Wingnut on Wingnut Crime: Keyes v Trump

Alan Keyes is now railing against the candidacy of Donald Trump, firing off his grand rhetorical cannons full of exaggeration. But there’s a core of truth to what Keyes has to say about Trump. He’s right that Trump isn’t really a true conservative, he’s a chameleon. He quotes this from the Atlantic:

There is an Ivy League grad who has spent most of his life in Manhattan, where he is chauffeured around in limousines. He frequently brags to strangers about his massive personal wealth. In public statements, he has advocated government health care, a woman’s right to an abortion, an assault weapons ban and paying off the national debt by forcing rich people to forfeit 14.25 percent of their total wealth. When the man married his third wife, he invited Bill and Hillary Clinton to the wedding, and he has given many thousands to their political campaigns and their foundation. He’s donated many thousands more that helped elect Democrats to the Senate and the House.

All true. Keyes goes on himself:

For years I’ve followed and worked as I could with grass-roots conservatives who long ago sounded the alarm against the elitist faction’s betrayal of our sovereignty as a people. I never saw or heard of Donald Trump in the midst of them. Indeed, his money and influence were arrayed on the side of our enemies. Now that he’s seeking to buy the presidency with his big money, and fool conservatives with his big mouth, he has some use for them. But mark my words, should he attain the office he seeks, he will kick any real conservatives to the curb faster than you can say “Jeb Bush” (though he will not do it any faster than Bush himself, who is already saying he won’t “kowtow to conservatives,” as if showing real, as opposed to rhetorical, respect for their views would be a sign of weakness.)

Trump’s participation in the GOP doesn’t offer any hope for its redemption. Rather it confirms that the now misnamed Republican Party is hopelessly enthralled by the glamor of evil. Donald Trump’s shift to the Republican Party reminds me of Mitt Romney’s shift to the moral-conservative cause. Whatever words they mouth, the whole tenor of their previous lives speaks against what they say. I was right about Romney, as his betrayal in the battle for natural family rights now proves. I have no doubt that I’m right about Donald Trump, too. It’s bad enough that well-intentioned conservatives continue to be taken in by the elitist faction sham. But to do so when the sham is so obvious is worse than bad; it smacks of self-betrayal.

The comparison to Romney is both a good and bad one. It’s accurate when it comes to both of them taking whatever position they feel they need to take in front of whatever audience they’re speaking. Like Romney, Trump has been all over the board politically. As a businessman in New York who relies on government contracts and shortcuts and eminent domain, he knows damn well that you have to bribe Democrats just like you do Republicans (in New York, even more so because Democrats control almost everything).

There’s really no way to tell what either of them actually believes because it changes so often that you have no idea when they’re telling the truth. But I think their motivation is different. I think Romney wanted to be president mostly because it completed his resume, it was the capstone to his perfect life as a politician. Trump, on the other hand, is in it purely for the ego. I’m not even sure he wants to be president, only that he wants the attention of pretending he wants it.

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  • wreck

    “glamor of evil”

    Dibs on thrash-metal band name.

  • colnago80

    Well, Jerry Coyne suggested on his blog that what Trump is doing is running interference for Hillary. His previous support for her in New York seems to point in that direction.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Ed and the others are pretending that there’s something wrong with politicians shifting position with the winds. But that’s exactly what a democracy is set up to produce: they’re supposed to reflect the will of the populace.

    Anyone who actually believes that some elected official, at least beyond the local school board, has core principles beyond “I should be in office” is kidding herself. Those “core principles” are a luxury to anyone who wants to stay in office.

  • Michael Heath

    I’m always amused by conservatives who claim a fellow conservative is merely posing since their target made moderate to liberal arguments in the past. Such a conclusion presupposes that the target would have to devolve, and that’s not what people do.

    Having said that, I don’t make that assumption with Mitt Romney nor do I think this presumption works for all. From my perspective Mr. Romney was always a conservative who posed as a moderate when running for the U.S. Senate and governor. He’s more social dominator willing to do whatever it takes to suceed, though his natural tendency is towards conservatism.

    Additionally I see Donald Trump as a classic example of an old-school glad-handing salesman; that kind that’s now looked upon with contempt by modern-day sophisticated technocratic business professionals. From this perspective The Donald could have devolved by the amplifying feedback effect of increasingly improving his outcomes by increasing his conservative-friendly rhetoric. These types of old school salesmen are prone to increasingly believing their own bullshit if they’re rewards correlate with the level of bullshit emitted. That’s why they died out as the purchasing side of industrial marketing became more capable, and demanded less sexism from the sales forces with whom they interacted. It was impossible to take these types seriously or tolerate their bigotries.

  • bahrfeldt

    I saw a video of another press conference the yesterday on broadcast TV, in which Trump was asked which foot had the boo-boo that exempted him from the draft. He did not know, stating the reporter should check the medical records. To his credit, he never blamed her gender for the question, nor did he claim she was sent by the government of Mexico or Univision.

  • StevoR

    So .. is Trump, the other Don* like Ann Coulter really a deep over liberal?

    Or the world’s longest and most convincing (~Ish**) performance art character like Sir Les patetrson or Dame Edna? Sorta do wonder..

    * I.e. NOT Bradman!

    ** A wee bit over the top at times but still.

  • StevoR

    over = cover.

    Also Patetrson = Patterson :

    No, I can’t type. Dammit!

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Er.. probably should have a sexism/ racism WARNINGwarning for that link -its very old 80’s Ausise crude and racist satirical humour.

  • busterggi

    Trump should become POTUS – then he can follow his traditional business practice and declare the country bankrupt thereby erasing the national debt.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … the battle for natural family rights …

    I just had to do a search for that phrase (got lotsa hits, too!).

    Still can’t figure out whether it denotes homophobia, anti-vaxxism, g.p. puritanism, or what.

  • Artor

    Has Trump even filed the official paperwork to be a Presidential candidate yet? Last I’d heard, he’d neglected that step.

  • Hoosier X

    It sounds like Trump and Romney could be called flip-floppers.

    But I looked at my MSM Style Guide and I find that “flip-flopper” is never to be used for a Republican. It’s reserved exclusively for Democrats, and actual flip-flopping is not necessary.

  • Al Dente

    Artor @11

    The Donald filed his candidate paperwork over a month ago. Trump filed his financial statement with the FEC on the 15th. Incidentally, Forbes says he lied about his finances:

    Forbes continues to disagree with Trump about his net worth. In fact, we’ve lowered our valuation of the real estate tycoon from $4.1 billion to $4 billion since his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants during his campaign launch speech, which led to the end of his business deals with NBCUniversal, Univision, Serta Mattresses, and Macy’s, as well as PVH Corp. and Perfumania, the manufacturers of his menswear line and fragrances, respectively. In the wake of these developments, we have dropped the value of his brand to zero (previously, we pegged it at $125 million).

  • aluchko

    Given that Trump used to lean Democrat and the fact he’s successful enough to suggest he’s rational in some aspects what do people think the odds are that he’s simply pulling a Tony Clifton?

    It’s a long shot for sure, but some of the things he says are so blatantly ridiculous that you have to acknowledge the possibility it’s completely conscious and he’s just screwing with people.

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    I was struck by this line:

    Indeed, his money and influence were arrayed on the side of our enemies

    I find it sad and telling that the GOP considers non-fellow travelers as the “enemy”.