We’re all familiar with Trump’s incessant attacks on Hillary Clinton. “Crooked Hillary,” he calls her. The man who tells a lie with nine out of every 10 things he says. Simply repeating bald-faced lies and regurgitating old talking points may rile up the gullible Republican masses, and even a few who “feel the Bern” just a little too strongly to see straight, but they are not going to stand up to scrutiny for even a minute.
The trouble with Trump’s attacks now are that a few short years ago they were praise, both of the job Hillary Clinton was doing as Secretary of State, and of her character in general. He wants to make hay now by saying she took his money willingly in the past without having to look too closely at the reasons he gave her that money. Trump wants Hillary to explain why she accepted his support when he was a Democrat without having to explain why he was a Democrat and firmly in her corner.
Trump retweeted Monday a tweet that puts it all squarely in perspective:
— Diamond and Silk® (@DiamondandSilk) June 6, 2016
Trump wants Hillary to explain why she took his contributions in the past. That’s fine. Let’s have Trump explain those contributions.
In 2008, Trump supported Hillary Clinton for president. His explanation now is that it was “just business.” Speaking at the GOP debate in Detroit in March, Trump said,
“Actually, it was for business. It was. It was. It was for business. I pride myself, including outside of the United States. I’m doing almost 120 deals outside of the–which I hope to be able to stop very soon and let my children handle it–but we’re doing many, many deals outside of the United States.
“I support politicians. In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton. I supported many other people, by the way.”
That rings hollow for reasons Trump doesn’t want to go into, and that is why he spoke in such glowing terms of Clinton as secretary of state, back when he thought she was doing a “good job” (his words).
Just the other day he told us in a tweet,
“Hillary Clinton is unfit to be president. She has bad judgement, poor leadership skills and a very bad and destructive track record. Change!”
However, that’s not what he used to say about her.
For example, in March 2012 he told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that,
“Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman. I am biased because I have known her for years. I live in New York. She lives in New York. I really like her and her husband both a lot. I think she really works hard.
“I think she really works hard and I think she does a good job. I like her.”
If Trump wants Hillary Clinton to explain why she took his donations back then, it is probably because back then he was a Democrat. Why wouldn’t she take his money? In fact, Trump had ceased being a Republican in 1999 and became a Democrat in 2001, joining the GOP again only in 2009 before leaving again in 2011 saying he no longer wished to be affiliated with a party.
So let’s take a look at old Democrat Trump from whom Clinton accepted donations:
That was when, with Kerry was facing off incumbent George W. Bush in 2004 and Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “I’ve been around a long time. And it just seems the economy does better under the Democrats than under Republicans.”
That was when Trump told The New York Times in 1999, “I really believe the Republicans are too crazy right.”
That was when Trump left the Republican Party that same year over its extremism.
That was when Trump was accusing Pat Buchanan of anti-Semitism instead of embracing it himself, like he does now.
And the Donald Trump of today, of course, has, with his proposed Republican economic policies, proven that the Donald Trump of 2004 was right, and he has doubled down on the “crazy right” he deplored back in 1999.
All this proves that Donald Trump is the last person on this earth who should demand an accounting of the past from another person. He has too many skeletons in his own closet, too many changes of direction in belief, to make an attack on another person at all credible.
Trump, for crying out loud, lambasted Buchanan as a “Hitler lover” before he himself started acting and sounding like Hitler at his political rallies.
In 2012, Trump told Van Susteren,
“I think she would have been a better [president] – first of all, I think we would have had a more unified country. We wouldn’t have had a country where the Republicans hate the Democrats.”
Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to explain why she accepted donations from a Democrat named Donald Trump. Particularly not when Trump refuses to explain why he accepts support from white nationalists and anti-Semites. What does need to be explained by Trump is his apparent opportunism.
The fact is, Trump was either lying then about Hillary Clinton, or he’s lying now. Either way, he was right when he said to Van Susteren that the GOP would need the “perfect candidate” to beat her. And if one thing is certain four years later, it is that Donald J. Trump is not that perfect candidate.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.