Google lists two definitions for the term "politician." First, it describes the vocable as, "a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office."
Secondly, it characterizes the term as, "a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization."
While the billionaire and Republican Party's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, is right to say that he's not a politician in the traditional sense of the word, which would meet Google's first definition, he does however superbly encapsulate Google's second definition of the term.
How? Well, lets break it down word-by-word:
Act: An entertainer-in-chief, Trump is no stranger to acting or performing in the spotlight. In fact, he's flat out categorized some of his campaign rallies as putting on "a show." Even worse, he's running his campaign as if it's a season of 'The Apprentice.' Instead of celebrity guests appearing in 'The Donald's' board room, also known as the lions den, it's been the 16 GOP-ers who challenged him and have succumbed to his firing. Giving credence to all of this as an act, Trump's chief strategist, Paul Manafort, told Republican National Committee members in a closed-door meeting just weeks ago that his candidate was "playing a part," implying that his candidate's theatrics and all his drama was essentially a performance.
Manipulative: If experts have learned anything after following Trump on the campaign trail for nearly a year, it's that he's right when he says he's unpredictable. Rather than indulging in the traditional practice of formulating a hardened position on any given issue, Trump instead embraces a dicey approach by trying to play both sides on myriad topics. As a result, it's become almost impossible to nail down his precise position on many of the major issues America's next President will have to grapple with.
On foreign policy, Trump proclaims that he'll stand in solidarity with our allies, yet simultaneously declares that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), our post World War II military alliance with European nations, is "obsolete."
When it comes to nuclear proliferation, Trump is all over the map. He said in a New York Times, interview, "I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming. Single biggest problem that the world has." Minutes before that comment, Trump indicated that nations under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, like South Korea and Japan, ought to amass their own such weaponry. On the one hand, he acknowledges that nuclear weapons are the most significant danger the globe faces. At the same time, Trump then calls for what amounts to an Asian arms race for more nukes, all of which could substantially jeopardize global stability.
Within weeks of making the NATO and nuclear weapon comments, Trump declared, "To our friends and allies... America is going to be reliable again. It's going to be a great and reliable ally again. We're going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies." Delivered in Trump's much anticipated foreign policy speech last week, the sentiments seem at direct odds with his past statements about isolating America from our European allies and pulling back from our commitments in Asia.
Similar to his foreign policy agenda, when it comes to domestic policy, Trump has successfully manipulated voters into thinking he stands on one side of an issue when in fact his record illustrates quite the contrary. On trade, for example, Trump portends to be against free trade and has lashed out at Apple for manufacturing iPhones in China and not in the U.S. Hypocritically, Trump's family business has exploited free trade policies in exactly the same way, shipping production jobs for Trump clothing to China, and outside of the homeland.
Furthermore, now that he's is pivoting to the general election, Trump is saying he's open to increasing the federal minimum wage. This, after making his opposition to such an increase, a bedrock issue in his primary campaign. The same goes with taxes. In attempting to appeal to GOP primary voters, Trump rolled out and campaigned on a tax plan that gives hefty tax cuts to the wealthy and reflects Republican trickle-down Reaganomics. Now that he's aiming to appeal to a general electorate, Trump has shifted gears, noting that he's not necessarily tied to the plan and expressed that it's more of a starting point. All of this flip-flopping raises important questions about where Trump actually stands on these issues and what he actually plans to do if elected President.
Devious: Throughout his primary campaign, Trump has preyed on Americans' worst prejudices, encouraging racism, xenophobia and sexism, all while inciting violence at his rallies. Take, for example, Trump's initial refusal to disavow support from David Duke, of the Ku Klux Klan, or how he's demonized Latinos and immigrants by calling them "rapists," or Trump's relentlessly disparaging comments to belittle women, from Megyn Kelly to Carly Fiorina, and Hillary Clinton to scores of others. Why is Trump implementing such a strategy? Because he believes doing so will help him come off as authentic, which he likes to call 'politically incorrect,' in order to exacerbate fears among voters and capitalize on their anxieties all as a means to win over their support.
Advancement: All of the above tactics and descriptions have been methodically executed by Trump to achieve one objective-- to do or say anything for the ultimate goal of advancing his candidacy and winning the Presidency.
What does all this mean?
With the likely Democratic nominee as the seasoned, qualified, and perhaps the most experienced candidate ever to seek the Presidency, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Google's first definition of the term politician. And with Trump categorized as Google's second description of the term, all this points to one thing: Americans should fasten their seat belts because this emerging collision course is likely to be the biggest, bumpiest blockbuster-sized battle royal between two of the most vastly different kinds of politicians the world has ever seen. Buckle up!