Donald Trump: Backpedaler-in-Chief

Though Donald Trump frequently and regularly backpedals, denies, and waffles on what he says, some weeks stand out in that regard. This past week was one of those; Trump backpedaled on at least five major issues.

Trump began the week by calling the prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, “nasty,” after Frederiksen pronounced Trump’s proposal to purchase Greenland “absurd.” (It should be noted that Trump reserves the term for outspoken women, not men.) By the end of the week, however, Trump was praising Frederiksen as a “wonderful woman” after she personally phoned him.

Trump also backpedaled on the topic of more extensive background checks for potential gun owners. Early in the week, Trump said he advocated legislation calling for “strong background checks” for gun users. A bill to that effect had been drafted and had bipartisan support.

“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” said Trump on Monday. 

By the end of the week, Trump (after meeting with Wayne LaPierre, Chief Executive and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association), said that, as far as gun control was concerned, he had decided that “we already have meaningful background checks,” adding that bipartisan gun control legislation was a “slippery slope” that could mean the downfall of the second amendment. 

On Wednesday, Trump proclaimed, “I am the Chosen One!” Looking to the sky and talking with reporters about his trade talks with China. Two days later, he said he had been joking.

“It was sarcasm!” He said with a sneer. 

Regarding the escalating trade war with China and the plummeting stock market, Trump tweeted on Friday, “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China including bringing …your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” When challenged, Trump cited the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act as justification. 

By Sunday, however, Trump told reporters, “I have no plan right now. Actually, we’re getting along very well with China right now. We’re talking.”

On Tuesday, Trump said he would advocate a cut in payroll tax to help fend off a recession. “Payroll tax is something that we think about, and a lot of people would like to see that, and that very much affects the workers of our country,” said Trump.

On Wednesday, however, Trump said he was no longer considering a payroll tax cut, declaring that the economy is great, and is not in danger of a recession. “I’m not looking at a tax cut now. We don’t need it. We have a strong economy,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.

Ever notice how Americans are supposed to have the innate ability to discern when Trump is “just kidding” from when he’s serious; and to recognize when he says something from which we’re expected to extract the opposite meaning? And that Trump supporters will get fully behind what Trump says until he says he didn’t say it? At which time his supporters develop an almost uncanny ability to tell the difference between an absurd Trumpism that was intended, and another equally absurd one that shouldn’t be taken literally?

How is Trump’s continual backpedaling congruent with his supporters’ slogan, “Says what he means and means what he says”?

Trump all over the place on gun background checks | CNN
[2019-08-21]

President Trump: “I am the chosen one.” 
| C-SPAN [2019-08-21]

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