Donald Trump, the presumptive (and now clinched) GOP nominee, has made his general election pivot. It’s so subtle that you would miss it if you weren’t looking for it.
There are two issues that will put Trump in the White House, and these are the ones he’ll likely focus on until November: The Second Amendment and climate change. Of course, he will continue to hit “Crooked Hillary” on every possible issue, using every insult he can muster (and Don Rickles has nothing on Trump in that department).
But Trump has latched on to the two issues where Hillary is running against popular opinion. The polls might show that 55 percent of American think our gun laws need to be more restrictive, but very few Americans favor the “European” plan Clinton advocates or Obama’s fever dreams of confiscation. Trump will strike just the right tone of reason while standing for American gun ownership.
Trump’s energy speech was well received and actually sounded like something you don’t hear from him: A useful and workable plan.
Laying out his positions on energy and the environment at an oil industry conference in North Dakota, he vowed to rescind President Obama’s signature climate change rules and revive construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
That the New York Times spent paragraphs attacking Trump’s speech, on policy grounds versus character, is the tell that this issue hit the mark.
A central question confronting the next president will be how to address climate change. Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly denied the established science that climate change is caused by humans, vowed in his speech to undo many of Mr. Obama’s initiatives.
He did not explicitly address the scientific legitimacy of human-caused climate change, but said, “We’re going to deal with real environmental challenges, not the phony ones we’ve been hearing about.”
Mr. Trump said that in his first 100 days in office, he would “rescind” Environmental Protection Agency regulations established under Mr. Obama to curb planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Good for Trump. There’s no way Hillary could get within a thousand miles of climate change skepticism without drawing boos from her Democratic supporters, who wish human Earth-canoe-dwellers to return to sun-god worship, fruit gathering, and cave-dwelling so as not to disturb nature (as bears, eagles and pythons eat our young).
The Times carefully explained how Trump was technically inaccurate in his description of Obama’s climate change commitments to foreign governments. They also found some “energy economist” they called an “expert” willing to say that the most resource-rich, energy-rich country in the world (America) could not, and should not, be energy independent.
“Even if energy independence was achievable, it would not be desirable,” Mr. Newell, the Duke University energy economist, wrote in an email. “Our interests tend to be best served by getting each type of fuel we need from the least expensive source, be it domestic or imported. When domestic U.S. energy is globally competitive, like the recent oil and gas boom, our imports go down. But energy independence itself is one of the least useful energy policy goals — and is at times damaging.”
This is total horse manure. America can be energy independent, and we won’t even have to work very hard to do it. And America should be energy independent because that’s what it means to be a nation, and it’s best if we Americans decide who to help and not help versus throwing ourselves into a globalist impossible quest for utopia.
In the end, these two issues of gun control and climate change will be the millstones around Hillary’s neck, and will enable Trump to consolidate the support he needs (like the NRA endorsement he received) to win in November. As the polls are beginning to show, Trump is flipping the race on Hillary, but he’s not simply running on the conspiracy-theory, tin-hat platform I expected.
I am no closer to supporting Trump, as he’s shown zero proof he is fit for office, but I do give him major points for pushing back hard on the two most pernicious agendas of the Left.