As Jason Easley wrote today, Donald Trump’s short visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was bizarre, and Trump came off as rather weak.
So weak, in fact, that Trump didn’t even have the courage to discuss something that has been central to his campaign since the beginning: the fact that Mexico will pay for a proposed wall on the southern border of the United States.
Trump’s success in the Republican primary was based largely on this promise and his commitment to enlist a deportation force to ship over 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the country.
These are huge applause lines at Trump campaign events, and his supporters claim they are evidence that Trump is a tough guy who isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said. Trump himself says that he won’t be like typical politicians who are “all talk and no action.”
But when the Republican nominee finally had the opportunity to show that he could talk tough and fight for his policies outside the setting of a political rally, Trump folded like a cheap lawn chair. He was the very definition of all talk and no action.
That was the Donald Trump that showed up in Mexico.
The truth is that Trump just isn’t that interested in working to implement policies in order to create a stronger America. His crazy immigration proposals don’t exist because he thinks they will improve the country; he came up with them because he knew he had to win over the crazies that now make up the base of the Republican Party.
And Trump certainly doesn’t care about striking deals or sitting down with world leaders to build a consensus around important issues. If he did, he wouldn’t have remained largely silent about an issue that has driven his campaign for over a year – especially in a setting where he could actually do something about it.
So let’s just be clear: Trump isn’t really passionate about immigration policy or building a wall or stopping crime, which he falsely claims is at “record levels.” He’s just passionate about saying and doing things in the moment that he thinks will get him good press.
If anything, that’s what his strange trip to Mexico proved.