Before we get started, a quick caveat. As mentioned before (probably at greater length than necessary), much if not most of the mainstream press have fallen into the trap of using style with substance when it comes to Donald Trump. Trump may come off more like a heel in a professional wrestling match that as an elder statesman, but in terms of stances on every issue with the possible exception of immigration, he is completely in line with the rest of the GOP field.
On the other hand, it would be just as dangerous to assume Trump is a closet liberal or even centrist. Though the cartoonish persona makes it difficult to speculate as to what is going on in the man's head, there is absolutely no reason to give any more weight to his comments about big tax increases on millionaires than to his promises of huge tax cuts for millionaires.
Only thing we can say with confidence is Trump is incredibly erratic, has shown no consistent devotion to anything or anyone other than his own self-interest, and is even willing to sacrifice that in the pursuit of attention. At least you could count on Nixon to be predictably evil.
So, just to be clear, I have no idea where a Trump presidency would end up on the ideological spectrum. All I'm saying is that if Trump gets the nomination, he will be the first GOP candidate in a long time with the freedom to run far to the right then fast to the center.
With that in mind, check out this recent quote from Charles Pierce:
But something else has been going on in the last couple of weeks, too. A startling amount of coherence has started to become evident in the Trump campaign. Up until now, the only real underlying philosophy to the enterprise has been I am Donald Trump and you're not, and neither are those losers, either. But, whether or not he's picked this up in his travels, or whether or not this was going to be the pitch all along, He, Trump now has the stirrings of the beginnings of a message in his madness. You could see it in the glee with which he slapped Fox News around on Tuesday. He now is running quite clearly on the idea that Republican voters have been played for rubes and suckers by the major institutions of their party and by the conservative movement. He is so confident in this role that he can even come out quite clearly in favor of an idea he shares with practically every Democratic politician alive.Pierce was referring to this:
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has embraced a policy that liberals love: allowing Medicare to negotiate for drugs. He told a New Hampshire crowd that doing so could save "$300 billion per year."
"We don’t do it," Trump said. "Why? Because of the drug companies."
Democrats have tried to give Medicare this power since at least 2003, when Medicare Part D, which gives beneficiaries prescription drug benefits, passed. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and President Barack Obama all agree with Trump that Medicare ought to have the authority to push back against drug companies that ask for really high prices.