It’s very difficult to fact-check a sentence containing two contradictory statements, or decipher meaning from nothingness, particularly when the contradictions and meaningless statements come at such a dizzying pace. It’s impossible to know how many Donald Trumps are lurking around in Donald Trump’s head.
So intentionally or not, Trump has confused us. We have no real idea what policies he would embrace in the general election, let alone as president. And we have no way of knowing what he sincerely believes at any given moment and what he’ll abandon with his next breath, even when it comes to his bedrock issues like immigration and trade.
Is this all evidence of sophisticated, Eisenhower-esque guile on the part of Trump, or is he just thinking out loud, inventing answers to questions he’s never considered as he goes along? I’d wager it’s a bit of both — Trump is, if nothing else, a studied manipulator of the media. He’s also not one who’s shown any kind of natural understanding of the nuances of policy, a fact that many of his supporters would readily admit. He sells himself as a big picture guy, someone who understands elemental truths that the eggheads and party hacks always miss.