Other politicians occasionally let something slip that reveals how they really think. There are no slips with Trump, just a relentless flood of unfiltered candor. Fivethirtyeight’s Harry Enten says he’s not a real candidate. I say he’s as real as they come.
In his clearly off-the-cuff speech yesterday, here’s a bit of what he said: the good, the bad, and the crazy.
He knows he is great
All politicians think they are great. But most affect humility and say they serve the public. Only Trump actually says he is great.
I think that number one, I am a nice person. I give a lot of money away to charities and other things. I think I’m actually a very nice person.
So I have a total net worth, . . . it’ll be well-over $10 billion. . . .I’ve employed tens of thousands of people over my lifetime.
I beat China all the time. All the time.
Nobody can [build infrastructure] like me. Believe me. It will be done on time, on budget, way below cost, way below what anyone ever thought. I look at the roads being built all over the country, and I say I can build those things for one-third.
He has some ideas that make you think
Trump proposed a lot of very unpolitician-like thinking yesterday. Most of isn’t practical — it’s not how government works. But it makes you ask why government doesn’t work. Put aside your biases — aren’t these things worth thinking about?
We’ve got nothing. We’ve got Social Security that’s going to be destroyed if somebody like me doesn’t bring money into the country. All these other people want to cut the hell out of it. I’m not going to cut it at all; I’m going to bring money in, and we’re going to save it.
We spent $2 trillion in Iraq, $2 trillion. We lost thousands of lives . . . thousands of wounded soldiers. And we have nothing. We can’t even go there. . . . And every time we give Iraq equipment, the first time a bullet goes off in the air, they leave it.
Whenever [Saudi Arabia] have problems, we send over the ships. We say “we’re gonna protect.” What are we doing? They’ve got nothing but money. . . . If the right person asked them, they’d pay a fortune. They wouldn’t be there except for us.
We have all the cards [to compete with China], but we don’t know how to use them. We don’t even know that we have the cards, because our leaders don’t understand the game. We could turn off that spigot by charging them tax until they behave properly.
We have to repeal Obamacare, and it can be . . . replaced with something much better for everybody. Let it be for everybody. But much better and much less expensive for people and for the government. And we can do it. [Ah, now we see what Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders agree on . . . single-payer universal health care!]
He has some pretty strange ideas
Here’s the batshit stuff. The stuff that made Jon Stewart say “thanks for giving me all the material I need for the next six weeks.”
I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.
Last quarter, it was just announced our gross domestic product . . . it was below zero. Whoever heard of this? It’s never below zero. [He must mean the growth was below zero, the economy did not grow. This is a pretty fundamental mistake for someone who thinks he can be president.]
Yesterday, it came out that costs are going for people up 29, 39, 49, and even 55 percent, and deductibles are through the roof. You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high, it’s virtually useless. [Could use some actual statistics rather than just cherry-picking made up stuff.]
Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody. I will find — within our military, I will find the General Patton or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around. [Ah, I see, the problem is that our generals aren’t General Patton. Let’s fix that.]
And remember the $5 billion Web site? $5 billion we spent on a Web site, and to this day it doesn’t work. . . . I have so many Web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a Web site. It costs me $3.
I don’t think Donald Trump is going to be president. I don’t want him to be president. But I do like honesty. And I hope his presence will inject some of that into the clonefest that is the Republican nominating contest.