We’ve reached the too weird for words point of walking piece of cotton candy Donald Trump’s GOP Presidential campaign. The reality TV star’s candidacy has been the main news story for at least a month now as he’s kept himself at the top of Republican polls by sucking all of the oxygen out of the room and keeping all of the attention focused on himself. With a super-crowded field of less-than-inspiring conservative politicians, including another Bush and retreads like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, Trump has excited the old white base of the GOP by going out of his way to be an unrepentant bigot who will say and do anything to get a reaction.
While liberals and Democrats have largely sat on the sideline and enjoyed the flaming dumpster fire that Trump has created of the GOP’s race for the White House, one prominent liberal website decided to publish a thinkpiece making the case that Trump is really a pretty progressive Presidential candidate and that those on the left could do worse if he were somehow elected to the White House. Editor Jedd Legum based this entirely on three positions Trump has taken in the past — desire for universal healthcare, opposition to the Iraq War and not wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Prior to making the case for Trump being a surprisingly progressive candidate, Legum did highlight The Donald’s racist rhetoric, harsh immigration stance, rejection of climate change, opposition to same-sex marriage and raising the minimum wage. He did forget to mention Trump’s anti-choice and pro-gun control stances, but that is understandable when you are trying to present Trump as being a not-bad choice for liberals and progressives. Which is also why he essentially gave him outs on his other conservative policy viewpoints, claiming he isn’t any worse than other Republicans.
While Legum makes a solid point that Trump is against cutting social entitlement programs while other candidates are pushing for privatization and reduction, Trump’s positions on healthcare and the Middle East aren’t exactly beacons of light for the left. Sure, Trump may have supported universal healthcare once upon a time, but he now wants to fully repeal Obamacare and try to replace it with some undetermined policy. Doing so would obviously be disastrous. And, while he did say we have to “help out” the poor while discussing healthcare recently, he didn’t exactly offer specifics except saying that he “can work a deal” that would “be great for everybody.”
Also, yes, Trump was an early opponent of the Iraq War. But cut to today, and while he may still say he was against that war, his plan to stabilize the Middle East and defeat ISIS is to bomb tons and tons of oil fields. Also, he opposes the recent nuclear deal reached with Iran. This doesn’t exactly sound like someone who is all about peaceful diplomacy and non-interventionism, does it?
Beyond that, he is a narcissistic billionaire who is doing anything and everything to keep the attention on himself. That includes saying terrible and awful things about different ethnic and racial groups. Due to that, some people did not take too kindly to Legum’s little opinion piece on Saturday.
When progressives presume that utterances by Trump constitute policy positions, they write drivel like this. https://t.co/Jm61iA4obj
— Allan Brauer (@allanbrauer) July 25, 2015
This is the scariest thing I’ve seen written on Trump. The Surprisingly Strong Progressive Case For Donald Trump http://t.co/iejqUXKcla
— Ivan the K ️™ ️ (@IvanTheK) July 25, 2015
That @thinkprogress piece about Trump is probably one of the worst pieces from them yet…
— Zoé S. (@ztsamudzi) July 25, 2015
FYI: There isn’t a progressive case that can be made for anyone as racist and classist as Trump. If so I’d be out. #RedefineProgressive
— Elon James White (@elonjames) July 25, 2015
Legum did respond to Elon James White, claiming that he purposely just made the piece provocative and that he didn’t actually mean that Trump was “progressive,’ just that he shouldn’t be easily dismissed.
@elonjames admittedly, it was meant to be provocative
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 25, 2015
Which says all you need to know of this article.