Donald Trump is preparing to take the stage as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. Trump’s success is credited to his appeal to voters with extreme conservative values. However, the reality of winning the presidential nomination has put The Donald in the position of trying to win over more voters, as well as GOP support. As time is closing in on the Republican convention, Trump is trying to assure the GOP he can win the race against whoever becomes the Democratic nominee and is in the process of changing his tune on many key issues to broaden his appeal.
The first step the businessman had taken was to spend some time in Washington D.C. with the GOP politicians that he needs to convince he can win the race. Trump’s followers, however, see the GOP as part of the established political system that they are fighting. The Donald is tasked with convincing the party to get behind him, bringing more money and potential votes his way. Tea Party leaders spoke to the “Washington Post” regarding the meetings with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the presumed Republican nominee. Reagan G. George, a Tea Party activist in Northern Virginia, stated that an endorsement by Ryan did not mean much to The Donald’s supporters. Ryan is seen as an establishment leader, and it is understood that Trump will need to play politics to win. In many instances his supporters seem to accept that changing his tune to broaden his appeal is necessary, seeing it as a part of the political process.
It is not often that political supporters accept that their candidates seem to blatantly lie, as they do with the real estate mogul. The businessman has already begun backpedaling on many issues since he seems to have secured the Republican presidential nomination. He has made extreme statements regarding sensitive topics, but these statements appeal to the over-the-top nature of his supporters. However, while his followers are determined to hold him to task, the question remains what are Trump’s real policies. Although, it seems his supporters accept the change in his tune about almost everything. Whether it is only to broaden his appeal or actual shifts in his stance cannot be truly known. The Donald, who has spoken out against abortion, a strong issue among conservatives, has labeled himself “pro-life with exceptions” in a statement his campaign released, responding to his allegation that women who have abortions should be punished. He has also changed his tune about the recent issue of transgender rights regarding the North Carolina bathroom issue. In an interview on “Today,” Trump stated that people should use whatever bathroom they are comfortable with, and there had been no previous issues involving who used what bathroom, adding that things should be left as they are. In an interview on “Good Morning America,” the businessman said that the decision about those rights should be left to the state. The statement implies Trump would not leave things as they are and potentially discontinue the Obama administration’s directive, that individuals be allowed to use facilities based on their gender identity. Ted Cruz, the businessman’s once rival for the presidential nomination, called The Donald out for backpedaling to broaden his appeal among left-leaning voters.
Even if supporters can get past Trump changing his stand on issues at home in the U.S., he is also softening on some of his most famous statements on banning Muslims and torturing terrorists and their families. The Donald has made many statements deemed as racist or hateful, that he champions, as simply the non-politically correct truth. One key position has been to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S., however, his first television advertisement called for the temporary prohibition. The ad also throws in an appeal to a wall along the southern border of the U.S. to keep Mexicans out of the country. In contrast, during a radio interview with Brian Kilmeade, on Fox News, Trump said the ban on Muslims was merely a suggestion, and such measures have yet to be deemed necessary.
Supporters seem to accept his lies since they view him as an outsider from the political system that they feel has failed them. Whether Trump is changing his tune only to broaden his appeal or is having a change of heart will not be known until he goes from presumptive nominee to president.
By Gichele Cocrelle
Edited by Cathy Milne & Jeanette Smith
The New York Times: Donald Trump Borrows From Bernie Sanders’s playbook to woo Democrats
Washington Post: Donald Trump supporters watchful for signs of backpedaling
Think Progress: Trump Starts Megyn Kelly interview with blatant lie
Featured and Top Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Photo by Evan Guest Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License