Republicans have long been fans of calling out Democrats for their “flip-flopping” on issues. I have always, admittedly, had a problem with this notion, as politicians should be able and willing to change positions as the public attitude changes. This is particularly important in a democracy, as our representatives are supposed to represent our interests. The GOP, at least since the Gingrich “devolution” have instead signaled that changing one’s position is a sign of weakness, a failure to hold steadfast to the conservative principles of militarism, lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations, cutting social services and deregulating. A story from the early 2000s demonstrates this point, as George Bush reportedly asked why they were pursuing further tax cuts for the wealthy after the first round of cuts and being immediately admonished by Dick Cheney at the time. Since then the penchant has only strengthened, with teabaggers in particular adept at taking a hardline stance on any issue they believe shows their conservative cred.
Donald Trump has followed that hardline stance throughout the majority of his campaign for the Presidency, but many believed he would pivot to the center after winning the nomination. After a period where he seemed to waver in regards to the issue that arguably won him the nomination (538), and a day after visiting with the President of Mexico (ABC News), Trump has pivoted back toward his original position (NYT). In his speech yesterday, Trump reiterated the following points:
- Build the wall.
- End the catch and release policy for undocumented immigrants and instead return them to their country of origin.
- Have zero tolerance for undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime, and deport them.
- Triple the number of deportation officers at the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
- Repeal President Obama’s executive orders that temporarily protected undocumented immigrants from deportation and authorized them to receive work permit.
- Stop issuing visas to any country where “adequate screening cannot occur” that might endanger national security.
- Ensure foreign countries take back deported immigrants from the United States (Mr. Trump said 23 countries refuse to do so).
- Complete a biometric entry and exit visa tracking system under development. “It will be on land, it will be on sea, it will be in the air,” he said.
Rage on sweet prince, rage on …