How 'incompetent' Trump could be good for America | Calum Paton



It is not unfair to say that Donald Trump has achieved less during his time in office than any other President – perhaps bar William Henry Harrison, who died just a month after his inauguration. However, it is his unsuitability for office that is just what America needs.

A huge draw for Trump, particularly among the working class, was his anti-politician approach to politics. His (unkept) promise to ‘self-fund’ his campaign and his cry to ‘drain the swamp’ largely circumvented the political establishment and helped usher him into office. Trump subsequently stacking his cabinet with Goldman Sachs executives and those who financed his campaign were, at first, of little interest to his supporters.

It is with this hypocrisy that Trump can be a benefit to America. Trump is not as his supporters characterise, an uncorrupted, non-politician, chief executive of the nation, but an overtly corrupt, unprincipled buffoon who does not understand the workings of the government.This means Trump is prone to gaffs unlike previous presidents, shining a spotlight onto the damaged political system in America, where corporations and lobbies are able to reign supreme.

The most glaring example of this was perhaps Trumps recent actions towards the gun-lobby. In the wake of the Parkland school shooting (where 17 school students lost their lives) Trump suggested that there was nothing to fear from the NRA and that his administration would move to prevent those under twenty-one being able to purchase assault rifles. A spokesperson walked this back within days. Perhaps this has something to do with the $40 million that Trump received from the NRA, as Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez pointed out.

This is not an isolated instance. Kellyanne Conway, the manager of a Trump supporting super PAC, took up a position in the administration, as did Betsy DeVos, who’s family have given millions to the Republican party throughout the years.

This is without mentioning the nepotism of giving Jared Kushner free reign over larges swathes of policy or Ajit Pai, the former Verizon Legal Councillor, being appointed Chair of the Federal Communications Commission and destroying net neutrality, which was in place to prevent internet providers, such as his previous employers, from discriminating against websites and platforms by lowering their bandwidth.

This kind of ‘corruption’ is not new and not confined to the Republican’s. Even Obama was influenced by the healthcare industry, forced to pass a weakened form of Obamacare that still offered massive remit to the insurance providers and drugs companies, largely due to industry lobbying of the government.

More significantly under Bush Jr, there was a huge increase in defence lobbying, coupled with an increase in defence spending that grew by around 50 per cent compared to the Clinton administration. Unlike previous presidents, Trump has a remarkable inability to cover up this corruption or provide a veil for the influence that donors and ‘the swamp’ have on a president’s agenda. It is this overtness that is proving the need for change and shifting the American political landscape away from the corporations.

In recent months there has been a growth in candidates across the United States saying no to corporate PAC money in order to boost their election hopes. Democrats tipped to run for President in 2020 such as Kamala Harris and Corey Booker have already come out to reject corporate PAC money, highlighting the prevalence of this shift away from corporate dominated politics.

It is hard to see how Trump has not played a role in this. Had Hillary Clinton been elected it is unlikely that these hopefuls would have had to distance themselves from corporate money to gain support, as the model of PACs and big money donations would not have been tested.

Nor would the significant corruption of this system be so heavily in the spotlight if a more savvy and knowledgeable politician been in office to veil the realities of the monied interests. His supporters suggested and often still protest that he is the incorruptible, non-politician ready to shake up the establishment and fight for the people. In reality, he is perhaps the most corrupt president in all of history, but his inability to hide this fact is possibly the way he is best serving the American people.

It is clear that the presidency of Donald Trump has shaken up the political system, just not in the way many expected and only time will tell if Donald Trump’s incompetence does actually hand American politics back to the people.


* This was originally published in the first edition of the Student Voices e-magazine.


Calum Paton is a History & Politics student at the University of Warwick | @paton_calum

How 'incompetent' Trump could be good for America | Calum Paton How 'incompetent' Trump could be good for America | Calum Paton Reviewed by Muhammed Hussain on 08:11 Rating: 5

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