Past statements from Donald Trump that eerily predicted the future
I think it's fair to say that Donald Trump's election surprised a lot of people. Whether you're liberal or conservative, a lot of us just didn't think he would ever become president - and yet he won, regardless of all the people who didn't take him seriously. Now we're one year into his first term and so much has happened already; accusations of collusion with Russian hackers, the firing of FBI director James Comey, the travel ban, Trump's attempt to ban transgender people from the military, and Kellyanne Conway's term "alternative facts."
But the thing is, although he seemed like a dark horse to some people, it's not like his political aspirations have manifested themselves suddenly. In all actuality, Donald Trump has been dropping hints about the state of things to come for years now; and looking back at some of them, it's actually uncanny how they manage to predict the future. If you scroll down over our retrospective of Trump's prophecies, you really will begin to wonder, "can the President really see the future?"
1. On running for president
Donald Trump often voiced his aversion to politics in the past, but in a 1980 interview with Rona Barrett, Trump stated: "I would like to see somebody as the president who could do the job, and there are very capable people in this country ... I would love, and I would dedicate my life to this country but I see it as being a mean life, and I also see it in somebody with strong views, and somebody with the kind of views that are maybe a little bit unpopular, which may be right, but may be unpopular, wouldn’t necessarily have a chance of getting elected against somebody with no great brain but a big smile." Trump here seems to have rightly predicted that his comments and views would often prove divisive.
2. On police brutality
In May 1989, in response to the arrests of the Central Park Five, Trump took out an advert in the New York Daily News in which he stated: "Let our politicians give back our police department's power to keep us safe. Unshackle them from the constant chant of 'police brutality' which every petty criminal hurls immediately at an officer who has just risked his or her life to save another's." The case involved the prosecution of five people - four black and one of Hispanic descent - who were accused of raping and violently assaulting a white jogger in Central Park, New York City. The five innocent men were found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison each for the attack, but were later exonerated when DNA evidence proved that prisoner Matias Reyes had actually committed the crime. Despite the fact that the Central Park Five were proven innocent, Trump's support of the American police has been unwavering, and he has defended precincts from accusations of racial profiling by the Black Lives Matter movement.
3. On controversy
In an interview on television talk show Hardball with Chris Matthews, Trump stated: "People want me to [run for president] all the time … I don’t like it. Can you imagine how controversial I’d be? You think about [Bill Clinton] and the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine?" This sentiment seems to eerily predict the controversy provoked by the Billy Bush tapes, in which Trump was recorded stating that he would often attempt to grope women without their consent, as well as claims made by feminist activists that Trump is a misogynist.
4. On oil
"When I look at some of the things that happened in government, I can't believe it. Countries that we're protecting are screwing us on oil prices. It's unthinkable. I wouldn't stand for it. How would I handle that? That's what it feels like to be me." This sentiment, expressed by Donald Trump in an interview with Esquire in 2004, seems to predict Trump's later pledge to secure more money for the US through fossil fuels. Indeed, the Trump administration has recently revealed plans to open almost all US offshore territory to oil and gas drilling, including previously protected areas of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans.
5. On climate change
Many people have accused Trump of climate change scepticism, and indeed, the following quote, taken from a 2012 tweet, seems to confirm this. "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." Trump has often claimed that he wants to put American jobs and American industry ahead of outsourcing and stated that he will deregulate profitable industries at the expense of the environment if it will give more Americans jobs and make more money.
6. On the war in Iraq
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer in 2007, Trump claimed: "I gained a lot of respect for [George Bush Senior] by the fact that he had the sense not to go in to Iraq. He won the war and then said let's not go the rest of the way and he turned out to be right. And Saddam Hussein, whether they like him or didn't like him, he hated terrorists. He'd shoot and kill terrorists. When terrorists came into this country, which he did control and he did dominate, he would kill terrorists. Now it's a breeding ground for terrorists. So, look, the war is a total catastrophe...and they have a civil war going on." His statement appears to predict the resurgence of terrorism in Iraq, as well (more generally) as in the Middle East, namely the radical fundamentalist paramilitary organisation ISIS.
However, if you want to see Trump in an alarming new light, then look no further than the following article, which will show you exactly what Donald Trump would look like with a normal haircut. Trust me: you'll want to see this.
Featured illustration by Egarcigu