John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The Loyalty Pledge and Donald Trump

Posted on September 3, 2015
Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2 (1)The Republican National Committee is circulating a loyalty pledge among the 17 or so Republicans who are running for the White House.

I assume the effort is to nail Donald Trump down once and for all. He is a slippery dude, and you never know where he really stands on the issues.

Is he a Democrat? A Conservative? A Populist? A Progressive? A White Nationalist?

He seems to be all things to all kinds of different voters.

He wants the Mexican government to build a wall and then pay for it to keep Mexicans (and Central Americans), on the south side of the border.   And then he pledges to win the Hispanic vote, saying that Mexicans love him.

He has said he was in favor of single-payer health care and that he is pro-choice. But evangelical voters want him to be President. Go figure.

Rand Paul is all in with the Republican Party. We can thank Mitch McConnell for that. But it was Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul, who actually ran as a Third Party candidate.   He didn’t win and maybe that’s why the bulk of libertarians have given up efforts to continue down the third party route and now seem content in trying to take over the Republican Party.

Any libertarian worth his salt should be in favor of open borders. If you care about the vast expansion of government, you would be opposed to the creation of a domestic quasi-military police force operating within our borders, randomly pulling people over to “check their papers” (he said with a German accent).   If you are a libertarian, you would also be deeply concerned about having the government crack-down on small businesses with an intrusive and expensive e-verify system. And if you were truly a libertarian, you would want the government out of the marriage business altogether, out of the drug-war business, out of the vice business. You would be really pro-freedom.

That’s not the current construct of the Republican base.

And that’s not what Donald Trump is promising.

What Trump is promising is as un-libertarian as it is un-conservative.

He is a mystery on social issues and with his pledge to round up all illegal immigrants, he is pledging to rapidly expand the size and scope of the Federal government.

It’s not clear to me what Trump really represents.

He is either a celebrity flash in the pan or he is a leader of a populist, right-wing, white nationalist movement ala France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen. Le Pen’s brand of politics proved to be so divisive that his daughter finally kicked him out of his own party.

I doubt that Ivanka (who is a close friend of Chelsea) will let her father go that far out on the ledge.

And I also don’t think Trump is that systemic in his political beliefs.

I think he basically fell into his front-runner status. He is an opportunist who says things that are largely off-the-cuff, bereft of any consistent political philosophy. He test markets sound-bites and those that get the biggest applause stay in his stump speech while the boring stuff ends up “fired” from his lexicon.

If my instincts on Trump are correct, then his run for President is basically harmless.

But if Trump does become a leader like Jean-Marie Le Pen, then we have a completely different kettle of fish.

I can’t support a candidate who preaches division, hate and white nationalism.

I don’t think Trump would be such a candidate, but he needs to make that clearer to the voting public at large.

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