For gun rights voters, Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump seems to have one minor flaw: his previous support for an assault weapons ban. Since Mr. Trump entered the race, the real estate mogul has reversed his position. He’s now against any new gun control laws and “gun free zones.” He’s for national reciprocity. So what’s not to love? To answer that question, listen to what Mr. Trump said at the last debate when confronted by the military establishment’s rejection of his plan to torture terrorists and kill their families . . .
“I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. And I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership’s all about.”
Mr. Trump retracted his statement the next morning, pledging loyalty to the rule of law: “I will be bound by laws just like all Americans.” I don’t buy it. I don’t believe Mr. Trump misspoke. I believe he meant it when he said “If I say do it, they’re going to do it.” And that’s not what leadership’s all about. That’s what dictatorship is all about. And dictators always disarm citizens.
To understand the threat, you have to resist the temptation to see Mr. Trump’s candidacy as a spin-off of The Art of the Deal. While Mr. Trump has positioned himself as the ultimate “dealmaker” — bedeviling conservatives who cling to their guns and their bibles and frustrating journalists looking for intellectual consistency — Trump’s voters are not supporting their man as the “Dealmaker-in-Chief.” They’re voting for the guy in The Apprentice.
“You’re fired.” Those two words are the key to Donald Trump’s success in his bid for the White House. Voters want to fire the politicians taxing their income, allowing illegal immigrants in and putting their country in danger. The President and the Congress. All of them. And they want Donald J. Trump to do it. They want Donald J. Trump to be the boss. The guy in charge. Of everything.
Why wouldn’t they? The Donald they know from The Apprentice is nothing less than the God of the Old Testament. An all-powerful being who dispenses justice with an iron fist. No political correctness — as Mr. Trump himself has pointed out time and time again. No mercy — as his comments about torturing terrorists and killing their families indicates. A being who descend from on high (Trump Tower, Trump branded helicopters and jets) and is never, ever wrong.
There’s your teflon Trump. Because even when God appears wrong, he’s right. You don’t just understand. He is, after all, The Man in Charge. The media can bitch and moan about Trump’s policy flip-flops but his supporters couldn’t give a damn. They believe Mr. Trump is better than they are. They believe in my father’s endlessly aggravating saying “if you’re so smart, how come you’re not rich?”
Yes, but — where’s the evidence that The Donald would go from flexible deal maker and self-avowed gun rights supporter to fascist dictator and gun grabber? Setting aside the remarks which inspired this post, leaving out Mr. Trump’s obvious, mean-spirited arrogance and egomania, please revisit our post Donald Trump: No Guns for Americans on the Terrorist Watch List.
And then ask yourself if President Trump could resist the urge to place his enemies on the government’s secret, unaccountable Terrorist Watch List. And maybe even move to confiscate their firearms by executive order. But gun owners are Donald Trump’s friends! He wouldn’t put them on the Terrorist Watch List! Yes, they are his supporters. Right until they’re not.
Gun rights advocates cherish all their Constitutional rights. If they end up defending the “wrong” right in a Trump administration — remembering that Mr. Trump has already indicated his willingness to modify the First Amendment — they will end up in his crosshairs. And Trump will retaliate. What makes you think he wouldn’t?
Donald Trump may have the skills needed to “make America great again.” He certainly knows how to make a profit. But, as The New Testament warns, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Words that Trump supporters — whether gun owners or not — would do well to consider.