Conservatism or Populism?

There is no denying that Donald Trump is having an impact on the 2016 Republican primary.  He’s a favorite topic of both the the Left and Right media and he loves it.  Though he may be tapping into the negative feelings many independents and conservatives have with politics-as-usual, some are quick to point out that his conservative bona fides are missing.

Peter Wehner writes on Commentary:

Now let’s turn to Trump’s record, which I’ve laid outbefore, and is essential to re-state for the purposes of my argument. Mr. Trump has supported massive tax increases on the wealthy, a Canadian-style single-payer health care system and is a fierce protectionist. He once declared himself “strongly pro-choice” and favored drug legalization. Earlier this year he accused Republicans who want to reform entitlement programs – the essential task for those who favor limited government — of “attacking” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Barack Obama couldn’t have stated it better.

That’s not all. For most of the last decade, Trump was a registered Democrat. As of 2011, he had given a majority of his $1.3 million political contributions to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Chuck Schumer.

Even on immigration, the issue that has won over the hearts of many on the right, Trump has been erratic. In 2012, he criticized Mitt Romney’s “crazy policy of self-deportation, which was maniacal. It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote … He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”

Trump may fill a void with bombastic, and perhaps valid, outrage against DC, but he doesn’t have a history of standing for conservative principles.  Conservatives don’t have to kill the messenger, but they don’t have to vote for him either.

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