No, that headline isn’t a typo. Donald J. Trump, who bilked his own charity, who couldn’t sell vodka or steaks, who couldn’t operate a casino and who forced a successful football league to fold because of his ego, could be America’s most important president.
You see, there does exist a political class that manages to thrive in times of feast or famine. Politicians spend their careers talking to lobbyists, not constituents. Once a politician retires, he or she becomes a lobbyist. They go on speaking tours and write books and in general print their own money.
The grift is doing it under cover of patriotism or culture wars or pro-this or anti-that. People donate to what can be very worthwhile causes but those funds pay salaries and keep the fight going. It’s a giant push-and-pull with no resolution and the funds just keep rolling in.
Things were going pretty smoothly to be honest. Fox News had conservatives all ginned up about Obama wearing a tan suit (REALLY!) while MSNBC put Rachel Maddow on the liberal cause du jour. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The only problem with this grift is you need to have everyone operating towards the same goal. Nobody rocks the boat and everyone gets their cut and the machine keeps rolling. But, in his cravenness, Trump upended the apple cart by trying to force his schemes into the inner workings. The end result could take down everything along with it.
It reminds me of his entrance into the USFL. For those who don’t know, the league was a springtime football league that was relatively new to the scene but was already showing signs of success. The league wanted to continue building and it looked to New York City where the team was owned by Donald Trump. But instead of allowing something that was already working to continue doing so, he forced the league to challenge the NFL in court and lost spectacularly. Trump’s ego couldn’t handle playing second fiddle to anyone despite having never done anything to earn first chair perks. The spoiled brat cried because he didn’t get his way and now others would be forced to clean up the wreckage he left behind.
Politically, Trump had zero experience in the field and zero knowledge of the norms and processes that control its actions. So when he won office, there was literally nothing off-limits to him and the schemes started from Day One. Employing his children in his administration so they could get the connections and perks of the job without doing anything? Yes. Gaslighting something every time he opened his mouth? Yeah, that too. Accusing the media and Democrats of being traitors and enemies of the people? Yup. There was nothing or no one he wouldn’t disparage if he sensed anything but complete fealty from them.
I remember one of my neighbors putting up a “drain the swamp” yard sign before I ever heard The Donald utter the words. The insinuation was he was going to clean up the political mess and fix what was failing our country. What happened was he tried speeding things up so he could personally benefit from everything as soon as possible without a single care of overloading the system to the point that it breaks down. Right now, the red light is flashing and the gauges are maxed out and Trump, in his obviously unwitting fashion, might actually just do something good for a change. He may very well be such a terrible president that America is forced to do a thorough examination of its political machinations and could actually improve some things moving forward. And for that, perhaps, maybe one term of Trump has been worth it. Now dear God let’s try and keep this colossal failure from going on any longer.
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