By Thornton Blount 8/29/16
While no democrat, republican, independent, or scholar has been able to quite pinpoint a tangible theme for Donald Trump’s platform – let alone identify the mysterious motivations behind these convictions – one characteristic is true about the motley composition of policy: it’s all directly contradicting anything that Hillary Clinton and the ‘mainstream media’ purport. Now, I’m avoiding hailing this as a massive discovery or prolific theory because that relationship could just be reflective of the hyper-polarized nature of this cycle’s – and American, in general – politics. However, it’s odd to witness to what lengths Trump will go to to refute Hillary Clinton and often widely-held facts.
Most recently, in response to Hillary’s tough-talk on Russia, Trump stated that Putin “is not going into Crimea, okay?” To be fair to Mr. Trump (although undeserving of such treatment), journalists regularly like to pursue sensationalist headlines and cut the context away from some of his statements to make them seem extra-ridiculous. In this situation however, that’s not the case. All of Trump’s comments before and after, and even his next-day cover-up attempts, don’t quite make any factual sense. Putin and his Russian forces are indisputably -indeed- in Crimea, and it beckons the question: is Trump denying this claim just because it is a mainstream claim or does he not actually know anything about the situation in Crimea? Both possibilities could be true…simultaneously.
Furthermore, Trump has assailed every single one of our international trade agreements, although his own businesses regularly rely on low-tariffs and strong foreign cooperation.
Most egregiously, Trump has insulted veterans on numerous occasions throughout his campaign. This isn’t even a policy issue – it’s a simple sign of respect that has been a constant in this nation since we first had soldiers to respect. Yet the Donald has felt the need to challenge that unwritten rule as well, simply because it’s a norm. You could boil any of his other attempts at contradicting wide-held beliefs/facts down to legitimate partisan policy stances, but insulting our veterans – some even who have paid the ultimate sacrifice – is unfathomable. It would have been a death sentence for the career of any other politician, but Trump gets away with it, repeatedly. The absurdity and offensiveness of this whole situation is another issue, rather, questioning why Trump would want to insult veterans is what I am most baffled by. To put it into business terms that he can understand, this is one opportunity with zero possibility of profiting.
At this point, anything is possible. Perhaps Mr. Trump will argue next that there aren’t actually 50 states or 13 stripes on the flag – that’s too mainstream of a belief. Stay tuned.