The die is cast. The writing’s on the wall. The proof is in the pudding (what that means I don’t know). Name your cliché, it doesn’t matter, the Trump Presidency is not such a great mystery as many would suggest. Where he came from and where he is going is all right there, we just have to be smart enough to interpret the signs… and the signs are telling me that Trump is getting beaten down and most likely, will end up being a simple pawn to the Republican party. That’s right, what began as a hot headed, anti-establishment populist movement, is already being swallowed up by the establishment conservatives. Rather than altering the face of government, the government will alter the face of Trump, his brand and his family forever. The signs are everywhere. The failure of the health care repeal, the failure of the travel ban, the constant tensions about ties to Russia and the resulting changes in personnel around the President. The people around him are screwing up, and doing it in a grand fashion. It’s clear that not much is working well, and everyone can see it. Remember Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway? Those two instrumental and central figures to his campaign. Conway has gone MIA since that pic of her sitting on the couch, and Bannon was recently removed from the National Security Council and is reportedly close to being fired altogether. The people who got Trump to where he is, who helped craft his image as a rebellious firebrand and marketed him just right are all being jettisoned. Why? Because it is convenient for Trump. Because he is a con-man who does what is best for Trump.
What will come of all of this? Working with the assumption that Trump isn’t impeached from office and stays in office for his full four years, I am predicting, using my amazing psychic powers that I obtained through a late night infomercial, that by the end of year two, all semblance of an outsider will be gone, and Washington will be back to politics as usual. Trump will change his tune wherever and whenever he feels it advantageous and will eventually find that he gets the most traction and the most success doing exactly the opposite of what he claimed to be, an independent thinker and Washington outsider. Drain the swamp? Trump will refill the swamp, and put a big banner overhead reading:
Re-opened for business: Trump Swamp! Bigger and better than before. It’s the best swamp! The Best!
The neo-liberal agenda will again find a nice cozy office in the White House. That agenda is globalization, corporate welfare and paying lip service to caring about the common people. It’s what the American People have come to expect from their government for the last 20–30 years. Let’s be clear, it began with Reagan, and everyone since has had the same general set of principles, from Bush to Clinton to Bush Jr. to Obama. Yes, they differed on tax percentages and social principles, but on the whole, they are really all one and the same ideological person.
Will Trump see his own shift back to this ideology as any sort of conflict or issue? The answer is a resounding ‘No’. Not at all. Why not? Because he doesn’t have any ideology of his own. Just look at how his social / political positions have changed over time if you need proof. In the 80’s and 90’s, Trump is recorded on camera as saying he is a Democrat. He leaned progressive on many issues. Over the years, he began moving his public image toward a more Conservative one. When he began campaigning for President, he was caught saying some suspiciously liberal things, such as advocating universal healthcare. No seriously.
He went back on that one though, when he realized it didn’t play so well with the conservatives he needed votes from. Over the course of the campaign, and even now, a few months into his Presidency, he is regularly caught saying one thing, and then contradicting it not long after. This all leads me to believe that Trump doesn’t have any of his own values or any real care to stick to the truth. He wants to find the quickest way to success. He has found that he can leverage his celebrity status and staying in the spotlight to his advantage He doesn’t have to really do anything tangible, but can just talk a big game and stir up smoke screen controversy and still get ahead. This is how he always has been and always will be. It’s how he has run his businesses. It’s how he has gotten where he is in life. He isn’t going to change. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these two articles from much more established and respected writers than I:
(Yes, the titles are not exactly original, but catchy for sure)
So how does that translate to being President? My guess is that he will show no great loyalty to his advisors, such as Bannon, if it becomes clear that he will be better off cutting ties. Policy wise, he will keep firing away at whatever he can. He will see the reactions and where he gains the most traction, and hone in on that line of thinking and ideology. In just the last few days, in the aftermath of the missile strikes on Syria, and the praise he has received publicly, you can see a noticeable shift in tone towards Russia. Russia, who has supported the Assad regime, is now being challenged by Trump. Yep, and only a few months ago, Trump was saying this. Don’t forget either, that Trump hates losing. He always wants to come out on top, or to at least appear victorious. If he knows he’s fighting a losing battle, he will just switch sides and then loudly proclaim that he was always on that side. What that likely means is, the same old, tried and true methods that the many previous administration’s used will give him the quickest and most tangible results. Hence, refilling the swamp.
To be a true bringer of change to the White House, a person would need to have two specific qualities in abundance. 1: Unwavering values and beliefs 2: The courage and determination to struggle for 4 long years to see those values come into policy. Trump has neither of these. A President who truly wanted to change and improve government would need to be willing to suffer the slings and arrows from all sides, everyday, for 4 years. Would need to fight tooth and nail to combat the corrupt government institutions that have remained stagnant for so long. This person I am describing would be a borderline revolutionary, would be an inspiring leader and would have to truly have the support of a majority of the population in order to enact real change.
Ask yourself: Does that truly sound like Donald Trump? The “You’re Fired” guy…
Bringing it all back around, in the end this will most likely lead to Trump being written off in history as “just another politician”. As I wrote earlier, I predict that at the end of two years, you won’t be able to tell much difference between President Trump and the Speaker of the House. He will be a man who rode a wave of populism and promises of change into the White House, but once there found it was much easier to just play ball with the establishment Republicans. Being controversial and doing unique, outlandish things will no longer serve him either. He will toe the party line, and languish for his remaining two years as an entirely ineffective President, who speaks loudly and carries a small stick.