There is a debate in dissident circles about the political acumen and the integrity of President Trump. One side looks at all the zigzagging and flip-flopping on DACA and concludes that Trump is just a liar, who has figured out how to con well-meaning white Boomers. The other side looks at the same issue and sees a strategy intended to move the ball forward on the immigration issue as a whole. His latest antics over the gun issue, however, suggest that is he is just a stupid bullshitter who got lucky.
The gun issue has always been the one thing in American politics where you can reveal both the integrity and the intelligence of someone. Gun grabbers are always very stupid or very dishonest. Sometimes they are both. The 2A people are often just reflexively opposed to gun grabbing, without having thought it through, but gun grabbers are never honest or informed. It is the main reason that the NRA has been successful. They have been blessed with an enemy incapable of honesty and unwilling to learn the facts.
Trump knows even less about the gun issue than he does about marital fidelity, so no one on the 2A side figured he would be our champion. The assumption was that he knew enough to avoid the topic and not get in bed with the gun grabbers. On an issue like guns, doing nothing is usually the best course. Most states are sensible on guns, so letting the states handle it is good for us. Instead, it turns out that Trump is making the classic Republican error of taking advice from his enemies.
It would be one thing if Trump did the rope-a-dope, promising to sign a bill that everyone knows has no chance of becoming reality. Shining people on like he is doing with DACA is standard politics. This gun grabbing lunacy he is spouting is damaging to the cause of gun owners and it reveals Trump to be a mendacious blockhead, with no idea why he is in the White House. It is no longer possible to argue that his maneuverings are super-clever 4-D chess. Trump is simply an unreliable liar.
What is most offensive to the 2A community about what Trump is doing is that he is legitimizing that which our side has worked for generations to de-legitimize. One is using non-democratic methods to get around the people on gun control. His plan to ban bump-stocks by fiat is dangerous lunacy on its face. Worse yet, his endorsement of extra-judicial confiscation of guns on mental health grounds, elevates a crackpot scheme of the Left to something worthy of public debate.
Put another way, this jackass has undone generations of hard work by the very people who put him in office. Not even that feckless nitwit George Bush did something this egregiously stupid. Even Barak Obama was unwilling to go this far. This idiocy is right up there with Poppy Bush breaking his tax promise in order to get the Democrats in Washington to like him. It worked. They loved him, which was why he was a one term president. Trump is now setting himself up to follow Bush into the void of stupidity.
Now, the counter argument you will hear is that Trump is just playing more 4-D chess and this will amount to nothing. Well, a smart politician would know enough to not do that with this issue. This is not a parlor game. The pro-gun voter has no sense of humor on this stuff and they have zero tolerance for limp-wristed politicians too afraid of the girls to do the right thing. Speaking only for myself, I would vote for a gay black Muslim over Trump right now. That is right. I would vote for Obama over Trump.
I think everyone who voted for Trump understood they were getting a guy who would be long on bullshit and short on tangible accomplishments. The point of voting for him was to send a message, but also legitimize populist issues. Trump was the guy who would flip over the tables and discredit the status quo, opening the door for ambitious politicians to run on patriotic issues like immigration reform. Trump would maybe do a few things, but the real work would be up to those who come next.
So far, Trump is looking like he is not going to deliver anything other than blowing his own horn every day. Worse yet, the trade-off for his vanity will be the undermining of the one cause that truly defines what is left of old stock America. By legitimizing gun-grabbing and executive fiat, he has just made it possible for the next President Obama to DACA the gun issue, by issuing new gun laws via executive order. Trump is proving to be one step forward and ten steps backward.
The one lesson of the Trump era is to not put too much stock in what Trump says. He is, after all, a bullshitter. He is also a guy who will wheel on a dime if he senses he is on the wrong side. He is rather shameless in that regard. Still, the damage he has done to the cause of gun rights is incalculable and it will not be forgotten. Unless he eventually signs off on some bold pro-gun laws, lots of his voters will choose to spend next election day at the range, rather than cast a vote for a duplicitous gun grabber.