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What I Believed Monday, I Will Still Believe Wednesday — No Matter What I Said Tuesday

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What I Believed Monday, I Will Still Believe Wednesday — No Matter What I Said Tuesday

Anti-Trump protestor

There are three major political parties in the United States: the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and the Trumpeter Party.

The Republicans blow their horns for the rich. The Democrats blow their horns for the poor. And the Trumpeters just blow.

While the Republicans and Democrats are very angry, the Trumpeters are furious. The other two parties are looking for a winner. The Trumpeters are looking for a savior.

This savior will find an enemy to blame for America’s woes. This enemy will have dark skin and a foreign accent and will not be a “true” American, no matter what his (probably phony) birth certificate says.

The savior will have a message. And it will not be unique. Andrew Jackson did pretty well with it in 1832, and a century later, it still had not lost its power. “Every man a king!” Huey Long told crowds in Louisiana in the early 1930s. “That’s my slogan.”

In February 1976, I interviewed George Wallace in the white, working-class neighborhood of Southie in Boston. Five hundred people packed into a small hall, and 300 more waited outside. Wallace spoke for nearly an hour in a strong, resonating voice.

“You will be the kings and queens of American politics!” Wallace thundered. “You! The working men and women will be the kings and queens instead of the ultraliberal left that has been getting everything all the time. Paul Revere rode to say the British were coming. I will ride to say, ‘The people are coming!'”

After his speech, Wallace took questions from the same reporters he had denounced during his speech. Like Trump, Wallace was not afraid of the press. Like Trump, Wallace used the press.

I asked Wallace what his strategy was.

“My strategy? I put down the hay where the goats can get it,” he said, and then he roared with laughter.

Trump is no different in that he does not have to sell his policies. His followers are more than ready for someone who will feed their fears and promise them magic, such as walls that will reach to the sky and be paid for by the same foreigners who want American jobs.

Trump does not need to build a coalition. The coalition is already out there festering, hating government, believing in conspiracies, waiting for someone to focus their anger.

On Tuesday, Ted Cruz woke up and decided to tell people that Trump is a really, really bad guy.

Trump is a “pathological liar” who is “utterly amoral” and does not know right from wrong, Cruz said. Trump has had “venereal diseases” as a result of his “serial philandering,” of which he is proud.

Trump is “terrified of strong women,” Cruz said.

And here is the really bad one: “He’s not going to build a wall.”

No wall? What the heck are we going to spray-paint?

Why did Cruz wait so long to roll out Operation Desperation? This is anybody’s guess. On April 26, after Trump swept Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, Stephen Colbert summed it up with deadly accuracy: “Trump’s candidacy just got five states less funny.”

And Hillary Clinton is not going to dawdle. Though technically she still has to beat Bernie Sanders, she is already ready for Trump. She is fired up and ready to go.

“We’ve seen a lot of rhetoric. We’ve seen a lot of insults,” she said Tuesday. “We’re going to have a tough campaign against a candidate who will literally say or do anything.”

The trouble with attacks against Trump, however, is that they usually lack the snap and verve of his own attacks.

Lyin’ Ted. Liddle Marco. Low-energy Jeb. Crooked Hillary.

As childish as they are, they stick in the mind.

“Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president of the United States,” Trump said Tuesday.

But what kind of temperament does the presidency require except a commitment to repeat the same slander day after day. “What I believed on Monday, I will still believe on Wednesday,” the candidate must say, “no matter what I believed on Tuesday.”

And when media outlets started writing a few weeks ago that Trump was dialing down his attacks to appear more presidential, Trump reacted with anger.

“I’m not changing. You know, I went to the best schools. I’m, like, a very smart person,” he said. “I don’t want to really change my personality. I think, you know, it got me here. … I consider myself the presumptive nominee. … As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”

And as for the rest of the campaign? The remaining primaries, the conventions, the presidential debates and all those speeches?

No worries. It’s easy when you have a plan, and Donald Trump has a plan: He is just going to keep putting down the hay where the goats can get it.

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.


Photo:Β Brendan McDermid/Reuters.Β 



  1. Dominick Vila May 4, 2016

    The Trumpeters party? πŸ™‚
    Just one comment, Hillary may be ready to engage Trump politically, but she needs someone who can unite and energize the Democratic party to win, and that someone is Bernie Sanders. With the exception of African-Americans, Latinos, and a plurality of white women over 45 years of age, Hillary is not getting too much support from within her own party. Most young, and blue collar, Democrats support Bernie (some defected and voted for Trump).
    Most importantly, Hillary has the support of those who value relevant experience and qualifications…at a time when a large number of American considers those assets liabilities. Clinton-Sanders

    1. itsfun May 4, 2016

      When it comes to who is going to be on the ballot, I want to add “None of the Above”. I mean that for both parties.

      1. iamproteus May 4, 2016

        I understand your trepidation, itsfun. But since that is not an option, as loyal Americans we must choose and perforce, choose wisely. Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is totally unsuitable to be President and while you may believe that neither Hillary nor Bernie deserves your vote, the choice is none the less clear: either of them would be far superior to Trump. At the very least, no country has debated whether to allow them to cross their borders!

        1. itsfun May 4, 2016

          Here’s my problem with them: Trump and Bernie have similar ideas on many things. I truly believe Hillary is a criminal and shouldn’t even be allowed to run for the office of President. I just can’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth. Bernie is a socialist wants to give everything away he can think of by taking away what people have earned. I still wish there was a none of the above.

    2. dtgraham May 4, 2016

      Thank you Dominick. What demographic support Hillary lacks, Bernie has. What demographic support Bernie lacks, Hillary has. Plus the tremendous enthusiasm and energy of those Bernie people. Man, what a potential ticket. Clinton-Sanders.

      I thought Bernie did alright with Latinos. I may be wrong.

    3. Joan May 4, 2016

      Clinton – Warren would be even better.

      1. Dominick Vila May 5, 2016

        I admire Elizabeth Warren, but I think she would be more useful in the Senate, where she is doing an outstanding job, than as a VP.

  2. I of John May 4, 2016

    This is where our political game of chicken starts to get scary. How close will we cut it. How near to insanity must we veer before we escape total chaos. Make no mistake Trump is chaos. He is a one way ticket to absolute havoc.

    1. Kelly Schippers May 5, 2016

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  3. latebloomingrandma May 4, 2016

    I, like, went to the best schools and am smart. Huh? The “best schools” apparently didn’t teach grammar or how construct an essay or speech. At least ” Bushisms ” were funny.

  4. Daniel Jones May 4, 2016

    Why did Ted Cruz wait so long?
    He was hoping to be Donald’s VP pick.
    He hoped to be the man doing the work as Donald bloviated in the Oval Office.
    He wanted to be Donald’s Cheney.

  5. Otto T. Goat May 4, 2016
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth May 5, 2016

      Otto, it appears that you and your 1 or two person fan club were in George Wallace’s mind when he said: “…I put down the hay where the goats can get it…”
      Well, someone special in your life(‘Lord Fauntleroy) has unloaded more fresh hay for you…bon appetit!

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth May 5, 2016

    First, there was the re-hijacking of the Message of Jesus, and in the process every institution associated with Christianity, spiritual and secular, has been distorted.
    (The Umayyads, from the moment Muhammad ascended from this realm, did likewise, and Abdul-Wahhab repeated the hijacking a few hundred years ago, changing an entire kingdom and surrounding countries in the process).
    The populists from the time of Andrew Jackson having continued in helping bring America downwards—and now this new decadent, amoral phenomenon is taking full advantage of the mental laziness and self-centered attitude of many in America.

    I find George Wallace’s quote(“…β€œMy strategy? I put down the hay where the goats can get it,”) especially appropriate in describing the methodology employed to feed the frenzy that has gripped the limited imaginations of the GOP and its adherents.

    As “Cedric the Entertainer” facetiously stated—- “Now, what is we goin’ to do?”


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