Sept. 22, 2017

TITLE: Rejoice, comrades! All is going precisely according to plan!

That title is obviously having a little fun with the belief of many righties that every leftie is, at heart, a commie. That observation is, of course, ridiculous with no data to back it up, but I'll tell you something that is infinitely easier to prove:

That Donald J. Trump is, at heart, a liberal (the "J" stands for Lenin!).

Anyone who takes a little time check to out Trump's comments for the past half century or so will discover a near perfect regurgitation of liberal orthodoxy from being adamantly pro-choice, to opposing the war in Iraq, to supporting a path to citizenship for illegals, to advocating a single payer health care, to accepting climate change, to supporting background checks for firearms... on and on. He was even a registered Democrat from 2001 until just a few years ago when it served personal ambition required him to become otherwise.

That's because, of course, even more than being a lifelong liberal, Trump is a lifelong narcissist and political weathervane who adopts without conscience the opposite persona of the person he chooses to oppose; in the case of the presidential election, Hillary Clinton and the legacy Barack Obama.

To run against Obama, Trump simply modified his language to tap into the manipulated perception of a key segment of the population that Obama had given away too many of the goodies to the wrong people -- cream that traditionally been skimmed off the top by Trump's new peeps.

Had Trump been running against say, George W. Bush, he would have remained a Dem and calibrated his outflow of outrageous comments with an anti-Bush spin. And it probably would have worked. Trump gained further traction by claiming Obama was not even legally entitled to be president.

But, now that he's firmly ensconced in office, we're seeing him revert to where his heart truly lies: liberalism. Four times in even fewer weeks, Trump has flipped on issues central to those who elected him:

After his recent confab with Democratic leaders at the White House, Trump did a 180 on taxing the wealthy: "The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan" and "[The wealthy] will not be gaining at all with this plan. ... If they have to go higher, they'll go higher, frankly."

Then, following intense reaction to his executive order rescinding Obama's DACA policy protecting illegals brought to the US as children, Trump chided his own supporters in a tweet: "Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really! They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own - brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security."

Next, according to the Wall Street Journal, the President appears to be dithering on his decision to remove the US from the Paris climate accords. "The Trump administration has told European officials that it won't leave the Paris agreement. Trump administration officials said Saturday the U.S. wouldn't pull out of the Paris Agreement, offering to re-engage in the international deal to fight climate change, according to the European Union's top energy official."

Finally, Trump is modulating his position on the holiest of holies, the border wall. Understanding that illegal immigration is already down 70% or more from recent levels (and that it's just an incredibly dumb idea), Trump has been widely reported as having backed off on the wall, not even including it as a must-have in conversations with Dems. Must be true: Breitbart News, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity are hitting the roof.

For us lefties, the hope (and I'll admit it's a pretty dim one) is that Trump will continue to successfully distract his base with snarky comments and tweets -- like calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "Rocket Man," or retweeting a video in which he appears to hit Hillary Clinton with a golf ball, or eclipsing an image of Obama with his own head -- while taking a more moderate course where it really counts: making policy. Like I said: seeds and stems.

At this moment in his presidency, Dems appear to stand pretty much the same chance with Trump as the GOP, seeming more to depend on what he thinks he sees in the mirror while he's coifing every morning before he flits off like a ball in an arcade machine.

See you next time.

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Multiple award-winner author Charles Carr has written thousands of columns and articles for The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Orange County Register, The Reader, The Californian, Parent Magazine, and many others. Contact him at charlescarr.com.