The Trumpsters cried: “Drain the swamp!” That slogan drove Americans to the ballot boxes to rid Washington of its established class. The people were sick of progressives neglecting their interests in favor of an agenda they didn’t want, and their voices were heard–loud and clear–on Tuesday.
As a result, Donald Trump is now our president-elect. He claims that he is going to drain Washington’s swamp of elites and that we’re going to “win so much…You’re going to get tired of winning.” With a promise like that, I have to ask if this is the same as Barack Obama promising to lower the seas and to reduce climate change.
There is not much we can say yet about a President Trump, since he has not assumed the office. We can, however, look at a few of the decisions he has made thus far.
1. The Transition Team
On Friday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence took the reins of Trump’s transition team, demoting Governor Chris Christie to vice-chairman. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s adult children, and members of the Heritage Foundation will also help shape the next administration.
This doesn’t tell us much, since this group covers the spectrum of what the Republican party currently has to offer. Trump’s children are hardly conservatives, yet the Heritage Foundation has spent its entire existence championing conservative ideas.
2. Staff Decisions
Trump announced a few of his senior staff picks late Sunday afternoon. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as chief of staff, and Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor.
These picks are fascinating, but not in a good way: they raise several questions about Trump’s plans. Reince Priebus led the Republican establishment for years. Steve Bannon has never served in government, but he maintains ties to the alt-Right and has been charged with domestic-abuse. Bannon is by no means a member of the establishment, but he has enough “swampy” qualities of his own.
3. Policy Decisions
While Trump won’t be making any Supreme Court nominations until after his inauguration, we can assume that his choices will be conservative. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain in keeping that promise.
However, we’ve already seen Trump’s stated policies waver in some areas. On Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal claims to have Trump on record saying he would keep parts of the Affordable Care Act intact. He also walked back claims that he would appoint a special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton and that he would build a Mexico-funded border wall. These compromises reeks of swampy-ness.
I do wish President-elect Trump all the best as he assumes the office of the president. However, whether he will truly “drain the swamp” remains to be seen. I am not encouraged by some of his choices up to this point.