Newspaper column: You can fool some of the people some of the time … that might be enough

I have a sincere and earnest question for a large plurality of Nevada Republicans who say they will participate in the state’s among-the-first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in February: What the hell are you thinking?

According to the most recent CNN/ORC poll, Donald Trump is the presidential choice of 38 percent of those aforementioned Republicans.

Trump is not even a real Republican. From 2001 to 2009 he was a registered Democrat. He registered Republican, then independent and Republican again in 2012. He changes parties and positions as often as most people change socks.

Trump (Getty Images)

Granted the pollster only surveyed 285 Republicans and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 points, but irresolute Trump outpaced Ben Carson by far more than that. Carson garnered 22 percent, Carly Fiorina tallied 8, Marco Rubio 7, Jeb Bush 6 and Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee 4, while the rest earned 2 percent or less.

Fortunately only 30 percent of those potential caucus goers have “definitely” decided who they will support, 23 percent are merely “leaning” toward a given candidate and the remaining 47 percent are still trying to “definitely” decide.

Trump’s biggest braggadocio — and there are many — is that he is a master businessman who has a net worth of $10 billion after building on an inheritance of half a million, though Forbes says his current net worth is closer to $4.5 billion and analysts say that if the brilliant businessman had simply invested in stocks he’d be worth $20 billion today. He also dismisses the four corporate bankruptcies that cost his investors real money.

But 67 percent of Nevada Republicans polled said Trump would do the best job of handling the economy. The second-place finisher was Fiorina with 7 percent. Trump has managed to sell his sizzle even though he has no steak.

While we are on the topic of money, where has Trump “invested” his money in our political future? Until 2011, he contributed more to Democrats than Republicans. He has contributed to the campaigns of Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel and Shelley Berkley.

Trump gave $10,000 to Reid and $5,000 to Ted Kennedy, as well as $67,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $24,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Trump also donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, after which both Bill and Hillary attended Trump’s latest wedding. The Wall Street Journal observed that Trump was “practicing situational politics” — translation, taking care of Trump.

As Fiorina pointed out in one of the Republican debates, Trump received a call from Bill Clinton shortly before Trump announced his candidacy. Coincidence or stalking horse for Hillary?

In a 2012 television interview, Trump said, “Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman. I am biased because I have known her for years. I live in New York. She lives in New York. I really like her and her husband both a lot. I think she really works hard. … I like her.”

As for the issues, Trump has been notably mercurial, tap dancing around instead of taking a stand on much of anything.

On that CNN/ORC poll, Trump has given highest marks on every issue addressed, from economy to foreign policy, from immigration to social issues.

On tax reform, he has called for higher taxes and lower taxes. He has been pro-life and pro-choice. Years ago he criticized the NRA for balking at gun restrictions, but now “the Second Amendment is a right, not a privilege” and he does not support expanding background checks.

Trump once backed a single-payer health care system, saying, “I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.” Now he staunchly opposes ObamaCare — or did the last time we checked.

He once called for privatizing Social Security. Now, not so much.

Trump also has come out strongly in favor of using the government power of eminent domain to take property from one private owner and give it to another, if that will generate more tax revenue. So much for property rights.

Trump is little more than a scowling, snarling, epithet spewing, chameleonic but two-dimensional villain right out of a Batman comic book, who has a frighteningly realistic chance of tricking his way into the White House.

Start thinking.

A version of this column appears this week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel, the Lincoln County Record and the Sparks Tribune — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

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15 comments on “Newspaper column: You can fool some of the people some of the time … that might be enough

  1. nyp says:

    Funny how so much of your party’s base doesn’t really believe in the things you thought it believes in.

  2. Things will shake out the way they’re supposed to…it’s early. I put little credence in these BS polls. They called a thousand people in Nevada (on both land lines and cell phones…so they say). Out of the 1000…538 said they would be “likely” to participate in the caucuses. Of those only 285 identified themselves as Republicans. So these preferences (for Trump) were a portion of the 285. People are pissed off…period. When you have a Governor, and Senators like Michael Roberson (who now calls himself a conservative as he seeks Joe Heck’s seat)..who spit in the face of those who elected them (and voted against the margins tax)…passing the largest tax increase in Nevada history…it’s easy to understand why they feel betrayed.

  3. Vernon Clayson says:

    Anyone but Clinton, as for qualifications and experience Obama has proven those aren’t obstacles,any dunce can be president if the power brokers want them. It would be nice if someone with dignity, intellect, and sincerity would get the job. Ben Carson has that, but I worry that Obama has spoiled the chance of a real black Christian man getting the job.

  4. Bill says:

    Too many times in the history of mankind there have been too many egocentric bullies whose principal talent has been in making grandiose promises while berating anyone or anything that is considered opposition. I have little doubt that if Donald does not get the Republican Party nomination that he will run as an Independent. Good for you Thomas for pointing out his real record. You could have put more in hereabout his misogyny and irresponsible rhetoric. Calling people “stupid” or “third rate” or “low energy” just to name a few examples is hardly what I would look for in a President. I recall my third grade teacher telling us that insulting an running other people down is a reflection on the bully and not the victim.

  5. As I always say: What one says about others says more about themselves than the others.

  6. Barbara says:

    So, Trump is the same as any other politician…just more “unpolished”. Haven’t Republicans, including Mitt Romney, flip flopped on the issues. Just yesterday, Romney was bragging that his passing of health care in MA when he was governor paved the way for Obamacare. Yet as a candidate, he denounced the ACA.

    The Republicans leadership are upset that their annoited candidates of Bush or Rubio may not get the nomination, and thereby scuttle their plans for amnesty and a permanant low wage labor force. Trump is an unknown – no way to tell what he would do as President. Trump has recognized that the vast majority of Americans, including the base of the Republican Party, Independents, blue collar workers, and Regan democrats, are fed up with the lies, He has given a voice to all these various groups which have been ignored for too long by both parties. Because of his TV persona, people are flocking to his sound bites.

    I have stated before I am a Cruz supporter as he has a proven record of standing up to the Washington cartel. But, given the choice between Hillary or Trump, I’ll vote for Trump any day.

  7. nyp says:

    I disagree with Barbara on just about everything, but i do agree that there is a big difference between what Wall Street wants (cheap labor, preferential tax treatment for investment income, “carried interest” deductions,) and what the Republican base wants.

  8. Patrick says:

    Pete I think you have it backwards; republicans “want” what their “leaders tell them to want; you don’t REALLY think the Tea Party is a grassroots organization do you?

    Or, that republicans en mass made “flag burning” a national issue during the course of numerous elections (by the way, did the hippies run out of matches or something cause you sure don’t hear much about that “crisis” anymore since The days when Newt told his cancer ridden wife that he wanted a divorce so he could marry his mistress while the wife was hooked up to breathing tubes in the hospital do you?)

  9. Steve says:

    “Pete I think you have it backwards;”…..

    Yup, it’s all a conspiracy….these are your peeps Nyp.

  10. Spot on Barbara…I echo your sentiments!

  11. […] newspaper column: “Trump is little more than a scowling, snarling, epithet spewing, chameleonic but […]

  12. agent provocateur says:

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

  13. […] was contributed as much money to Democrats as Republicans, including Harry Reid and Hillary and Bill […]

  14. […] appears to be up from the 36 percent in a CNN poll in October — at which time I asked: “What the hell are you thinking?” In an editorial this past week, I pointed out that Donald Trump has never been and is not […]

  15. […] noted in a newspaper column back in October that Trump’s braggadocio about his business acumen was bogus. He claims to […]

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