Wow, Donald Trump is surging in the polls, leading all other Republican candidates for the presidential nomination. He comes across as a tough guy, the man you can't push around. He's the boss, the star of "The Apprentice" reality show. Be afraid, be very afraid 'cause he's one that can "fire you." He's rich, he'll tell you that himself. He doesn't need anybody's money to run for president because he has his own. He's being called the populist candidate, the guy everyone likes because he speaks his mind and doesn't say things just to be politically correct. Or does he?
He calls himself a conservative, but the facts for anyone who takes the time to do a little research, might surprise some of his ardent right-wing supporters. Statements made by Trump in the past sound anything but "conservative." He opposed the Iraq war. He was in support of single-payer health care. His quotes for the record over the past 10 to 15 years actually sound more Democratic than anything else.
1999: "I just believe the Republicans are just too crazy right."
2000: He called himself "A liberal" when it comes to health care.
2001: "It just seems that the economy does better under Democrats."
2007: "Hillary's always surrounded herself with very good people. I think Hillary would do a good job" (referring to her ability to negotiate and handle a deal with Iran).
A video shows Trump in a 2004 interview on CNN proclaiming enthusiastic support for Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular, and he talks of having a long term disdain for Conservatives. In that same interview he puts down Condoleezza Rice, saying she was unqualified and nothing more than a joke.
Most of Trump's contributions in the last 10 years have gone to Democrats and Democratic causes, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hillary in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. She was even a front-row VIP at his 2005 wedding to current wife Melania Knauss.
With all that Democratic history in his background, it's no wonder that columnists and political pundits are speculating that maybe, just maybe Donald Trump is secretly in league with the Dems to get Hillary elected. Think about it. He rips into just about all the Republican candidates and for the most part ignores Hillary. He says nothing about her email erasures, nothing about Benghazi, nothing about her lies, or her evasions, or her personal server scandal, or the fact that she has accomplished zero in all her time in politics.
And yet he makes personal attacks of the vilest nature against Republicans, calling U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham an "idiot," saying Senator John McCain was "No hero" because he was a prisoner of war, and pretty much trashing the other Republican candidates, branding them as a bunch of losers and stupid.
On face value Donald Trump is a loudmouth chain puller. As the old joke goes, if you looked up "blowhard" in the dictionary you'd find his picture next to the word. But for all his supposed off the cuff, extemporaneous remarks and insults, Trump is no dummy. He's no loose cannon. You don't become rich, powerful, and famous without thinking through a strategy and having a plan.
The question is, what is his REAL plan? Is it simply to get elected, as he says, so he can make America great again? Does he really want to be president or is it some sadistic, egocentric game to tweak the other candidates just to show he can? Or is he covertly working with the Clintons to get her elected by causing chaos within the Republican Party?
Just as no one knew what Barack Obama really stood for before he was elected, we don't know what Trump stands for now. It was said that Obama's strength was that he was like a blank slate, which allowed people to see whatever they wanted to see.
Trump is very much like that too. We don't know what Trump's values and core beliefs are, if any. He has altered his political rhetoric to suit himself for over two decades. Is it all just ego? Is he an empty suit? We know he is the modern era's answer to P.T. Barnum, the big, brash showman. But is he all humbug and con, or is there something deeper, something more cunning and sinister underneath it all?
Time will tell. Crazy Donald may not be so crazy after all.