COLUMN: From Here and Back Again

Jim Coufal

COLUMN: From Here and Back Again

Donald Flip-flop

By Jim Coufal

Flip-flop is defined as “To reverse a stand or position.” Donald Trump is a master of the flip-flop, ignoring consistency— a needed characteristic of a president — and the consequences of flip-flopping. Of course, it may be a purposeful tactic to draw public attention from other, more serious matters. Examples of his flip-flopping follow.

FLIP: Even before the presidential campaign, Trump faulted Obama for playing too much golf. Between 2011 and 2016, as reported by SBNation, he tweeted at least 27 times complaining, joking or scolding Obama for golfing while president. During the campaign Trump said, “I’m going to be working for you; I’m not going to have time to play golf.”

FLOP: Since his inauguration, Trump has played golf about 121 times, mostly on Trump-owned courses. Obama played golf 333 times in his eight years as president. GNN reports Trump is on a pace to play between 650 and 772 times in eight years. Lie, poor planning or purposeful tactic, Trump has misled the American public. Two more recent situations should be sufficient to show Trump’s flip-flopping habits.

Regarding immigration policies Trump has flip-flopped in a number of ways.

FLIP: In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, the latter asked Trump about deporting immigrants, pointing out “The actual seizure of human beings, taking them from their homes and putting them in a detention center for their illegal alien status can be adjudicated … must be considered.” Trump replied, “You don’t have to put them in a detention center…”

FLOP: So now having seized and separated families, where has Trump placed the parents and kids? In detention centers.

FLIP: During the presidential campaign and since taking office, Trump made many assertions that any change in Obamacare would include coverage for preexisting conditions.

FLOP: This is what the Washington Post had to say June 6, 2018: “The Pinocchio Test: As far as we can tell, Trump has not commented on coverage for preexisting conditions since the efforts to repeal Obamacare flopped in late 2017. But that makes his stance even more remarkable. With no explanation or warning, the president now supports an effort to nullify the provisions that make it possible for millions of people to purchase affordable insurance. Thus this new position, directly contradicting his repeated stance as a candidate and as president, qualifies as a flip-flop.”

Search for “Trump’s flip-flops” for many more examples.

Flip-flops make planning convoluted, keep policy-makers in a state of confusion, alienate opponents, supporters and allies, and keeps attention away from other issues. He’s mastered the art like no other president, largely because his interests are more about himself than they are about policies, the latter simply serving the former. There are those who strongly make the case that Trump’s psychological traits make him unfit to be president, but that’s a story for another time.

Addendum: My last piece was about Trump the liar. I failed to mention how often he calls others liars, including Hillary, the media, Mueller, Comey, judges, his sex accusers, scientists, doctors, the Intelligence Services and more. He does this in his usual way; that is, without providing any evidence and his accusations are commonly debunked. Thus, his very accusations are themselves lies.

Editor’s note: Jim Coufal of Cazenovia is a part-time philosopher and full-time observer of global trends.

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