Welcome to the age of Trump.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what is going on. Neither does the new president. Facts no longer matter. Nor does the difference between truth and lies.
This is the era of fake news and governance via Twitter.
It is hard to give any kind of meaningful analysis of the next four years, given that Trump has no idea what he is going to do. His mind changes from one minute to the next as he jumps from one made up fact to another.
What is going to be fun to watch is how long it takes for the real conservatives to become disappointed while the hypocritical conservatives continue to sing Trump’s praises while he advocates for policies that no self-respecting conservative would ever support. Indeed, his cozy relationship with Russia should give any conservative, nay, any American, pause.
Still, there is some hope.
The first real test will be Trump’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the most part, Trump’s promises are rarely worth the paper upon which they are written, or, more apropos, the smartphone from which they are tweeted. That includes his business as well as his political promises. Trump’s history is littered with broken promises and unpaid workers.
However, during the campaign he issued a list of potential Supreme Court justices to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year. Well, replace is the wrong word as you can’t really replace Scalia, one of the greatest jurists to sit on the Supreme Court. The next justice will merely take his seat.
Trump’s list was fairly commendable. The real question now is will he actually stick to the list or will he choose someone else. The list was, in large part, the reason many real conservatives held their noses and voted for Trump.
Unfortunately, Trump has already backpedaled from many of his campaign promises. For example, he said he would prosecute Hillary Clinton but he applauded her at his inaugural luncheon.
He said he would build a (pointless) wall along the Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it. He now says we will pay for the (pointless) wall.
He said he would ban Muslims and deport 11 million illegals and he has backed off that dangerous thinking.
Fortunately, many of his promises during the campaign were nonsense and made simply to appease his ignorant base. Or, as he so aptly said in February, “We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”
So there is no telling who he will actually end up nominating to the bench.
Another promise was to repeal the 7-year-old Affordable Care Ac. Indeed, he promised to act toward that on Day One, which passed without him even mentioning it during his inaugural speech or on his new official White House website, which listed his six priorities. Health care reform was not among them, despite it being the biggest issue in Washington and across the nation these days.
On health care, the proposals on Trump’s campaign website were mostly spot on and aligns nicely with the free market and what myself and other libertarian and conservatives have said they wanted. However, he seems to be backing away from that in recent weeks saying he has already drafted a plan (a dubious assertion) but that he is not sharing it because it needs some final touches (such as actually being drafted).
He says under his plan, every American will be covered.
That does not sound like the free market reforms he was promising during the campaign. Indeed, it seems as though he wants to replace one socialistic health care program with another.
While he says there will not be a single-payer system, his latest rhetoric on health care reform indicates he could be leaning toward Medicare For All.
And he seems to actually like the idea of a single-payer system.
“As far as single payer, it works in Canada,” Trump incredibly said during a GOP debate in 2015. “It works incredibly well in Scotland.”
Though, as noted above, what he says publicly must be taken with a grain of salt.
And that is where we stand as Donald Trump begins his presidency, in a fog of uncertainty with a chief executive who possesses a child-like understanding of government, who thinks he can make good decisions with very little information, and who rarely means what he says.
He says he wants to put America first, but one can’t help but think, based on his lifetime record, that he will simply put Trump first, as usual.
Thomas J. Lucente Jr. is an attorney with the Hearn Law Office in Wapakoneta (419-738-8171) and night editor of The Lima News. Reach him by telephone at 567-242-0398, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @ThomasLucente.