The Erratic, Conflicting Beliefs of Donald Trump

Sam Chapin

 

Opinion:

 

If Donald Trump were a doctor, and you had a terminal illness, he’d never tell you.

 

The president is incapable of letting anyone down. I don’t mean that literally; I mean from his perspective. Through his eyes, he is eternally in the right, and it is irrelevant if you disagree. If you have cancer and Donald Trump says that you don’t, you unequivocally don’t, despite the fact that you do. He built his candidacy on baseless egoism and so, like a child who never gets disciplined for pooping in the kitchen, he continues to say and do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

 

“I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”--Donald Trump, from his 2000 book, The America That We Deserve.

 

This is one of the more spineless and ambiguous things a person could say. “I like guns, but I think that people shouldn’t be able to kill too many people with them.” And what does generally mean? When does he support it? When doesn’t he? Trump sought to make a statement that would alienate as few people as possible. Although this isn’t the most radically liberal stance in the world, it certainly does deviate from the hardliner NRA stance on gun control, which says that guns are an unalienable right no matter the caliber or the cartridge.

 

Speaking at an NRA forum in 2015: “I love the NRA. I love the Second Amendment. I promise you one thing, if I run for president and if I win, the Second Amendment will be totally protected, that I can tell you.”

He delivered this message before declaring his candidacy, but clearly laying a primer for a run. Since he was now talking to his potential base, he abandoned his indeterminate rhetoric as it would serve no purpose in the present context. The room loved guns, so now he did too.

 

During a GOP debate in 2015: “I do carry on occasion, sometimes a lot. But I like to be unpredictable.”

 

Trump logic: I do carry guns, but I don’t want people to think I’m always packing. But, no, my supporters love guns so, yeah, I carry them all the time, sometimes! But you’ll never know if I’m carrying because I’m Batman.

 

What draws people to Donald Trump is the same thing that turns so many others away--he wants exactly what you want, if you happen to want something that helps him. He does not believe in gun control. He does not believe in gun rights. He is incapable of choosing a side, so he lets the side choose him.

And once it does, it seems very hard for him to refuse.

 

A day after two journalists were killed on live TV in Virginia, in 2015: “This isn’t a gun problem, this is a mental problem. It’s not a question of the laws, it’s really the people.”

That is an audacious thing for a presidential hopeful to say. He’s saying that the people of America cannot be controlled; the system is not to blame. It’s much easier to blame a person for a crime than his or her method of perpetration. After all, guns don’t want to kill anyone--people do. To Trump, faulting guns for a shooting is like faulting a car for driving; you can’t hold a Prius accountable for its actions.

 

In fact, to Trump, guns are pretty f---ing beautiful.

 

June 2016, at a rally in Texas after the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando: "If some of those wonderful people had guns strapped right here, right to their waist or right to their ankle, and this son of a bitch comes out and starts shooting, and one of the people in that room happened to have it and goes boom, boom, you know what? That would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight."

 

After you get over the fact that an actual president of an actual country said this, you can pretty easily identify his only tactic when speaking, ever: pander. There isn’t a trace of a conviction here or an inherent ideology about gun rights. He simply latches on to one idea--in this case that guns are beautiful--and repeats it until he gets a response that he likes. And this isn’t a difficult feat when you only expose yourself to people and places that agree with you. When he finds himself in the rare situation in whhich he feels challenged, he does what all threatened narcissists do. 

 

“Out.”--Donald Trump’s response to Jim Acosta during a January, 2016 press conference, after he was asked if he wanted to accept immigrants of color.

 

If Trump knew what his stance on immigration was, this question would have been easy to dismantle. If he had any clear plan in the front or back of his head he could have come back with something, anything other than a pointed finger and a three-letter word. But it was Acosta’s fault for asking the question. It was his mistake to put Trump in that situation. It was a mean, nasty thing for him to do, and Trump had to discipline him. Trump is never confused and he is never wrong.

 

 

In fact, oftentimes he is right even when he was never asked.

 

Also after the Pulse nightclub shooting: "What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough."

 

It’s amazing how much he can do with a Tweet. I mean, the man can really cover his bases. The first thing he does is to scare everyone; if people are scared then they’ll need to be saved. Then he points his finger (again) at those responsible--the enemy, Barack Obama. Then vindication. If only they had listened to the Donald, then all of those innocent lives could have been spared. And he caps it off with some manly wisdom, much like a tough but thoughtful father, justifying the fact that he spanks his child.

Twitter was built for Trump. Not only can he deliver short, simple, unanswerable soundbites about anything he wants, but he can’t be held accountable, which is a pretty outrageous fact, seeing as how he is PRESIDENT. Case and point: A Muslim ban wouldn’t have kept Omar Mir Seddique from murdering 49 people on June 12, 2016--he was born and raised in America (though, in Trump’s defense, he only wanted to be president at the time of this Tweet).

Long before his candidacy, Trump made a discovery that would grow into the backbone of his campaign--a lot of Americans are racist, and that was something he could easily tap into.

 

A Tweet from June 5, 2013: “Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed.”

 

There are no facts here. No statistics. No justification. Just words uttered by someone who has the ability to say them. And saying them makes them true. Having them read and commented on and liked by thousands of people cements them in reality. He can now look back at them and know, based on the reaction of his followers, that he’s right.

 

Fast-forward to January 11, 2018: “The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process. It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!”

 

This tweet is absolutely insane. He goes from accusing half of the political system of wanting drugs to “pour” into the country, to asserting his role as sheriff of America, to offhandedly demanding a “Great Wall”--due to the capitalization I can only assume he’s referencing China, to tagging his tweet, “USA”, like a drunken frat boy watching the Olympics. This is a tweet from a man who is completely sure of himself, who knows that he is perfect and capable of anything. A man who has no choice but to say the right thing.

 

On the rare occasion, however, his Tweets have been known to misfire.

 

February 17th, after the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

 

Trump’s gut reaction to a school shooting: “The death of those students and teachers is the perfect opportunity for me to stick it to the FBI.” Again, he is trying to find a way to spin the story in a way that involves him, and that pleases his base. Unfortunately, a common sentiment shared by nearly all human beings alludes him: the slaying of innocent children takes precedence over a collusion case.

 

But luckily Donald is quick on his feet--or rather with his fingers.

 

Twitter, three days later, February 20th: “Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!”

 

Good save, Mr. President. I’m confident that that’s what you really want.

 

Author Bio:

 

Sam Chapin is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

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Comments

Well-said, Mr. Chapin.  Your logic would make the President blush––wait, check that––I don't think he's ever embarrassed.

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