There was surprising
ly little prediction of what he would do, but now that Trump has been the boss for a few weeks, let’s see what he has done or has started to do. First and foremost, he has not drained the swamp: his cabinet consists of multiple former Goldman-Sachs execs, multiple Generals (although we did lose one…), and various other very established Republicans. There are a couple of outliers, non-native species to the swamp if you will, most notably Bannon. In my opinion, it would be easy to underestimate his importance in this ensemble, but how much he and the Donald can withstand the establishment remains to be seen.
Secondly, he has found out that fixing Obamacare is not that simple, if not in the least because it has many great features and has increased the number of insured in the US greatly. We have found out that there were many voters who didn’t realize that Obamacare is the ACA, and that their opposition was merely induced by rhetoric from opponents of the legislation, endless propaganda denouncing it. Republicans voted time and time again, for 8 years, to repeal the ACA; supposedly they could come up with something better, especially because it was so incredibly awful. So where is the replacement plan? I think it has become clear that what they intended to do, will not fly with Trump! In this case I do believe he will demand something that is not regressive and be on the side of the people. Whether he’s strong enough to see this fight to the end is anyone’s guess. With the limited proposals we do have on the table, if for whatever reason Donald is gone, a Pence White House would be swift in implementing them, cutting Medicaid, giving Tax Credits based on age alone which equals tax cuts for the rich etc. etc.
Thirdly, those things he said about deporting illegals? He meant them! He’s certainly been examining the limits of his power, and with Bannon by his side, he will continue to do so. I’m sure there will be some wall-building in the future, but it’s so unrealistic to truly close off the border that a business man like him would never blow that much dough on something as useless. In my opinion, removing illegals in the way he wants to do, and especially to the extent Bannon and others want, is not smart for various reasons. First of, I don’t believe there is even a net negative contribution; many of them pay income taxes anyway, they certainly buy food, clothes, TVs, cars, even houses in many places. I don’t care what anybody says, removing even 10 million people from an economy with 320 million will cause a recession. Of course in the long run it could be beneficial, but I believe most illegals here are simple hard working folks; if you believe in natural selection, you could argue they’re some of the stronger ones, they made it here, and kept themselves alive. Removing the criminal ones is something that’s always happened! Obama deported quite a few as a matter of fact. The danger with rounding folks up, holding workplace raids and checkpoints, and most importantly forcing local police to enforce immigration status is creating an atmosphere of fear, and fear leads to escalation and violence.
Fourthly: regulations, regulations, regulations! Trump railed against them during his campaign, although he did show a few moments of clarity in which he called some of them beneficial. He most certainly put a man, who wanted to dismantle the agency, in charge of the EPA! He just signed an executive order to overturn Obama’s “horrible clean water rules“. As a side note, how someone who identifies as a “Conservative” can be against protecting the environment is just as baffling as someone identifying as “Pro Life” being vigorously in favor of the death penalty, but I digress. So far we’ve seen very little from Trump to lead us to believe he will be against the typical Republican agenda: removal of barriers for business, with less regard to long term effects.
Lastly, in international relations we’ve seen a president who ignores conventions, or perhaps isn’t informed. It’s too early to tell how this will pan out, but fact is that respect for the US has tanked, compared to when Obama was in charge. The uncertainty has increased fear, and Trump’s macho BS, and typical Alpha Male behavior is seen as a problem. So far we haven’t seen any escalation in this world but I don’t feel it’s become more stable.
One more thing, what’s most disturbing is the divide within the American people. When one side now points out the great chasm Trump is creating, the other says it was already there, and that Obama was the one who started it! it’s a real problem though and one that needs to be resolved if we want to have a good place to live. There is clearly a large part of the population who felt ridiculed by the elite; mindless jobs at big corporations are in interesting clue in this situation. It’s a subject for another time….