve written before that American conservatism is more about beliefs in government, using the maxim “the government that governs least governs best” as a foundation rock, along with “government only governs when in need”. Government should only apply the minimum/appropriate force necessary to deal with an issue. It should stay out of our private lives as much as possible. The same applies to the economy, where government should act more like a referee on commonly approved laws. There should be minimal restrictions on voting. This is all known as classical liberalism. When you start getting into issues, such as abortion and tariffs, those are not necessarily core CL issues. But, taking private property for private use is. So is wanting single-payer.

Trump’s move here is calculated. He’s going to campaign as a post-ideological candidate. All he wants, as he said in his next tweet, is to “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.” If that means bigger government, that means bigger government. If that means more interventionism in the economy, that means more interventionism in the economy. Trump believes he can restore American greatness in his personage – he can make terrific deals, he can “win” on behalf of America. (snip)

Trump stands up for America; Trump Hulk Smashes for you. He cares about America, and that’s enough – he wants to restore American greatness, and that’s enough. How will he do it? He just will. And he won’t be held back by any conservative vision of a small government nation founded on individual liberty. Sometimes he’ll do conservative things. Sometimes he won’t. But he’ll act with “common sense” and “do what needs to be done.”

At the end of the day, Trump appears to be better than any Democrat, but, many of his leanings are decidedly in favor of increasing the size and scope of government, particularly the federal government. Shapiro also mentions how rabid many Trump supporters are, and how these supposed conservatives no longer seem to care about limited government. I ran into this yesterday, when I tweeted

Trumpbots came at me hard, telling he has lots of plans, to go to his website. OK. I see a total of 5 positions. Some are detailed, such as immigration, though we still don’t know how he will make Mexico pay for the wall. Then we have issues, which are simply just a bunch of videos. At the end of the day, though, Trump has been more in attack mode than in “here’s a good idea” mode. In all fairness, this is a race to be the next GOP presidential candidate, and politics is a nasty affair. But, how about more attacks on Democrats, which we rarely ever see, and policy?

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7 Comments

Comment by bob sykes
2016-02-12 07:52:30

Trump is not a conservation; that is obvious. However the Republican Party is not a conservative party and never has been. It was founded as a radical abolitionist party, and it has had a progressive wing since the git go: Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Hoover, Henry Wallace, Nelson Rockefeller, Nixon (yes, Nixon) and both Bushs. The Republican Party is, in fact, a center-left party with a dominant liberal wing. Trump fits right in.

 
Comment by Dana
2016-02-12 07:55:10

Donald Trump’s guiding philosophy is what’s best for Donald Trump. His positions are all over the place, from more conservative than Ted Cruz on immigration — though he has employed a lot of immigrants, and I’d bet that not all of them were legal — to as far left as Bernie Sanders, on single-payer.

Populism can best be described as whatever the politician thinks will sell best. Oh, that’s not the “official” definition, but it’s accurate enough. Mr Trump will rail against crony capitalism, but he is the croniest of capitalists. He says that he’s pro-life, but he sure wasn’t before he started to run for the Republican nomination.

I’ve said it many times before: the only way in which I will vote for Donald Trump next November, if he is the Republican nominee, is if Pennsylvania is actually in play, it is a really close contest, and voting for Mr Trump is the only way I can help stop Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency. Otherwise, if Mr Trump is the Republican nominee, I will vote for a third party candidate.

 
Comment by John
2016-02-12 13:56:48

Gee Teach why stop there with small government
Let’s go all the way to no government
Wave that black flag of anarchy!!

Stop all government regulation let the free market reign !!! Ciggies for kids!!

 
Comment by John
2016-02-12 14:00:17

Are you saying Trump is a (white) nationalist?
See any problems on the horizon for some Americans like blacks or Muslims or (liberal) Jews?

 
Comment by david7134
2016-02-12 17:00:44

At first I did not think much of Trump, but he is growing on me mainly because the Republican establishment can’t stand him. All of the folks running for the office are liberal as they all think that government should be progressive in some way. They think they can use the government to make you do something, like not get an abortion on the right side versus taking all your hard earned money on the Hillary side.

John,
I am glad to see you agree that government is bad, but how in the world are ethnic groups going to be adversely effected by Trump or any one?

 
Comment by Hoss
2016-02-13 00:01:51

Hate to break it to you John, but the origins of anarchy started with small villages making their own rules and system of governance. But, God forbid people have autonomy from the central planners who know what’s best for everyone.

 
Comment by DrEvil007
2016-02-15 15:13:49

I read an interesting article the other day about how we can get Mexicans, if not actually Mexico to pay for border security. Mexicans living in the US send Around $24 billion annually in remittances to Mexico, which is makes remittances a bigger source of income than their entire petroleum industry. Anyway, place a tax on these remittances, 1-5% would easily do it, and there would be enough to build and maintain a wall every inch of the border after about 8 years. This may or may not work, but it is an interesting concept.

 

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