Make no mistake, Trump is not a conservative
Donald Trump is many things. A conservative is not one of them.
This is not a partisan statement. It is an assessment of his policy positions taken thus far.
Conservatives believe in limited government, personal freedom, and free markets. To date Trump has proposed a $100 billion a year increase in defense appropriations and $1.3 trillion in infrastructure spending. All of this while insisting there will be no changes to Medicare or Social Security.
These are not the policies of a president who believes in a smaller government.
Trump also has come out in favor of civil forfeiture laws, enhanced intelligence gathering on U.S. citizens whom he deems threats to national security and a strengthening of the Patriot Act to give the government even more broad-based powers to electronically eavesdrop on its citizens.
Again, these are not the policies of a president who values the rights of citizens.
Finally, Trump’s economic policies have much more in common with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders than any conservative chief executive in our lifetimes. Conservatives believe in the power of the free market. Trump is the poster child for protectionism.
During the presidential campaign, Sanders—a man the Republican Party vilified as a Socialist and a threat to everything America believes in—spoke loudly and often about the dangers of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and the Trans Pacific Partnership. Like Bernie, Trump is against all of these agreements.
As I said above, these are not the policies of a president who believes in the power of the free market to solve our nation’s economic problems.
Trump is many things; a conservative is not one of them.