Like many politicians, Donald Trump offered many pledges that he aimed to fulfill in his presidential term in exchange for votes. Many of these campaign promises made to his supporters have been successful or somewhat successful, such as nominating a judge similar to Antonin Scalia, keeping Guantanamo Bay open, canceling the Paris climate agreement, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and reversing many of Obama’s executive orders. If you have some knowledge of the political process, these campaign promises are so simple that even a child could accomplish them (so long as they know where to sign). The vast majority of these promises simply require trumps signature and would be accomplished in similar fashion by someone else with an (R) next to their name.
Trump has made short work of deconstructing former president Obama’s legacy in many ways, as highlighted by some of the campaign promises listed above, but it is often said that it is much easier to destroy than create, and I tend to agree. Critics of Trump’s presidency have often stated, and rightly so, that his administration has not crafted and implemented a signature accomplishment. Without one or more of these signature achievements, Trump’s legacy will not be seen as “making America great again” by his supporters, but instead as a stain in history mired in, I dare say, a swamp of investigations and administrative incompetence. At this rate this is exactly what will occur, as explained below.
One reason that trump will struggle to accomplish much of anything is that any major accomplishment will likely have to be a legislative achievement. This requires cooperation from congress, and we all know how that’s been going. In a leaked conversation between GOP leaders in 2016, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) joked that Putin pays Trump. Trump all but called out Senators Jeff Flake (who has been a vocal Trump critic) and John McCain during his campaign rally in Phoenix earlier this year and has threatened to shut down the government unless there is funding for a border wall (republicans do not want a shut down). Additionally, there have been reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and trump have not spoken in weeks. Meanwhile, Trump has had twitter arguments with Senator Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and most recently Senator Bob Corker (don’t expect this to remain the most recent for long). This non-exhaustive list does not even include democrats! With only a slim Republican majority in the US Senate, trump has to learn to work with others or nothing will get done. Sad!
Additionally, the white house itself is a mess. Believe me. Anthony Scaramucci, who was hired as the White House Communications Director in part to crack down on leaks in the White House, proceeded to accidentally leak information to a New Yorker reporter, and was consequently fired, all in the span of two weeks. Many do not see Trump as being serious or even caring when he hires and fires staff. Many in the White House have also been forced to resign or voluntarily quit. This non-exhaustive list of prominent figures includes Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon. The administration seems to be on pace for a record of staff shakeups, which does not help raise morale or stay consistent on the administrations messaging. Additionally, there are many factions in the white house vying for attention, including but not limited to: Trumps family members, the anti-establishment, the establishment, and the generals (Trump loves his generals).
Most recently, it has been reported by several sources present in a meeting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a moron. In an October 15th interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Tillerson said “I’m not going to deal with that kind of petty stuff” when asked if the reports were true. That’s an odd statement! Why didn’t he answer by simply saying “No, I did not call the president a moron”? Either the secretary of state has fails in clearly communicating his message, or he does not want to admit that he did call the President a moron. Either option does not bode well for this administration. Perhaps there is some other reasoning behind this response. If you have any insight to add, feel free to comment below!
The incompetence of the White House and failure to craft efficient policy positions lies squarely on our President’s shoulders. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and Trump confirms this saying every day, big league! The post election pivot that many expected Trump to make (towards moderate rhetoric, proposals, and administration) has not and is unlikely to ever surface. The Trump White House will be hard pressed to pass a significant legislative achievement to craft his legacy into a positive light when GOP allies are threatened and the White House staff and administration is incapacitated. There seems to be no end in sight in Trump’s destructive behavior. One does not have to look further than the President’s tweets to see that there is no concise focus. If you don’t agree with Trump’s goals such as building a great wall, repealing the affordable care act, and so on, then rejoice, as it does not seem that these goals will be met any time soon.
Sources Cited: You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. Believe me folks.