We all know them: friends and relatives, even media personalities, who we thought were hardline conservatives are now swooning over Donald Trump, the next great savior of the Republic.
Over Thanksgiving dinner and many texts since, one relative explained his allegiance to Trump with exuberance. Appeals to how his belief in property rights doesn’t match Trump’s enthusiasm for eminent domain, requests for explanations on why Trump has contributed to the successful elections of such far-Left Democrats as Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, or why Trump used to be a Democrat, met obfuscation.
Perhaps if the Trump fans heard it from the Donald himself, they might be willing to reconsider their support. So here are five instances Trump told us all he is actually a liberal.
Cradle to Grave Nanny State
Trump expounded on his favorite subject, immigration, during the CNN Republican primary debate. Sandwiched in between many “right-wing” fantasies was a seemingly conservative idea, but upon closer examination, it reveals a very liberal premise: “A woman gets pregnant. She’s nine months, she walks across the border, she has the baby in the United States, and we take care of the baby for 85 years? I don’t think so.”
I guess we (the taxpayers via the government) are supposed to take care of everyone from the moment they’re born to the moment they die.
A conservative or libertarian would recognize that welfare is as much a drag on the economy as anti-immigrant activists claim immigration is, if not more so. Yet Trump accepts our welfare state as an unchangeable, natural part of how the government cares for its people.
In an interview on “60 Minutes” this September, Trump opened up on his not-so-conservative ideas for healthcare reform. Maintaining that Obamacare, which gave the federal government much greater control over the health insurance industry, was a disaster, he said about healthcare that “the government’s gonna pay for it.”
Here’s an excerpt, as covered by John Nolte from Breitbart (emphasis his and mine):
Donald Trump: Obamacare’s going to be repealed and replaced. Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what’s going on with premiums where they’re up 40, 50, 55 percent.
Scott Pelley: How do you fix it?
Donald Trump: There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private. But–‘
Scott Pelley: Universal health care.
Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.
Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?
Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–
Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?
Donald Trump: –the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.
Of course, this is nothing new from Trump. The Donald has supported Hillary’s single-payer ideas in the past, and though he downplayed his support for single payer during the GOP Fox debate by saying “it could have worked in a different age,” (15 years ago, when he stated his support for single payer in the United States) when he’s pressed, he betrays his true convictions about the role of government in our lives.
Oh, and if they like their plans and doctors, they can keep their plans and doctors. Sound familiar?
In 2007, Trump responded to Wolf Blitzer’s prompt on Hillary’s most recent iteration of universal healthcare: “I think it was very good. It’s a very very complex setup for things going on right now in terms of healthcare, but she came out with an idea, sounds like a pretty good idea, and a lot of people like it and embraced it. “
Also, too, from one of Trump’s books (“The America We Deserve”), he confesses his affinity for a single-payer system like that of Canada: “The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than America…We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.”
Some call Trump’s plans a “clash with Republican orthodoxy,” but it’s not just that—it’s an embrace of liberal orthodoxy.
Trump Thinks Eminent Domain Is ‘Wonderful’
In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Trump opined on the subject of eminent domain,(the power of government to seize private property, with compensation, and give it to another private party for development): “Eminent domain for massive projects, for instance, if you’re gonna create thousands of jobs, and you have somebody that’s in the way, and you need a house in a certain location…because you’re going to build this massive development and going to employ thousands of people…that without this little house you can’t build the factory, I think eminent domain is fine.”
In other words, as long as the developer believes he’s going to improve the local economy, it’s totally fine to take someone’s private property. Not for building a highway for public use, mind you, which is the other example Trump said was “wonderful,” but for another private entity to take and develop for private purposes. Such a position is neither constitutional (according to a literal reading), nor conservative.
More Government Can Solve Immigration
Want illegal immigrants deported? You can have all of them sent packing, never to return, for one low price of $400 billion!
What does your package include? According to Reason, around 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers that would constitute yet another layer of expensive and tedious bureaucracy. For every new “frontline” enforcement officer, there is a chain of command involving even more salaried and pensioned employees, and plenty of bureaucratic red tape holding it together.
Trump’s official position paper quotes the president of the ICE Officers Council on immigration:
“Only approximately 5,000 officers and agents within ICE perform the lion’s share of ICE’s immigration mission…Compare that to the Los Angeles Police Department at approximately 10,000 officers. Approximately 5,000 officers in ICE cover 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, and are attempting to enforce immigration law against 11 million illegal aliens already in the interior of the United States…Since 9-11, the U.S. Border Patrol has tripled in size, while ICE’s immigration enforcement arm, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), has remained at relatively the same size.”
Those who actually believe one of government’s core problems is inefficiency and believe in the power of free markets should recognize that Trump’s policy is based on his faith that government can make it all better. Government can save your job, government can root out all the criminals, government can. But in fact, in most areas of our lives, government cannot.
Make America Great Again
You’re probably thinking, “What? This isn’t liberal, it’s American!”
Let me tell you why. Vague slogans take on different meanings depending on what we read into them. Into Trump’s campaign slogan, you can read “deport the illegals,” “give everyone healthcare,” or “boost the economy.”
But the most accurate way to read the slogan is by contextualizing it in everything else the candidate has said and done. Trump’s “Make America great again” slogan is fundamentally liberal. It’s “Yes, we can” all over again.
Implied in these catchy taglines are candidates’ core philosophies about government and its relationship to its people. Who is going to make America great again? By all accounts, based off his speeches and his attitude, Trump is, and he plans to use the heavy hand of government to do it.
When Obama declared to cheering crowds, “Yes, we can,” he didn’t mean us all as individuals, being productive members of society. He meant “we” as taxpayers, as contributors to the greater good, as determined by government elites. He meant “we” as government bureaucrats carefully coordinating the march toward the Left.
But chiefly implied in “we,” as the past seven years has shown us, was the strong-man president who makes deals with companies like Solyndra and oversteps the bounds of his role time and time again. It is the man who would make the world a better place by the sheer force of his personality and the ability to skirt the written law.
The difference between these two strong men with larger-than-life personalities is slight. Trump is simply more transparent, bothering less with the “we” and forthrightly emphasizing who he really believes will make America great again: himself. He will do it not through the innovation of the free market, nor through the ability to persuade hearts and minds, but through the might of government that he sincerely trusts to carry out his slogan.
Don’t take my word for it—take his.