In the days leading up to the 2016 presidential election, one phrase was repeated by the Trump campaign: “He’ll run the country like a business.” It was concerning coming from the mouth of a questionable businessman, but to a nation crumbling beneath the weight of a $17 trillion debt, perhaps it wasn’t the worst idea. However, what many Americans failed to realize was that Trump wasn’t referring to the economy; he meant business-like in other regards.
Take for instance the revolving door of cabinet members, almost like a boss hiring and firing as he sees fit. With little regard to stability, Trump ousts his dissidents, firing those who disagree and replacing them with someone who will act as his puppet. More often than not, the folks on the way out see the first signs of their firing via Twitter, like when Trump announced on Twitter the replacement of former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, with Mike Pompeo. The President uses the spoil system; he hires based on friendships and political support, rather than merit. Trump often referenced “draining the swamp,” during his campaign, promising the electorate a new government free of corrupt politicians. What we’ve gotten instead is Trump and his cronies taking over the West Wing.
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller closes in on Trump, we’re beginning to see him squirm. However, Trump is well protected — hiding beneath the floorboards of conspiracy like a cockroach waiting to be squashed. Trump’s discomfort increased last week when his former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about a would-be Trump Tower in Moscow. Trump would not acknowledge the existence of the project during the 2016 campaign and Cohen stated that construction had ended in January 2016 when in fact it had continued through June. To many, this was the first glimpse of a carefully spun web of conspiracy, with the spider-Putin sitting comfortably in the middle, surrounded by his prey of conspirators. All the while, the president never quite grasps how dangerous a game he plays.
Another business enterprise, is the Trump administration’s favorite weekend pastime, cutting national park budgets and rolling back Obama-era environmental protections. Just this week, the administration published plans to cut the Sage Grouse Protections from a sizable 11 million acres to a mere 1.8 million. The sage grouse habitats, having been established during the Obama administration, lie within the western half of the country, notoriously rich in oil. But with leaders like Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), what more could be expected? That being said, anyone is better for the EPA than my fellow Oklahoman, former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, whose hands were practically dripping in oil during his administration of the agency.
Our Businessman-in-Chief Trump has once again failed to live up to his campaign promises. With lines such as “drain the swamp” to “lock her up,” which voters whole-heartedly chanted any chance they were given, none have come to fruition. Hillary Clinton still roams the streets, and the so-called swamp was drained, only to be refilled with Trump-loving, climate change-denying republicans. The country is just operating like one of his numerous failed businesses.