Matthew Hoy

For conservative voters, Donald Trump isn’t the man

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop March 30 in Appleton, Wis.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop March 30 in Appleton, Wis. Associated Press

My liberal colleague, Tom Fulks, doesn’t like Donald Trump because he’s an “organ-grinding circus act,” a “fascist billionaire” and a purveyor of “violent political rhetoric.”

I agree, but that’s not the worst of it.

I don’t like Donald Trump because what he really is is a liberal Democrat playacting as a Republican. Unfortunately, Trump has fooled far too many Republicans who are so angry at President Barack Obama’s gangster government that they see a short-fingered vulgarian as the best solution to what ails Washington.

A week before the Wisconsin GOP primary, Trump criticized that state’s governor, Scott Walker, for not raising taxes in that state in the wake of a budget shortfall. Urging a tax hike is generally not the first instinct of a fiscal conservative. (Walker and the state’s legislature eliminated the shortfall without raising taxes.)

In fact, it’s generally not the first instinct of Trump, either, when he’s in his GOP-thinking mode. In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump claimed he could wipe out the national debt — currently at $19 trillion and climbing — not by raising taxes or cutting spending, but by redoing our trade deals with China. Sorry, but that’s just Bernie Sanders-level economic ignorance.

The truth is, Trump will say whatever he thinks the people around him want to hear. Conservatism is a foreign language to Trump. He’s too lazy to learn it. And he’ll probably forget about it anyway if (God forbid) he actually wins.

Earlier this month, Trump, who claims he’s now pro-life, took five different positions on abortion in just 72 hours and managed to elicit outrage from both sides of the debate.

Trump has promised that Social Security’s looming demographic insolvency problem can be solved by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. This sort of willful ignorance perhaps explains why the guy who isn’t afraid to tell you he’s the smartest guy in the room has filed for bankruptcy four times.

Trump has promised that if he gave illegal orders to the military to intentionally target noncombatants or to torture terrorists, the military would obey.

“If I say do it, they’re gonna do it,” he said during a televised debate.

And those are the somewhat coherent answers Trump gives to questions.

Trump’s answer to The Washington Post Editorial Board on whether he’d use a tactical nuke on ISIS quickly devolved into bashing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and then asking the people around the table their names without actually answering the question.

When he was asked by journalist Bob Woodward what made Abraham Lincoln succeed, Trump gave an answer so devoid of actual facts or content that one could legitimately wonder whether Trump knows who Lincoln was.

Trump’s supporters should be infuriated that he hasn’t even bothered to do the bare minimum of preparation for the job he’s running for. But he may be right when he says he could commit at least assault with a deadly weapon or attempted murder and his supporters would still vote for him.

Trump supporters: You should be offended by that.

Trump waves away these criticisms by saying he’s a great CEO and he’ll hire the very best people. If his campaign is his evidence, then he’s wrong about that, too.

Trump lost Iowa after it was apparent he didn’t know what a political “ground game” was or why it was important he should have one.

Trump won South Carolina, and its 50 delegates are duty-bound to vote for him on the first ballot at the GOP convention in Cleveland. But Trump’s campaign has failed to get Trump loyalists seated as delegates in the state, and it appears those delegates may quickly flee Trump in a contested convention.

In Colorado, Trump was trounced after it quickly became apparent he hadn’t hired people who could be bothered to read that state’s rules on how its delegates are selected.

On Thursday, top Trump surrogate Michael Cohen revealed that he can’t vote for Trump in New York’s GOP primary because he’s a registered Democrat. Cohen shouldn’t feel too bad. Two of Trump’s own kids can’t vote for him either.

If you’re a conservative who is mad that Washington hasn’t been listening and you’re sick of the “moderate” candidates the GOP nominated in 2008 and 2012, Donald Trump isn’t your answer.

Californians have seen this movie before, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Once a series of conservative reforms pushed by the “Governator” were defeated at the ballot box, he went native and abandoned everything he’d run on.

In fact, his last act in office was to commute the murder sentence of Esteban Nuñez from 16 years to seven years. You see, Schwarzenegger was friends with the murderer’s father, state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez.

Tribune columnist/editor Joe Tarica — a self-confessed Democrat — has already told you who his least-favorite Republican is: Ted Cruz. I can’t think of a more honest and heartfelt endorsement.

If you’re one of the 20 percent of Democrats who would defect for Trump, don’t hesitate; write in Trump’s name.

Conservative columnist Matthew Hoy is a former reporter, editor and page designer. His column appears in The Tribune in rotation with liberal columnist Tom Fulks. Read Hoy’s blog at Follow him on Twitter @Hoystory.