We Need To Hold Trump To His Grandiose Promises
Trump is without a doubt the most dishonest politician and president* in American history. One thing that stands out about Trump are his numerous grandiose promises. As Democrats, we need to remind the voters about these promises and hold the former TV reality star to account for these promises. (We can’t count on the “liberal” mainstream media to remind the voters.) Amnesia is the ally of the GOP.
One thing that has frustrated me during the Trump shutdown is that the media appears to have forgotten how we got into this mess in the first place. Questions from reporters to Democratic members of Congress are focused on what they believe to be the correct methods to secure the border. And Democratic members of Congress fall for that trap by allowing themselves to be sucked into the weeds about the particulars of walls, fences and drones.
What Democrats need to do is simply repeat a few Trump quotes when answering these questions. On December 11, 2018, Trump said: “I will take the mantle. I’m not going to blame you for it. I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security. I actually like that in terms of an issue.” Asked on January 4, 2019, whether his feeling from December, when he said he would be “proud to shut down the government,” still stands, Trump said that he is indeed proud to be “doing what I’m doing.”
And in addition to reminding the media and the voters that it was Trump who shutdown the government, Democrats need to repeatedly mention that Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. An April 2016 Trump campaign memo stated: “It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5–10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year.” This same memo indicated that Trump believed it would only take Mexico three days to pay for the wall! That memo has since been deleted from the Trump campaign website.
On the campaign trail, promises that Mexico would pay for the wall were a regular staple of the Trump campaign stump speech. It has been estimated that Trump promised something like 200 times that Mexico would pay for the wall. For example, on August 31, 2016, Trump promised: “ “Mexico will pay for the wall, 100 percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it.”
Any Democratic member of Congress or candidate should answer any questions about border security in the following manner: “Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall — not U.S. taxpayers. I will only consider the wall if Trump can keep his promise to get the funding from Mexico. Trump owns this shutdown because he said on camera that it was his shutdown and he would take full responsibility for it.”
Trump’s wild promises weren’t only about his proposed wall with Mexico. The former TV reality star made impossible to keep promises on health care and the national debt.
Trump’s most ridiculous and incredible promises were on health care. In a 60 Minutes interview, Trump promised to insure “everybody.” Trump also promised “great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost” and said it would be so “easy.” Once reality set in after he was “elected” president*, a bewildered Trump remarked that “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
Trump’s ludicrous promises on health care fell far short of the legislation that he and Congressional Republicans tried to ram down our throats in the middle of the night in 2017. The Trump Care bill would have taken away insurance from 17 million people in order to fund a tax cut for the rich. It would have also gutted pre-existing conditions protections. Trump Care was so bad, the House Republicans voted to exempt themselves from it.
The former TV reality star’s promise on the deficit and national debt was equally deceptive. Candidate Trump promised he would eliminate the then $19 trillion national debt in 8 years. Since he has taken office, we have gone in the exactly wrong direction. Trump and the Congressional Republicans have added $2 trillion to the national debt in just two years. We are facing $1 trillion annual deficits as far as the eye can see.
Trump’s supporters usually don’t even try to defend these broken promises. They either pretend the promises were never made or that Trump didn’t really mean them. That is ridiculous because Trump’s supporters love him because he supposedly tells it like it is. Trump doesn’t need a decoder ring.
What we must do as Democrats is remind the voters on a regular basis about these false promises and compare them to what Trump and the D.C. Republicans have actually delivered. We can’t count on the media to do it for us. If the voters are familiar with Trump and the GOP’s dishonesty and incompetence, we will win big again in 2020. Let’s get it done!