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.