By my count, as this column is printed, we will be 91 days into the Trump presidency. Considering the number of newsworthy stories that have come out of the White House since the inauguration, doesn’t it seem like a lot longer?
Amid the absolute chaos in the world right now, I know it’s hard to digest even the current offerings, let alone reflect on what was said in the past. Just as one story breaks, another is on its heels, and there isn’t adequate time to understand the origins, causes and consequences of one event before the next one comes along to overshadow it. This is why it’s so hard for people to concentrate on the Trump administration’s broken promises – there just isn’t time to devote to that endeavour, with all the other stuff to cover.
Thankfully, there are journalists – who I firmly believe will be seen as the heroes of this presidency, once Trump leaves office – who feel it is their responsibility to be the bearers of bad news and continuously remind people about government accountability and follow-through, regardless of how many other news stories are swirling around us.
It was in one such piece that I came across a list of campaign promises that the president has failed to keep. It might have been easier to forgive those failures if they were the result of unsuccessful effort instead of outright deception. I thought I would share (and elaborate on) some of the most outrageous flip-flops, to remind you of what people were promised versus what people got, in hopes this will further demonstrate what kind of leader we have living next door.
The Trump campaign hinged on a few very prominent promises, one of the most sensational being “The Wall.” It would stretch all the way along the U.S.-Mexico border, and Mexico would pay for it, remember? But now his secretary of homeland security says, “It’s unlikely that we will build a wall… instead, the department will look to build physical barriers in places that make sense.”
Trump said he’d “drain the Washington swamp”. Then he filled his administration with more billionaires, CEOs, Wall Street moguls, lobbyists, and well-connected personal friends than in any administration in history.
In that same vein, he said he’d build a team of the best and smartest people in America, to compensate for his political inexperience. Instead, he brought in Betsy DeVos – who has never taught, studied education, or even been a student in a public school – to be the Secretary of Education; Ben Carson, opponent of the Fair Housing Act, to be in charge of fair housing; and Scott Pruitt, who vehemently denies climate change, to be in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency. And that’s the short list.
He said he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something “wonderful.” And, despite his inability to provide so much as a general idea of how we planned to accomplish that, let alone a basic outline for a replacement plan, people believed it. When people got wind that the new Trumpcare bill would leave 24 million Americans without healthcare coverage, the bill was pulled due to lack of support, and Obamacare remains the status-quo.
He said he wouldn’t bomb Syria. After a similar 2013 chemical weapon attack in that country, as President Obama looked to Congress to authorize force against President Assad’s regime, Mr. Trump’s comments were as follows: “What I’m saying is stay out of Syria” and “Again, to our very foolish leader, do not attack Syria – if you do many very bad things will happen and from that fight the U.S. gets nothing!” Cut to 2017 and under the same set of circumstances, what does Trump do? He bombs Syria. And he didn’t even bother to attempt to get Congressional approval.
He called Barack Obama “the vacationer-in-Chief” and regularly chided him about playing golf while in office. He said, “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to play golf.” But, in just 91 days in office, he has spent 17 days playing golf, and has spent more taxpayer money on vacations than Obama did in the first three years of his presidency. In fact, he’s on track to spend in just his first year as much money on vacations as Obama did during his entire eight-year administration.
I’ve had to cut more than half of the examples for space, but you get the idea. Luckily, for anyone wanting to research the current state of the Trump administration, there are no shortage of sources who are holding them accountable for their spectacular failures.