Trump Is Now Breaking His Core Promises
On January 26th, I wrote that Trump had yet to break his core promises; that his actions at that point were consistent with the major promises he had made during the election. He had ended TPP, was moving on the immigration bill, was working on the wall, and so on.
He might have lied about a lot of things, but he had yet to lie about what mattered.
However Trump made promises that lay at the core of his ur-promise, which was to make things better for those who the old economy had failed. He is now making those promises into a lie.
Trumpcare is clearly worse than Obamacare. It will not cover things Obamacare covered, will cover fewer people and will cost more.
The budget is a direct strike at the poorest and weakest and at people who voted for Trump in regions whose support he needed, like the Rust Belt. It’s one thing to “cut the state,” it’s another to cut programs that feed hungry adults and children. The extra money to the police state and military will help his people, but not as much as the cuts and the Trumpcare failure will cost them.
He has yet to move on NAFTA, a core promise.
It’s not possible for me to look at what Trump is doing and say, “This will really make a difference to his core supporters.” It won’t.
It’s quite possible than Trumpcare won’t pass, and it’s almost certain that Trump’s budget will take some huge hits before passage as well. But both indicate a failure by Trump to take his promises, and his ur-promises seriously.
Course correction is possible but unlikely. It is rare for Presidents to change from who they are during their first year: Obama never changed from the man who bailed out bankers and the rich, and fucked over small people, for example.
In one sense, this changes little. It will continue the loss of faith in the political system, continue America’s decline and continue on the glide path to the age of war and revolution our world is in. It will happen faster than it would have under Clinton, and more Americans will suffer sooner, but the trend lines remain intact.
In another sense, this is a lost opportunity, not to do the right thing, though some of what Trump promised was the right thing, but to restore some faith. Trump failing, but doing what he promised would be quite a bit different than Trump not even trying to keep his ur-promise, the same as Obama (Change!) or Bush.
So it has been, and it looks like, so it shall be.
So be it.
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