Scott Tibbs

Donald Trump lurches to the Left. Can he be trusted?

By Scott Tibbs, June 12, 2023

Donald Trump, for all of his flaws, did deliver consistently good policy when he was President on a number of issues: Defending due process, repealing harmful regulations implemented by the bureaucracy, defending religious freedom, passing a big tax cut and - most importantly - appointing three Supreme Court justices who were critical to the 5-4 vote to repeal Roe v. Wade. Was he perfect? By no means. Trump is not ideologically conservative. He is an anti-Leftist and a populist.

We have seen this in how Trump has reacted to a primary challenge from Ron Desantis. Trump has thrown everything he can think of at DeSantis, including attacking DeSantis from the Left. He started by saying DeSantis voted to "cut and destroy" Social Security when he was in the House.

Here is the problem: The biggest driver of our budget deficit and national debt is "mandatory spending" for entitlements. The "compromise" reached to suspend the debt ceiling through January 2025 was a deal on "discretionary" spending only, with some extremely weak work requirements for food stamps. The vast majority of our spending problem was completely untouched.

If we do not reform entitlements, the deficit and the national debt will continue to grow out of control. Everyone knows this is coming, but DeSantis was one of the few people who actually tried to do something about it. By attacking entitlement reform, Trump has not only demonstrated (again) that he is not a fiscal conservative, but he actually sounds like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton. Do Republicans really want someone who is "Democrat Lite" on fiscal issues as our party's standard bearer in 2024?

That is not the only area where Trump has moved to the Left to attack DeSantis. Millions of the most devoted Republican voters and Trump supporters raged against COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021, and now Trump is saying that Andrew Cuomo - who led one the state with some of the most onerous COVID-19 policies - did a better job than Ron DeSantis. Trump openly betrayed his own supporters, and has repudiated his own support of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Political expediency has proven much more important to Trump than supporting conservative policy. Once again, Trump is siding with the most obnoxious voices on the Left (including Joe Biden) to attack DeSantis.

When I voted against Donald Trump in 2016, it was because I did not trust someone who had been a lifelong New York City liberal to actually govern as a conservative. Because Trump is a transactional politician, he proved to be much more conservative than I expected. But Trump is now openly attacking other Republicans from the Left. Furthermore, Trump has become increasingly unhinged since losing the 2020 election. The most critical ideologically conservative voice in the Trump administration - Vice President Mike Pence - has been excommunicated from "MAGA" and will have no influence if Trump is re-elected.

Trump is boxing himself in to a Leftist policy agenda on critical issues with his attacks on DeSantis, should Trump be President again. This is why if Republicans are actually interested in having a President who is committed to conservative policy - especially a smaller, less intrusive and less expensive federal government - Donald Trump is the wrong person to be the Republican nominee in 2024.

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