There’s been one common theme throughout Trump’s campaign: that the political establishment in Washington is corrupt, and that he as an outsider can “drain the swamp.” Trump’s final campaign ad is the perfect distillation of this message.
There are many lies contained in this ad. But by far the most salient lie is that Trump somehow represents any notion of change or that Trump is an outsider in any capacity.
Donald Trump is only an outsider in the sense that he has never held formal political office. Beyond that, he is no more an outsider than Hillary Clinton or any of his Republican rivals from the primaries.
If the Washington elite have willfully ignored electorate’s will in favor of rich elites economic interests, we have no reason to believe that Trump will act differently. Consider:
- He attends the same parties as the Clintons.
- He inherited an organization worth approximately $200M.
- He would have been better off investing in index funds rather than running the Trump Organization. He could have made more money from his wealth than from actually working.
- He names everything he touches after himself. This is one of the defining characteristics of the elite class.
- He lives in a gold-plated penthouse of one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan.
- He started a foundation in his own name, and asked for donations from others, and then spent that money on himself. That’s exactly the corruption he accused the Clinton foundation of.
- He used legally dubious mechanisms to avoid paying taxes for over a decade.
- He has stolen from thousands of contractors — most of whom were poor or middle class.
- He defrauded thousands of people who paid to learn from him.
- He’s been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits. This number is simply so staggeringly large that the only viable explanation is that he’s screwed over thousands of people whom he’s worked with.
- He cheated on his 1st wife with who would become his 2nd wife. And he dumped his 2nd wife to marry a model who is 24 years younger than him. Trump has no interest in his family or children, only in sex with beautiful women.
- While he was wearing a microphone, he bragged about how he could sexually assault women precisely because he was a celebrity.
How many middle-class men and women in this country have had the privilege to live a Trump-like lifestyle? Exactly zero. Trump has been a privileged, arrogant, insider who leveraged his money, power, and connections to detriment of those around him. He is the quintessential definition of insider.
Trump has made it clear that there’s only one thing he cares about in life: Donald Trump. At no point in his 70-year life has he shown a genuine, prolonged, material interest in helping or supporting anyone other than himself and his immediate family. Instead, he has gone out of his way on thousands of occasions to take advantage and harm those who were less fortunate and less capable than himself.
Yet, Trump presented himself as the only option that can help the common man from the tone-deaf Washington elite. And the media simply regurgitated Trump’s story and treated it as fact when his narrative couldn’t have been anything further from the truth. Trump positioned himself as anti-establishment. The media utterly failed to highlight that the entire foundation of Trump’s campaign was baseless and false. But Trump kept on repeating his story, and the media and the electorate came to believe that Trump somehow represented change when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
In the weeks since Trump won the election, we can already see that Trump never intended to drain the metaphorical swamp. He is filling his cabinet with long-serving, establishment Republican figures. I understand it’s impossible to appoint 1,200 outsiders into the federal government in two months. But Trump is appointing establishment Republicans to most of the highest cabinet positions:
Chief of Staff — former RNC Chair Reince Priebus.
Defense — General James Mattis — a former general who was active in the 2003 Iraq Invasion. Congress actually has to give him a special pardon to serve.
Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — a former Goldman Sachs executive.
Health and Human Services — Tom Price — a six term congressional Republican.
Commerce — Wilbur Ross — a billionaire investor who has repeatedly bought out companies, fired staff, and milked the companies for profits.
Attorney General — Jeff Sessions — a Republican senator who was rejected for a federal judge role because he said that the KKK was better than marijuana.
Head of CIA — Mike Pompeo — a congressional Republican who has investigated Hillary Clinton over half-a-dozen times and found nothing of substance.
Transportation — Elaine Chao — wife of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Labor Secretary under George W Bush.
Trump is in no way draining the swamp. He is not acting in the interest of the middle class. Instead, he’s appointing his friends and loyalists into positions of power, and preparing to give himself and the elite class of the US huge tax cuts while gutting the social safety net for the poor and lower-middle classes. He is actively trying to enact policies that will be detrimental to his base: the white working class.
By virtually every measure, now is the best time to be alive in the history of the world. This has been noted by many, including Warren Buffet and President Barack Obama. The Internet has dramatically expanded educational opportunities for everyone; people have more time to enjoy leisurely activities than ever before; medicine is saving more lives than ever before; humanity is on a path to automate almost all physically back-breaking work; globalization is lifting billions of people out of poverty.
Do not believe that Trump is the solution to America’s problems or to very real plight of working class. He doesn’t give a damn about you, your family, or this country. On thousands of documented occasions, he has made it clear that he only cares about himself.