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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/3/16

Donald Trump's views are impossible to discern. Why pretend otherwise?

Author 87840
Message Trevor Timm
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Reprinted from The Guardian

The Republican frontrunner has flip-flopped, sometimes multiple times, on every position he's articulated this campaign season

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
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Let's stop pretending that Trump is anything other than a shape shifter with no core belief system - besides maybe craven opportunism mixed in with a little bit of racism.

Trump has switched positions or lied about his true feelings on virtually every single issue that has come up during this primary campaign. Yet for some reason, he keeps getting credited with having principled beliefs.

The latest example was in Sunday's New York Times, where columnist Maureen Dowd referred to Donald Trump as a foreign policy "dove" -- or at least less hawkish than Hillary Clinton -- because he's made a few comments, most recently last week, about not starting additional wars in the Middle East.

Dowd eventually undermines her own argument, since he is nowhere close to anything of the sort. Three quarters of the way down her column lauding "Donald The Dove," almost as an afterthought, she adds: "He can sound belligerent, of course, saying that he would bomb the expletive-deleted out of Isis and that he would think up new and imaginative ways to torture terrorists and kill their families."

That has to be one of the most ridiculous "to be sure" paragraphs in recorded history: Trump keeps insisting he'll commit a bunch of war crimes, but other than that he's as anti-war as they come!

That's the thing with Donald Trump: every foreign policy position he's ever taken appears to be made up -- just like his famous statement about being "totally against the war in Iraq," which Dowd also uncritically repeated. The only recorded comments from Trump before the Iraq war consist of him supporting it. The same thing goes for the Libya military intervention in 2011, which he also claims he was against, despite publicly stating at the time that he was in favor it.

When he's not outright lying about his past statements, he's totally changing them: Months ago he claimed he'd cut the military budget, but he now keeps saying he'd increase it. He told the New York Times in March that the "biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation." Yet he also said last week that the US should expand its arsenal, he wouldn't rule out using nukes against Isis in Europe, and he recently said South Korea and Japan should get nuclear bombs.

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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)

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