In his speech today, Donald Trump tried to make the case that his advocacy of a ban on Muslim immigration made him a better ally of the LGBT community than Clinton:
“Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country—they enslave women, and murder gays.”
This highlights something I’ve noticed about Trump’s rhetoric, and the way he talks about what he’s “doing.” Namely, that in his mind there seems to be no difference between the states I am arguing that we should do X and I am doing X. For Trump, talking about a thing and it being so are one and the same.
I first noticed this in his explanation to Jake Tapper of why he Judge Gonzalo Curiel is biased against him:
Jake, I’m building a wall. OK? I’m building a wall. I’m trying to keep business out of Mexico….
He’s proud of his heritage, I respect him for that. We are building a wall. He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.
Not “I’ve made the case for building a wall,” or “The judge is trying to stop me from building a wall once I become president.” No, the formulation is, “I’m building a wall.” Present tense.
June 17: Another example, this time in the wake of the Orlando massacre: “Ask yourself, who really is the friend of women and the LBGT community: Donald Trump with his actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?” Trump isn’t making the claim that he has a better policy history, or that the Trump businesses were ahead of the curve in their LGBT policies or family leave or promoting women; instead, “his actions” consist of his talk about how he would act.