I can understand the cacophony of Republican politicians and pundits claiming Donald Trump was a Democrat while trying to distance themselves. It makes sense they do not want the American people to associate Trump’s policy, performance, or behavior with Republicans. That said, my sympathy and compassion only go so far. The truth is that Trump was never really a member of either party until he ran for President, obviously as a Republican. Technically he had his choice, there was no incumbent, not even a sitting Vice President running. Lacking any relevant experience or knowledge, he would have been considered a long shot either way. Both fields were open, and he chose the GOP. Why? Because he was a much better fit for the Republican nomination. Rather than end the analysis there, let’s take a closer look.
One basis for the Republican claim is that Trump contributed to Democratic politicians. More correctly stated, he donated to the campaigns of both Democrats and Republicans. Living in the world of New York City, there were more Democrats in office than Republicans and most of the time Democrats had more power and influence. He gave money because he believed he would garner influence and store favors for when he asked. Hs plan was not ideological, he did not hold strong political views, but rather an attempt to exercise control over politicians who relied on big donations. Therefore, he gave to candidates of both parties to serve his purposes. He did not necessarily support those candidates but was rather an opportunist looking at which way the wind was blowing. Keep in mind, his closest political friends and allies were Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, both Republicans.
It is highly unlikely that the champion of the alt right could have once legitimately been a Democrat. On abortion, Trump was supposedly pro-choice at some point. If so, his view was most likely based more on concern for the consequences of his indiscretions with women and unwillingness to take responsibility for his actions. As he was not a politician, his views were of little interest with no need to be well defined. In any case, as a candidate, he espoused strong anti-abortion views and has nominated individuals with extreme views to the courts. His world view appears to be more in synch with the likes of John Bolton. His record on immigration, civil rights, women, and the environment are squarely Republican, perhaps even too extreme for some Republicans. While he recognizes the importance of infrastructure, that alone does not support an argument he has any similarities to the Democrats.
Trump was an opportunist, not a Democrat or Republican. Until he became a Republican for the campaign. That enabled him to exploit the ultimate opportunity to become President. So, stop calling him a Democrat – it simply is not true. Republicans, he is all yours.