Happy weekend, traveller! I hope you’ve arrived at this page looking for some whoa. As you know, I am the GIF-Meister and as a courtesy to you, I provide trippy imagery, free of charge. Speaking of things that are trippy, President (blech) Elect (blech) Trump (yoinks), as it pains me to call him, has some policies that are making me quite dizzy. Almost as dizzy as my geometry gifs!
Since the electoral college made its wishes known and crowned King Trump, he’s made quite an about-face from the policy rants and rally cries that got him elected. But don’t get it twisted: These flip-flops—however “progressive” they may seem—don’t make Trump a fun, open-minded guy. They make him an extremely unpredictable, ambiguous world leader. If Trump were playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater, he’d be playing very poorly by making all these 180s! Personally, I prefer higher-scoring moves, like the Rocket Air and the Kickflip McTwist. But that’s besides the point! Onto the GIFs!
On President Barack Obama
Before: “I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history…President Obama, when he became president, he didn’t know anything. This guy didn’t know a thing. And honestly, today he knows less. Today, he knows less. He has done a terrible job.” — Trump at a Florida press conference, July 26
“In many respects, you know, they [ISIS] honor President Obama. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.” — Trump at a rally in Florida, Aug. 10
After: “I had a great meeting with President Obama. I never met him before. I really liked him a lot. … I really enjoyed my meeting with him. We have—you know, we come from different sides of the equation, but it’s nevertheless something that—I didn’t know if I’d like him. I probably thought that maybe I wouldn’t, but I did, I did like him. I really enjoyed him a lot. I’ve spoken to him since the meeting.” — Trump during his interview with the New York Times, Nov. 22, following an awkward White House meeting with President Obama on Nov. 10
Imagine if Trump changed his mind in this way about a foreign leader with tenuous international ties to the U.S….
On “the Wall”
Before: “I will 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 make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” — Trump at his candidacy announcement, June 2015
After: “There could be some fencing.” — Trump during a 60 Minutes interview, Nov. 13
Unlike Trump’s “wall,” this plan is far from concrete. We’re talking about a program that could cost the U.S. between $15 and $25 billion (taxpayer) dollars. In an interview with NPR last week, Trump’s border patrol advisor, Brandon Judd, suggested it might only be 400 miles long. Which is it?
Before: “I would absolutely get rid of ObamaCare.” — Trump during the Republican presidential debate, Feb. 25
“Real change begins immediately with the repealing and replacing of the disaster known as Obamacare.” — Trump at a rally in Scranton, Pa., Nov. 7
After: “Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced.” — Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, during which he offered no actual replacement health care plan, Nov. 11
20 million Americans have gained health insurance because of ObamaCare. We deserve a president-elect who has an explicit and detailed plan for us all.
On the Paris Climate Agreement
Before: “We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.” — Trump in a policy address on energy, North Dakota, May 26
After: “I have an open mind to it. We’re going to look very carefully. … I have a very open mind. And I’m going to study a lot of the things that happened on it and we’re going to look at it very carefully. But I have an open mind.” — Trump, when asked about the Paris Climate Agreement, during his interview with the New York Times, Nov. 22
Global leaders already had to meet following the election, thanks to Trump’s promise to remove himself from the agreement. His flip-flopping has global implications, even if he doesn’t go through with his plans.
On Climate Change Generally
Before: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” — Trump in a tweet, Nov. 6, 2012. He echoed this “Chinese hoax” idea in the presidential debates.
After: “I think right now…well, I think there is some connectivity. There is some, something. It depends on how much.” — Trump, when asked whether global warming is man-made, during his interview with the New York Times, Nov. 22
On Prosecuting Hillary Clinton
Before: “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation…. We will get a special prosecutor and look into it. You know what, people have been—their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you have done. You should be ashamed.” — Trump during the second presidential debate, Oct. 9
After: “Look, I want to move forward, I don’t want to move back. And I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t. She went through a lot. And suffered greatly in many different ways. And I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious. … [The investigation of Hillary Clinton is] just not something that I feel very strongly about.” — Trump during his interview with the New York Times, Nov. 22
Trump’s proposal to “lock her up” was an unprecedented threat to the peaceful transition of power that America has honored since its founding. While it’s good that Trump is backtracking on this issue, he has stoked the flames of his hateful Alt-Right base. Breitbart lead with the headline “Broken Promise” following news of Trump’s refusal to prosecute Hillary for her emails.
These are just some of the flip-flops we’ve experienced in the 2 ½ weeks since the election. This kind of unpredictability is far from the hopeful, stable unity that President Obama brought. While it might be a fun thought exercise to imagine Trump changing his mind on everything for the better, including wanting to be president at all, these kind of wonky flips are not what we deserve as taxpaying citizens.