That’s not to say he actually believes that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., or that the president is a Muslim, or any of the other inflammatory things he’s insinuated on the talk-show circuit over the past few weeks. But let’s say Trump is serious about actually winning the GOP nomination.
Over the years Trump has flip-flopped so many times on so many issues, while hopping from party to party, that he knows he has a credibility problem with the Republican base. The point is, Trump doesn’t really grasp the intellectual basis behind conservative principles, and apparently has no interest in learning. So instead of attempting to explain his contradictory stances and focusing on actual policy issues, he seems simply to be mimicking the way he believes a conservative base favorite acts. The result looks like Newt Gingrich’s recent routine, but without what Gingrich passes off as subtlety.
Trump looks at the movement and thinks he can shore up quick credibility by betting on birtherism and Muslim-baiting – things based on wild conspiracy theories, and having absolutely nothing to do with conservative principles. His performance might get attention now, but he’s in for a rude awakening once serious contenders begin entering the field.