Donald Trump, as predicted, has begun to distance himself from some of the positions and postures that catapulted him to the Republican presidential nomination. This is always to be expected of general election candidates once they’ve clinched the nomination, but Trump’s shifts are special because the original stances were so far outside the norm of politics as usual—often for ill.
Despite issuing a tax plan that’s largely a giveaway to the rich, Trump had at least once or twice entertained the idea of closing a tax loophole or two that certain wealthy people exploit. He has now brought on two supply-side celebrities, Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore, to scrub the plan of anything not ludicrously beneficial to the wealthiest people on Earth. To preserve all of those preferential tax treatments, alas, it looks like Social Security and Medicare will have to get all chopped up after all. That Muslim ban that roughly 7 in 10 Republican primary voters loved? Eh, just a “suggestion.” He’s having Rudy Giuliani take a look at it along with his border security plan.
Then there’s the meta-issue that undergirded his ability to take all of those unorthodox positions in the first place: the self-funding—well, self-loaning—of his candidacy, which will now cease because of the demands of funding a general election campaign.
What we are seeing in Trump’s new solicitation of big bucks—and his new positioning—is a validation of what he was saying about how politicians are bought and paid for by wealthy interests. In the primary, Trump was able to entertain both the light side of populism (preserving large social insurance programs, raising a tax or two on the wealthy) and the dark side (nativism) because he did not rely on contributions from elite Republican donors. Those heresies will have to be reined in now that he needs some scratch. “By self-funding my campaign,” Trump said in a typical line last September, “I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists. I am only working for the people of the U.S.!” That Donald Trump would look at nominee Donald Trump as a proto–Jeb Bush. His own transition is testament to the truth of his original message.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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