Just a feeling, but Donald Trump, if elected, would probably run the most scandalous administration in American history.
He has a massive corporate empire that makes him wildly and successfully rich, which would lead to a hilarious conflict of interest, and he has publicly admitted that he has been bribing politicians for years.
In the August Fox News GOP Debate Bret Baier told Trump, “You explained away [your former political] donations] saying you did that to get business-related favors, and you said recently, ‘when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.’”
Donald Trump replied with, “You better believe it,” and later said, “…before two months ago I was a business man. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me. And that’s a broken system.”
Trump’s resume to be President highlights the fact that he has adroitly exploited our political system and, subsequently, allegedly profited illegally from bribery. Trump is a part of the oligarchy that he claims has broken our political system, and he is now largely self-financing his own campaign in a way that ironically allows him to, in a way, effectively bribe himself.
In light of this prospect, Trump has claimed in the past that he would not actively run his businesses while President, and in a CBS interview last month said that he would not be focused on them if elected.
“I would cut all ties— look, this is all beautiful, I built a great business, I have a tremendous—you saw it, over $600 million yearly cash flow and stuff. Look, I would cut—I wouldn’t care about—my kids will run it, I wouldn’t want to expand very much— it wouldn’t matter to me. I have a chance at making America great again, that’s the whole focus. So my children would run my business and my executives– I have great executives.”
But as with all Trump promises and platitudes, voters just have to trust him and try to follow along with his rambling, self-congratulatory assurances of politicking acumen and personal virtue.
“I would not even think about [my] business, it would be so insignificant to me compared to making our country great again,” he said later in the CBS interview.
However, as Paul Blumenthal of the Huffington Post has explained thoroughly, constitutional law offers no real way to force Trump to divest himself financially from The Trump Organization, in which he is currently CEO, if he changes his mind regarding self-excusal from his direct business ties. The political appearance of conflict of interest that would result has rich, historical precedence in American politics in terms of dynasty families and past business people running for elective office as Blumenthal briefly examines.
But this has caused little political friction for Trump, whose self-touted success at negotiating, whether in business or, potentially, international politics, is no doubt a large boon to his current success within the primary process of the Republican Party. Trump genuinely expects that he can “make America great again,” even if he has not articulated much of a vision for what his stewardship of American governance would entail outside of forcing Mexico to finance a US border wall with a big, beautiful door.
Trump’s own website currently offers only four positions: reforming the Veterans Administration, reforming the tax code with tax cuts, defending Second Amendment rights, and of course immigration reform. But he wants everyone to rest assured that he would be great with education, civil rights, the environment, agriculture, housing and urban development, homeland security, infrastructure, war and peace, climate change, science, poverty, healthcare, crime, drugs, transportation and energy, even if he refrains from talking about these issues. To be fair, though, the Republican field of candidates as a whole have largely neglected these issues in the Republican debates. Trump is hardly alone in narrow-minded politics.
Beyond Trump’s sales pitch-esque campaign to be President, though, perhaps the most enlightening aspect of Trump’s phenomenon are the varied reasons for why his supporters love him.
Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic has anthologized a compendium of such reasons that runs the gamut from a person who suspects that Trump entertainingly “knows it’s all a joke”, to populist anti-establishment fervor, to a self-proclaimed anarchist hoping that Trump will metaphorically “burn down” America and allow for a new constitutional convention.
But whatever one’s opinion on Trump’s political ambitions, keep in mind that he has proudly boasts of an oligarchical role in helping break the political system that he claims is “crippled” in his newly published book. Electing Trump is like giving the keys of America to an unashamed burglar, and Trump’s business narcissism does much to foreshadow a wildly corrupt, potential Trump Administration. The weird part is that the foreshadowing is not from any 2016 Election narrative cleverness. Trump is doing the foreshadowing all himself.