As for Trump on the issues, yes, he’s all over the place. On abortion, he now wants to end the “bad” Planned Parenthood while continuing to fund the “good” Planned Parenthood. As I said the other day, this is as ridiculous as saying you want to punish the “bad” Major Hasan who stood on the table and opened fire but celebrate the heartwarming diversity of the “good” Major Hasan who provided all that wonderful counseling to American soldiers. Planned Parenthood should receive no public funding: That’s the minimum Republicans are entitled to ask of their presidential candidates.
On the Middle East, Trump apparently wants to seize all the oil fields for America. You go, girl! But I’ll believe it when I see it…
On health care, he thinks the system in Canada and Scotland is working “incredibly well”. (As for picking a “non-country”, in fairness to Trump there is a separate Scottish, English, Northern Irish and even Welsh NHS – although I’d be surprised if he was arguing that Scotland’s was the best of the four.)
That’s ridiculous. But what is the reality of the health-care debate in 2015? Most western nations have a genuinely public health system alongside a genuinely private health system. The unique genius of Obamacare is that it has abolished (in the sense of affordable insurance and market prices) private health care without instituting a public system. It’s a neither-of-the-above system, and ruinously expensive. Whatever replaces it – if anything ever does – is probably going to have to be, to some degree or another, both-of-the-above. Trump’s apostasy on this is less relevant than it would have been eight years ago.
As to amnesty, I’m with Ann Coulter on this. Trump surged because his view of the border contained a raw, visceral, recognizable truth that those Americans in non-gated communities live with every day. The integrity of a nation’s borders and the privilege of its citizenship is certainly a “truly conservative” principle. More practically for this election, it may be the one on which all the others depend. That’s to say, if America as a whole undergoes the demographic transformation California has undergone in the past 40 years, no “true conservative” will be elected to Washington ever again. In that sense, being conservative on immigration is more pressing than being conservative on, say, Common Core or taking federal money for Medicare or anything else.