It’s important to recall an article published in Daily Kos on April 16, 2004 in which a Wolf Blitzer interview with Donald Trump was quoted:
BLITZER: Do you identify more as a Democrat or Republican?
TRUMP: Well, you’d be shocked if I said that in many cases I probably identify more as Democrat. And I think you’d probably be shocked…
BLITZER: On social issues?
TRUMP: You know, it’s interesting, I’ve been now around long — you know, I think of myself as a young guy, but I’m not so young anymore. And I’ve been around for a long time. And it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans. Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats…
The article was entitled “Trump is a Democrat”. And yes, there was a time in the not too distant past* in which the current GOP front runner self-identified as a Democrat. He’s self-identified as other things in other political races. Trump floated the idea of a Presidential campaign in 1988 and 2012. In 2000 he ran on the Reform Party’s ticket. Not to mention his flirtations with running for the Governor’s Office in New York. Trump wouldn’t be the first politician to swap party jerseys. He seems to do it a lot though.
Which begs the question, haven’t we done Trump before?
When was the last time a populist rocketed his way to the White House?
An opportunist who would say anything — even to the point of contradicting himself – to score political points?
A man who’s supporters adore because he’s “not a politician” ** and is “different” **, “refreshing” **, and “new” **? Someone who “says it like it is” ** and is “in touch” ** with “what we need” **?
A candidate with an apparently superb background in his chosen field of endeavor, so much so that its quality can’t be discussed or investigated by journalists?
One who dodges every controversy — it’s as though he’s teflon because nothing ever seems to stick?
In short, what’s the difference between Donald Trump the candidate and Barack Obama the candidate?
Barack Obama in 2007 surged past Hillary Clinton — using the questionable tactic of locking her delegates out of Iowa — and was propelled to his first term as President. He did so using populist messaging and one of the
most sophisticated voter outreach programs ever seen.
Obama is an opportunist who has proven that he will say whatever he has to say — even if contradictory — to score politically.
In 2007 Obama was described as being not just a politician, different, refreshing, and new. His supporters told us that Obama said it like it was, and they felt he was in touch with what we needed — to the point some believed he’d help pay their mortgages from “his stash”, others publicly asked him for a kitchen and bathroom, and at least one (Julio Osegueda) practically worshiped him publicly.
To date, Obama supporters refer to his background as being superb in the fields of academia and law. Michael Beschloss claimed he had a higher IQ than any previous President but couldn’t quantify it other than to say it was “off the charts”. On the web his supporters claimed “Obama speaks like a smart person” *** which in turns means he’s a genius, and “I do think Obama is highly intelligent. The leader of the US should be a genius” ***.
The author of the latter quote went on to say that in Kindegarten Obama’s IQ was clocked at 172. To date, the media has shown little interest in opening his sealed academic records, investigating the source of his tuition funding, or finding out why few of his college classmates remember seeing him on campus or in classes.
Controversy after controversy has come and gone, and Obama has been unaffected in every instance.
Perhaps the only area in which Trump and Obama really differ is in the attitudes expressed by those that don’t support them. Obama opponents used his Presidency as an opportunity to organize and strengthen their conservative principles, knowing that eventually he’d be out of office and that there would be much work to do in fixing what he’d done to the country. By contrast, Trump opponents post things like “if he’s elected I’m moving to Canada because the American people are dumb enough to vote for him” ****.
We’ve done Trump before. We don’t need to again.
* Leftists may howl at the moon complaining that 2004 was such a long time ago. They never howl at the moon complaining that 2004 was long ago when they engage in Bush bashing though.
** All are terms that are readily used by Trump supporters to describe Trump, and were used by Obama supporters to describe Obama.
*** Both and more may be found on a yahoo.com “answers” thread discussing the Beschloss statement.
**** Posted on Facebook recently.