The flip-flop has long been understood as a signature act of political betrayal. A politician says one thing and then says the opposite and tries to persuade their constituents the reversal is not cynical convenience but rational and admirable evolution on a complex issue. Very few politicians pull this off successfully, which is why most have tried to avoid it even when a change of heart might have been the smarter policy.
Then came Donald Trump.
The former president introduced a level of volatility into American politics unseen in modern history. Nowhere was that volatility more in evidence than in the ways people described Trump himself. Flip-flops became the defining act of the Trump era. His enemies became his allies and vice versa. Gushing encomiums would give way months or weeks or days later to savage denunciations. Nikki Haley, his one-time cabinet member turned primary opponent, has performed a series of gyrations so extended she has created an entirely new category: the flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flop-flip.
All this side-switching, not to mention Trump’s own self-contradicting responses, has devalued words like loyalty and betrayal to the point of meaninglessness. But for those who still care who is on which team, we offer this long but not exhaustive list of prominent figures whose flexible views of Trump have given political observers whiplash trying to follow the action.