Now that it looks like the Republican Party is doomed to have Donald Trump as its presidential nominee, people naturally have many questions about what he is going to do.
Here I’m not talking about the obvious questions like, “Will Trump disgrace himself today?” or “How many times will he change his strongly and repeatedly stated beliefs this weekend?” You can easily form a pretty good estimate for either one of those if you know how many public appearances Trump has on his schedule.
Nor am I much interested in the question of whom Trump will choose for his running mate. True it’s a more challenging question. After all, there must be ten or fifteen politicians in America who would be willing to demean themselves by accepting that spot. It’s not ease that makes the running mate question so boring but rather the sheer unimportance of the job. As 1930s vice-president John Nance “Cactus Jack” Warner used to say, “The vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm spit.” Unless something unforeseen happens, the vice president is usually significant chiefly as a token member of the ticket, used to draw votes until the election and ignored thereafter.
No, I’m interested in the more important questions, and not just whom Trump would appoint to his cabinet, if elected, as well as whom he would nominate to the out-of-control super-legislature we call the Supreme Court. I’d like to know what policies Trump would implement if he got into the White House.
How can we know that? Well, with some candidates you could consider what they say, making more or less allowance for how truthful you think they are. In the case of Ted Cruz, based on his track record as a U.S. Senator from Texas, you could take every one of his statements at full face-value. Most other politicians’ statements would have to be discounted to some degree.
In this matter, Trump is not in a class by himself, but he’s definitely at the opposite extreme from Cruz. You can’t believe a word Trump says. His lies are myriad and well documented. The fact that he occasionally makes a true statement doesn’t change the fact that you can’t put reliance on anything he says.
This fact might at first seem to make it impossible to know what he believes or what he’ll do. After all, by now he has stated diametrically opposed positions on almost every major issue. On abortion he actually stated five different positions in three days. This phenomenon has led some to conclude that Trump is a virtual random policy generator, and they’ve even used this as an argument to vote for him in order to defeat Hillary Clinton. The theory is that Hillary Clinton is guaranteed to do wrong in everything 100% of the time. Since Trump’s positions are unknowable, his future actions can be regarded as random, and therefore, at least according to the law of averages, he’d do right more often than Hillary would. A friend of mine actually pitched this argument to me, but I believe it is flawed in a number of ways.
One flaw is especially serious. If a man states five different positions on abortion in three days, he hasn’t changed his mind four times (at least, not if he’s sane). He hasn’t mispoken four times and finally managed to articulate his true position. Rather, a man who states five different abortion positions in three days has lied at least four times. Lying is not morally neutral, and neither is abortion. A man who has a habit of lying will likely have a tendency toward other forms of evil too, including the shedding of innocent blood via abortion. My point is this: if a man states several different positions on an issue within a short time, we have very good reason to expect that his true position will be the one that is morally worst.
That being the case, we have to expect that Donald Trump really would govern as a pro-abortion, anti-traditional-family, leftist if he were to get into office.