Why Would Anyone Take What Trump Says Seriously?

“Saying outrageous things to get media attention is how he made a name for himself in the entertainment world and won the Republican primary.”

For a while now, my position has been that it is not worth the time to focus on Donald Trump’s statements about policies. The man himself has said that his aim is to be unpredictable, and his own supporters talk about virtual walls and rhetorical deportations. That doesn’t mean that I take his words lightly. He is intent on spreading hate, fear and division. He just can’t be that bothered to talk about what he’d actually do as president. Oh sure, he makes policy statements. But as Andrew Sprung just uncovered, he has a habit of almost always walking them back. Here is an abbreviated example from a Google News search.

Kevin Drum picked up on this and gives us a longer version. Get the picture? Trump says something outrageous and then almost immediately walks it back. Why would anyone ever take anything that comes out of his mouth seriously? But it’s important to remember that this is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. As I keep pointing out – that is what happens when an entire party goes completely post-policy.

There are a lot of things that are going badly for Donald Trump’s candidacy right now. Most of them won’t get fixed by firing a campaign manager. Saying outrageous things to get media attention is how he made a name for himself in the entertainment world and won the Republican primary. That isn’t a bug; it’s a feature. Then comes the inevitable walk back. It’s time that got some media attention as well.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.