Donald Trump always has an interesting way of framing any ongoing narrative concerning himself. In his, frankly pathetic and nonsensical, decision not to attend Thursday’s Republican presidential debate because he believes moderator Megyn Kelly may be “unfair” to him, he has attempted to make this move appear strong, courageous, and independent.
His campaign team’s statement regarding the debate said it all: “FOX News is making tens of millions of dollars on debates, and setting ratings records (the highest in history), where as in previous years, they were low-rated afterthoughts…[Trump] will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians. Like running for office as an extremely successful person, this takes guts and is the kind of mentality our country needs in order to Make America Great Again.”
The rhetoric is twofold: Trump attacks the monetary-driven nature of the debates, refuses to aid the moneymaking process for a wealthy network, and then paints his decision as exactly the type of principled rebellion America needs in a leader.
The charade is laughable—the sole reason Trump refuses to participate in the debate is because he consistently doubles down on every controversial move he makes, never displaying any form of self-doubt or what could be construed as weakness. This strategy has proven incredibly successful for him since announcing his candidacy.
Yet, it’s ultimately another instance of Trump spouting ideas he clearly does not actually believe.
In 2011, Trump himself moderated a GOP presidential debate, in which all candidates except Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum decided not to attend, including frontrunner Mitt Romney.
According to the Washington Post, Trump explicitly said that, “Romney doesn’t look courageous…We have guys who are afraid to go into a debate. How would they stand up to China if afraid to debate?”
The tables have certainly turned. Trump, always touting his purported leadership and strength when it comes to countries such as China, would have to consider himself incapable of standing up to the country if he abided by his own words.
Inconsistencies such as this demonstrate Trump’s beliefs mean very little; they shift to suit his conveniences. Unfortunately, his supporters will remain steadfast even in the face of his blatant hypocrisy.
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