In a matter of days Nevada Democrats and Republicans will be asked to lend their support to one of their parties’ candidates in the state’s first-in-the-West caucuses. The decisions will be closely watched by the rest of the nation and could help sway the eventual outcome of the contest. So it is imperative that we make studious and informed decisions.

Democrats will gather at mid-day Saturday and Republicans on Tuesday evening in precincts across the state.

For Democrats the choice is basically between socialism and socialism light. Take your pick. If you liked President Obama’s performance, you’ll love either one of these candidates.

But Republicans are cursed by being blessed with some tough choices. All the remaining candidates on the GOP slate are credible, experienced, principled and conservative individuals who could do much to turn this country and its economy around over the coming years — save one.

To begin with, Donald Trump has never been and is not a Republican. His core political philosophy is: Whatever is good for Donald Trump — everyone else be damned.

Trump has flip-flopped on every major issue, as well as his choices of political affiliation, most recently changing from an independent to a Republican Party registration in 2012. Until recently he had contributed more money to Democrats than Republicans — including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. He has called himself a liberal and said the country is better off when Democrats are in the White House.

Though he rails against ObamaCare he has often and recently advocated a universal single-payer health care system similar to Canada’s.

Trump has proposed huge tariffs on imported goods — similar to those imposed by the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 that helped deepen and lengthen the Great Depression — that would raise prices for everyone and would likely start a tariff war that would kill American workers’ jobs by slashing exports.

On education, after once calling Common Core a disaster, he now says Common Core is here to stay.

For a man who claims to be able to deal with and win over the likes of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and the world’s assorted dictators and potentates, it was telling that he could not face Fox News’ Megan Kelly from the debate stage because she once confronted him about his numerous sexist and misogynistic comments.

“I would bring back waterboarding,” Trump blusters. “And I would bring back a hell of a lot worse.”

Thin-skinned Trump sues people at the drop of a slight.

Trump’s immigration stances are a muddle of implausibles and impracticalities. He calls for deporting everyone residing here illegally but then letting the decent and law-abiding ones back in. We get stuck with the bill coming and going.

“I think eminent domain is fine,” he has said, specifically referring to the Kelo court decision that let communities grab private property from one person to give to a company that might generate more tax revenue. He tried to use eminent domain to grab a woman’s home so he could build limousine parking for one of his casinos. During a debate he said the Keystone XL pipeline would not get 10 feet without eminent domain, but The Wall Street Journal reports that 96 percent of the easements needed for the pipeline have already been lined up. He never lets the facts get in the way of his rants.

Trump has said he sees nothing wrong with the federal government controlling 85 percent of the land in Nevada and 50 percent of the land in the West.

He supported Obama’s bank bailouts and ruinous and futile stimulus spending.

Once pro-choice on abortion, he now claims to be pro-life.

After earlier calling for legalizing drugs, he now opposes even state sanctioned marijuana sales, such as in Colorado.

Since earlier calling for longer waiting periods and tougher background checks before one might purchase a gun, he now claims to be a staunch defender of the Second Amendment.

In 2000, Trump called for privatization of Social Security, but now he opposes any changes whatsoever as the system slides toward bankruptcy.

The Tax Foundation calculates that Trump’s tax proposal would increase the federal government’s deficit by $10 trillion.

Please share these Trump facts with others when you go to your precinct’s caucus to choose delegates. Not a good pick for Nevada. — TM