Will the real Donald Trump please stand up? – Politico

Over the past two decades he was a Republican, then an independent, then a Democrat, then a Republican.

Which side is Donald Trump on?

Trump once endorsed a massive surtax on the rich. But he now wants the top income tax rate cut in half.

He opposed the war in Iraq, but says he now has a “foolproof” plan to defeat ISIL.
He’s praised single-payer health care, yet loathes Obamacare. But a decade ago he proposed “health marts” that sound suspiciously like today’s Obamacare exchanges.

Over the past two decades he was a Republican, then an independent, then a Democrat, then a Republican. Now, registered as an independent, he leads the Republican 2016 presidential field.

But what does Donald Trump really believe on policy? It’s hard to tell — his campaign will identify no policy director, he has no “issues” tab on his campaign website and he hasn’t given any substantive policy speeches on the campaign trail.

“His hair has been more permanent than his political positions,” said Thomas P. Miller, a health care policy expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “It’s a total random assortment of whatever plays publicly.”

Voters are drawn to Trump more for his I’ll-say-anything style than for his policy views. But a close inspection of Trump’s two published policy tomes, “The America We Deserve” (2000) and “Time To Get Tough” (2011), along with Trump’s public statements in interviews, on Twitter and in public appearances, indicate that Trump’s policy preferences are eclectic, improvisational and often contradictory.

Some of his policy stances are flatout disqualifying to the Republican establishment, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The inconsistencies may even be an asset in assembling a coalition.

To a large extent Trump’s policy contradictions reflect his rapidly shifting political alliances over the past 15 years.

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