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What Is Trump Offering?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

I’m not a Trump fan.

Not because I don’t like some of what he says. I do. I am grateful he has turned the discussion of immigration from varying degrees of amnesty to security and enforcing our laws and, most importantly, our sovereignty.


No, I’m not a Trump fan because I don’t think he has any idea how to govern, how our government works, or even the slightest idea about what conservatism is.

Trump made his initial splash because of immigration. “Build a wall” was his rallying cry. It’s important and necessary, but his commitment to the concept seems scattershot at best.

I support his message, but I’m not sure I believe him on immigration. And I have a problem with his saying illegal aliens are “going to have to go out and they will come back, but they are going to have to go out and hopefully they get back.” That seems a lot like touchback amnesty to me, which rewards illegal aliens for violating our sovereignty with cuts in line for violating our sovereignty.

But that goes to a larger problem: He doesn’t really stand for anything. Anything he’s said that I even sort of agree with is undercut by something else he’s said, either years ago or only days. He has no consistency because he doesn’t have a defining principle for his political beliefs.

He never had to develop core political beliefs as a businessman; his job was to make himself rich. And although he was born on third base, he crossed home plate on his own. And good for him. But that doesn’t make him a good leader, nor would it make him a good president.

He doesn’t stand for anything. He never says anything beyond “It’s going to be great” and mentions polls so often it’d be considered a nervous tic if it came from anyone other than a person we’ve all accepted as a narcissist.


And he insults. He insults a lot. And he insults everyone.

I’d understand if he were the leading candidate to become the next Don Rickles, not the leader of the free world.

He threatens to sue anyone who even so much as uses his own words against him – not a quality I seek in someone charged with preserving, protecting and defending the First Amendment. He threatens other Americans for opposing him – which is something we have now with the IRS scandal.

Most importantly, he doesn’t know the issues.

It’s hard to say whether Donald Trump would govern as a conservative because Donald Trump doesn’t ever say anything of substance.

This was all perfectly on display this week when Trump sat down for an “interview” with Sean Hannity on Fox News. After some back-slapping and chatter that passed for questions, the audience was afforded a chance to have its issues addressed.

One woman named Bethany asked a question about college costs. “What are your plans to make college more affordable?” she asked.

Trump’s answer was not an answer. All he did was restate the question, declare it a problem, and say “We gotta do something with the cost of colleges.” That’s a lot of things, none of which can be called an answer to a serious question.

Don’t believe me? Here’s exactly what he said (it starts at 40:48):

“We gotta do something with the cost of colleges. Now, what’s happening is you’re a conduit for government to give money to you to give to the college. And the colleges, their costs are going up by a factor that’s faster than anything else, practically, is going up. People are making phenomenal salaries at the top.


“You know, our professors, our teachers, we have to take care of them. It’s very important, I mean, to me it’s so important. But, you look at how the costs have escalated for colleges, and all they’re doing is, the students, essentially, are giving them the money, and yet, you’re borrowing too much money. I’m gonna look into that very strongly and we have to do something to help the students.”

But he didn’t end there. “Sean, I get this question more than any other question I get. These students are absolutely, they have it up to their neck, they’re not able to function. And then, in many cases, on top of everything else, they can’t get a job. We’re gonna do something.”

There was no follow-up or opportunity to point out he’d never entered the time zone of an answer. Hannity simply said, “And you need a degree to get doors open,” then went to commercial.

Trump says he hears “this question more than any other question,” yet he offers nothing in response to it. If people are asking him this with some frequency, you’d think he’d take a little time to read up on it, talk to experts and formulate a substantive answer.

He hasn’t. Either he can’t understand the concept of student loan debt, has never thought about or asked why college costs have skyrocketed, or he simply doesn’t care because his lack of even semi-specifics hasn’t hurt him in the past. Take your pick.


Donald Trump is a smart man, but he has to care about something to invest himself and his time into learning about it. He knows real estate. He knows polls. He knows himself. What else have you heard him speak about with any depth or knowledge? Not something that would look good on a bumper sticker, but something that reflects some understanding?

No one understands the power of celebrity and image like Donald Trump, but in a general election will the American people buy the sizzle if they never so much as get a whiff of the steak?

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