Donald Trump is destined to go down as the most incompetent and corrupt president in modern history and perhaps of all time. He was the first major party candidate in American history to have had no experience in either government or the military and it shows. Many have asserted his incredibly thin resume is an asset since it will allow him to “drain the swamp” in Washington. To the extent Trump changes things, however, it will make things worse.
His supposedly successful business career is pointed to by his apologists as evidence that he will apply such talents to making the government run more efficiently. Even if one believes the Trump enterprise is something more than one giant con job and Ponzi scheme, this is a ridiculous argument. Running a government is not like being in charge of an inherited real estate empire. Other countries are either allies or adversaries, not customers to be charged whatever the market will bear. And governing is not deal making. Even at this early stage Trump has repeatedly shown he fails to understand the concept of conflict of interest and is already using the office he is about to assume to fatten his fortune.
Other indicators of the unfolding Trump disaster are his appointments, process and policy proposals. The old cliché that personnel is policy means that who a president appoints determines what policies will be implemented and how well. The two people that will be closest to Trump in the White House are a neo-Nazi, as his chief political strategist, and an obsequious sock puppet as his chief of staff. He has also named as his national security advisor a man who suffers from a severe case of Islamo-paranoia and who was fired from his last government position for his abusive management style and disorganization. That is exactly the opposite of what is needed for a position that is supposed to make the bureaucratic trains run on time.
Process is also policy as how a president gets his information and makes decisions are also crucial. It seems Trump mainly gets and gives out information via Twitter and television. He has no interest in or capacity for considering the complexity of the decisions he will be required to make.
His pick for Secretary of Education is a woman who has bragged about using her inherited family fortune to buy politicians and influence in her relentless effort to destroy public education and make charter schools unaccountable. So much for Trump draining the swamp. It will be business as usual for the plutocrats that run Washington.
As to his policy proposals, Trump appears to be most interested in gutting government and returning to the 19th century approach where civil servants were treated like bellhops and patronage payoffs. He also wants to drastically cut taxes on the rich, while giving chump change to the middle class and the finger to the working poor. And his proposal for infrastructure projects is just a gimmick for selling off public assets for private gain and creating tax loopholes to make it even more profitable.
Finally, he wants to muzzle the media so he can conduct his government in the dark and fool the voters again. The real question is not whether Trump will fail, but whether America will survive. That Trump could be elected while losing the popular vote by 2 million votes shows the weakness of American democracy. That someone as despicable as him could obtain the office demonstrates that the values that America supposedly stands for matter so little to so many.