EDITORIAL

Trump’s Flip-Flops Give Media Pundits Headaches

President Trump does not only know how to work the crowd on the campaign stumps, but has also shown that he knows how to play the media like a puppet on a string.

Anyone with a modicum of understanding of Trump’s modus operandi would have picked up on his tactics on how he wins friends and influences people.

After all, Trump is a marketeer extraordinaire – he didn’t trump 17 experienced Republican politicians in the primary and Hillary Clinton in the general election without smarts.

No doubt, Trump also pays attention to Rhythm and Blues as the O’Jays titled song, “Give the people what they want” not only rings true in his appeal, but also fits well with the mode of his calls on socio-economic, legal, and political issues.

Some media pundits sitting in their lofty ivory towers continue to mock Trump for being a flip-flopper, but Trump has repeatedly said he is a winner.

This, therefore, means that he will say or do anything within the confines of the law to win – see his take on making his taxes public and the separation of his company from the presidency.

He also said in a recent interview, “I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don’t have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way.”

Consequently, members of the public must get used to the idea that part of winning in the way Trump practices his politics is flip-flopping as a tactical move.

This, of course, in the days of old would have been referred to as plain and simple lying, but not so today.

So, Trump’s double takes in recent times include the following:

On March 22: “NATO, obsolete, because it doesn’t cover terrorism” — a claim that is untrue.

Recently, at a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said, “The secretary-general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.

On China, in a Wall Street Journal interview: “They’re [China] not currency manipulators.”

On April 2, however, he said, “You know, when you talk about, when you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations, they [China] are world champions.”

On May 5, 2016, his take on Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, “She is not a Republican. … When her time is up, I would most likely replace her because of the fact that I think it would be appropriate.”

Now, “No, not toast … I like her, I respect her. It’s very early.”

Any tracking of Trump’s political utterances over the years, one is bound to find a high degree of inconsistencies or a changing of the goal posts from time to time.

The fact is this is how Trump rolls, and it won him the presidency, so if people think he wouldn’t be backtracking on many of his campaign promises – think again.

Moreover, he has outsmarted some media pundits as well as fellow Republicans to the extent that today he has them making the following excuses among others for him:

  • Trump is a pragmatist
  • He is not your typical politician
  • He is learning on the job
  • He now has to face reality
  • Campaigning is different from governing

The line from Marmion that epic poem by Sir Walter Scott “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive,” is certainly apt, given the political shenanigan being practiced today.

That said, Trump’s political theater certainly has a lot of suckers and the poor as always remains the victims.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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