Reporter to Trump: Can we expect more “forward motion” on equality for gays when you’re president?

posted at 4:41 pm on February 5, 2016 by Allahpundit

Via Conservative Review, skip to 2:30 of the clip below. His answer’s fine by me but what about Trump’s base of “radical centrists,” many of whom are open to more liberal fiscal policies but remain culturally conservative? Trump’s the guy who’s going to make America great again by smashing the left’s politically correct idols, yet there’s no idol more “correct” these days than gay equality.

“When President Trump is in office can we look for more forward motion on equality for gays and lesbians?” O’Connell asked him.

“Well, you can,” Trump answered. ” And look, again, we’re going to bring people together, and that’s your thing and other people have their thing. We have to bring all people together and if we don’t we’re not going to have a country anymore.”

One virtue of being wildly erratic, I guess, is that your supporters can pick and choose when to believe you. If you like Trump’s immigration hawkishness, he’s telling the truth when he says he’ll deport all illegals. If you prefer Trump for other reasons, it’s the part about him letting all “the good ones” back in that shows his true feelings. Same goes for his ban on Muslim travelers. If you like the idea, then he’s obviously deadly serious about it. If you think it’s silly, then the fact that he’s said the ban will be temporary and might even be lifted shortly after it’s imposed is the real window into his thinking. The latest example is him saying this morning that he no longer cares about suing Cruz for his supposed fraud in Iowa. Is that true, or will he want to sue again after the big vote in New Hampshire? You’re free to choose what to believe depending upon which position you prefer.

Likewise with what he says about gays, I assume. If you’re socially liberal and you like Trump, then he’s showing you his true feelings about gay equality here. If you’re socially conservative, then he was probably just surprised by the question and is telling a gay reporter what she wants to hear. Every candidate says things that are theoretically perilous but which his core supporters are happy to dismiss as a calculated pander; Obama claiming to oppose gay marriage in 2008 is a textbook example. The difference between Trump and Obama is that, because he’s changed his positions on so many issues, and because he veers between screeching about a stolen election one day and then claiming he’s over it literally the next, you have no real insight into what he truly believes. Obama obviously supported gay marriage in 2008 and lied, and we know that because Obama is a garden-variety Ivory Tower liberal in many respects. Trump defies categorization. Maybe he really is pandering here in claiming he’ll move gay rights “forward” without any intention of doing so — but then, maybe he isn’t. (“New York values!”, right?) This is why parties tend not to nominate people whose political opinions are a jumble. The stakes involved in being wrong about their true intentions are very, very high.

Here’s an old piece from MSNBC on Trump’s record on gay rights. He’s never said he supports gay marriage as far as I know, but he did apparently used to support making discrimination based on sexual orientation prohibited by federal law. At a minimum, if you’re wondering whether overturning SSM would be a priority in his selection of Supreme Court nominees, his answer here is hard to square with the idea that it would. Exit question: How would Cruz and Rubio answer this question?

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Wake up with a hankerin’ for the boys one day and you too can have a whole new set of rights.

Just as Madison & Jefferson intended.

jangle12 on February 6, 2016 at 1:15 PM

We are not there yet, but moving closer by the day.

Constitutionalist on February 6, 2016 at 2:36 PM

I would have expected that HotAir would tire of homosexuality once they spent 2 years promoting it everyday. Wonders never cease.

TheMadHessian on February 6, 2016 at 2:55 PM

Wow this is a revelation. I have never heard of this dominionist thing.

So you Cruz supporters think Cruz is supposed to usher in the end times?

Wow, what a thing to vote for.

I knew there was something just screwy about this guy. Just a really really bad vibe.

This might be some fringe newspaper, I don’t know, but it looks more legit than many.

petunia on February 6, 2016 at 3:49 PM

petunia on February 6, 2016 at 3:49 PM

Of course it’s fringe.

Of course you don’t know anyone who believes that.

But you’re eager to slam Cruz, to that’s all you need.

itsnotaboutme on February 6, 2016 at 5:53 PM

so that’s all you need.

Sorry for the typo.

itsnotaboutme on February 6, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Trump’s message of “moving forward” (whatever the heck that means) with respect to an issue is combined with a bland comment about how “we’re going to bring people together.” What’s that mean? Is it automatically a confirmation that side A will be moving towards side B? or vice versa?

Trump also said (to a lesbian reporter?) something about and “that” being “your thing.” He then confirmed that “other people have their thing.” Is this any more or less than what conservatives want? Haven’t conservatives been saying, essentially, “Don’t drag me into your world”? After all, the reporter mentioned only “gay equality,” and we all know marriage law had always been equally applied to citizens of every state, regardless of sexual orientation (since being of one sexual orientation or another was never a requirement for anyone to marry).

Trump is still light on specifics. He’s always like that — until he’s not. I have a feeling this is intentional. Will he have a SSM plank in his platform at some point? Did this interview give such a clear indication of what the plank would look like? I’d say the answers are “maybe” and “no.”

Lolo on February 7, 2016 at 5:48 AM