Trump as POTUS: an editorial comment

unknownWe should have all seen this coming. The favorability ratings of the entire Washington bureaucracy had been in the cellar for years and decreasing. Partisan political activities consisted of bitter hatred of each other’s side and resolve to insure nothing the other wanted ever came to fruit. Ted Cruz worked as hard as he could to completely sink the government and go down with the ship. All progress in Washington stopped dead in its tracks with no potential for moving it.

What we didn’t know was the sheer size of Trump’s support. Michael Moore predicted Trump from the beginning and he never wavered. We should have noticed that Trump won most of the primaries by big votes against all odds. We also should have noticed that none of his support ever wavered for a second despite ALL his antics. None of it mattered. I should have known watching all those Trump signs while riding out in central Pennsylvania. My friend the ICU Nurse laughed and told me he cared nothing about any of that- Trump was chosen to “shake Washington up”.

So to the surprise of all of us, especially the pollsters, all of whom were wrong, we are now witnessing a full blown REVOLUTION in which the population of the USA has spoken loudly. It’s classic democracy at work. The populace is NOT happy with what’s happening in Washington and they have chosen the individual furthest from the archetypical Washington politician, Hillary Clinton, a candidate with so much baggage it would fill a train.

It’s difficult to comprehend anyone less likely to be elected President by an intelligent, perceptive voter. She was projected to win not for her plan but because everyone with an opinion in the media thought she was the lesser evil. But the “real” voters weren’t talking on the media. The “real” voters that knew Hillary would perpetuate the exact situation in Washington they loathed and they didn’t believe a word that came out of her mouth. The pre-election activities were all a waste of time and money. Trump was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So here we are. The public has served notice that they expect the entire fabric of the Washington bureaucracy to be torn to shreds and a new order emerging, more efficient and favorable to the common man. So that’s where it is as I sit here on 11/11/16. It is a done deal so no use crying over spilt milk. It is what is, so we must now consider where this is likely to go.

Donald Trump will quickly develop some new best friends, conservative politicians, all of whom distanced themselves from him during the campaign. Don’t worry; they’re all back and planning to re-forge the country into an ultraconservative dark age. They now own both houses so there will be virtually no effective opposition to any of it.

No more Obamacare, with nothing of any consequences to replace it, leaving 22 million out in the cold. Repeal the Iran deal, leaving them to continue making a bomb as rapidly as they can. Repealing the climate accord because they choose to disbelieve 99% of the experts. Cutting taxes preferentially for the super-rich, choosing to believe that “trickle down” works (didn’t work for Reagan in 1980). Unlimited weapons of any kind on demand from anyone. Destroying Planned Parenthood and quickly repealing Roe v. Wade, following which an enormous cottage industry of abortion will develop, an underground economy impossible to stamp out. They will of course blame the victims. Getting an ultraconservative judge onto the SCOTUS, rubber-stamping all their plans. Never mind the impeccably ridiculous Mexican wall and goon squads to seek and destroy illegals.

That is EXACTLY what Trump’s new best friends have in mind and they’re all in the process of planning it.

However, there are jokers in this deck. All of Trump’s new best friends might consider that Trump really isn’t a conservative Republican at all. Never has been. He was once a Democrat. He chose to run as a Republican because it was the most expedient path He has frequently opined on policy that is not conservative at all. And it also must be remembered that Trump has an extensive history of only listening to Trump. He’s found out what works and it isn’t free advice, especially from folks he doesn’t trust. So there is no guarantee at all that Trump will blandly follow through with all the plans of his new best friends. He might just have the “right thing” in mind, and the right thing might be more “right” than we currently imagine.

Recall that in 2008, Obama ran on a very solid “change Washington” platform. When he actually arrived, he tried to gather all the Republicans together to talk out their differences and form some kind of body that worked for the best benefit. They all ignored him and vowed to insure nothing he wanted to do happened. The majority speaker opined that their job was to insure he was a one term President and this is exactly how they acted. It’s also very interesting that despite his best efforts, Obama was chewed to pieces by the bulletproof Washington establishment, not even making a dent in it. Washington changed him as it did everyone that came before him.

So there is also no guarantee that Trump will get all he wants in a system that’s preternaturally designed to NOT be changed by anyone. He is more likely to become meshed in the gears to find out that “deals” don’t work the same as in his previous career. He will have to learn an entirely different and unfamiliar “art of the deal”, especially with China and Russia.

So, I think that just like the previous predictions of the election, there is no more likelihood of predicting what Trump will do, or what he’s able to do once in office. All the claims of what he wants to do are now enmeshed in gears he really knows nothing about and when extensively evaluated, may simply not be realistic for Trump to actually accomplish. It will be VERY interesting to see how Trump explains repealing the ACA, even if he’s technically able to do so, to 22 million of those affected, many Trump supporters.

Once into the realities of the world sociopolitical situation, “bombing the Hell” out of ISIS never had any possibility of working. There are probably realities of the Middle East, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Russia that he had no idea about when he made some of his ridiculous vows. He will find out that the realities of foreign policy are extremely dangerous and he will have to tread as lightly as Obama did, with open-ended criticism from all sides.

It should also be obvious that none of the above works for his committed base that want’s it all fixed in a few months, for ISIS and Iran to go away, more money in their pockets, better jobs and unlimited milk & honey. His base in W. Virginia and Kentucky want coal to become the energy of the land. Working class white men want to make more money and promotions. It’s VERY unclear whether Trump will even have a shot at any of that in a Washington that doesn’t run as his previous career did. Making promises is cheap. Delivering them in THAT Washington is a separate issue and he, like the rest will probably learn to obfuscate those promises with great facility.

So, the bottom line of this conversation is that we really know little or nothing about how The Donald will function in the same environment that gutted Obama and others. I’ve mentioned before that like it or now, Trump is OUR President now and continuing to grouse about this or that is meaningless now. It’s time to support the President by simply being reactive to what’s going on. A lot of Republicans are NOT extremely conservative and will not necessarily rubber-stamp every program that emerges from Trump’s new best friends, or even Trump.

There is a lot of sound & fury but in the end these things have a way of settling down. The majority of the public has never supported the Sarah Palin brand of conservative politics. It’s unlikely that they will now. They want “real change”, a political body that serves them. Conservative Republicans don’t serve, they break things and the majority of the public will not allow that.

What Hillary said is correct now. Trump IS the President and he needs a chance to lead. It’s not unreasonable to give him our support while he explores that chance. Who knows, he may actually “do the right thing” to the best of his ability and surprise us all. If he can’t or doesn’t, then another voting cycle will come around in 2018 and 2020. We can then do what Trump supporters did in 2016; assertively change the order of things.

So I say lets all just watch for a while and see how things go. It doesn’t have to be a disaster. When the dust settles, it might be OK and Washington might actually become more responsive to the greater good. There’s at least as good a chance of that as the collapse of society. Society is pretty resilient. I would be inclined to see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

We’ll all see in time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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