Washington DC

Washington is no man’s land as power shifts to a new president

One thing for sure is that Trump’s campaign, and now his transition, has been consistent in letting us know this will not be business as usual. And that should be a good thing, right?

Every time we elect a new president, there’s this period where the president-elect hasn’t yet taken over and the current president’s power is waning. It is marked by all sorts of political posturing on both sides as they do the typical D.C dance where everyone is jockeying for power and leverage.

From an outsider’s perspective, it seems borderline humorous, whether it be a red herring fight over miner’s health benefits or the competing opinions of U.S. intelligence agencies about Russia’s role and Russia’s intentions leading up to the last election. In D.C., it is all about politics as usual.

Will that change? It has been interesting to hear the debates on Trump’s initial appointees. They are despised by the far Left as they represent everything they oppose, successful businessmen and military experts primarily. And, of course, the few with governmental experience are a breach of Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp.”

One thing is for certain, however; this is as dramatic a shift as we have ever seen and that is bound to create some seismic reactions within the Beltway and the vast bureaucracies. 

I think the media continues to misread and make mistakes regarding their attempts to destroy the Trump presidency before it gets started. They see these business people as having a myriad of conflict of interest issues, and for the anti-capitalist crowd, these people represent what is wrong with America. But they do represent change.

Maybe it will be good to have people with real experiences outside of government now on the inside of government. The American people are fed up with all the career politicians who make their fortunes and live exclusively within the safe confines of government’s insulation from the real world.

What the media doesn’t seem to understand is that the American people understand that these career politicians have clear and tangible conflicts of interest – we feel they have not made decisions in the best interest of us or the country, but rather make nearly all their decisions based upon winning the next election, gaining control of the levers of power and making fortunes from maintaining a status quo. 

Donald Trump was elected because we didn’t want to return the career politicians who have been inside the Beltway so long that they don’t understand how to foster the American dream.

Conflicts of interest for a government job is a derogatory way of dealing with those who answer the call to lead and to serve. The media and political establishment may worship and support the political elite, who have no conflicts of interest except to themselves and to maintaining the status quo, but those are the very people that the American voter sent notice too.

They may be shocked that these men have run large for-profit entities, made fortunes and are experts in the fields that the agencies oversee and regulate. They are men who have put their lives on the line, served our country in the military and understand the challenges of implementing military solutions.

We want someone who has signed a paycheck or earned a paycheck from a for-profit entity. We want someone who has allegiances to something other than the political establishment and we want someone whose success doesn’t preclude them from putting America first but instead inspires them to do just that. 

Like our founding fathers, it is their conflicts of interest which enable them to put America first and not be beholding to the advancement of government power for government’s sake.

I was not initially a big Trump supporter, but I do have an unfailing belief in the American people, and as we grow closer, I think their collective wisdom was right once again. In the end, I really hope that a Trump presidency isn’t simply the lesser of two evils, but what we really need.

One thing for sure is that Trump’s campaign, and now his transition, has been consistent in letting us know this will not be business as usual. And that should be a good thing, right? If politicians, bureaucrats, the media and nearly every special interest group I can name are worried, then I’m thinking that just perhaps he is truly on to something.

The beef community is nervous about trade and the death of the TPP; grain producers about the energy subsidies and promised harder line with importing countries like Russia. Defense contractors’ stocks have been plummeting as costs are questioned and cost risk models are being floated, and the list goes on.

I certainly understand the TPP is a bonanza for agriculture, but also realize that it may not be so good for others. But perhaps Trump is truly unique in that he means what he says, and that he is pro-trade but simply will not tolerate one-sided deals.

Draining the swamp is rarely an easy process, and unwinding all the pro-government policies and replacing them with pro-American policies will not be easy because industries and business models have been constructed around them. No president in four, or even eight years will be able to reverse all the negative trends, but once started, others will follow.

As a footnote, much has been written about the demise of the Democratic Party as a national party and the fact that it dominates the coasts and even more specifically big cities. But the Republican Party faces much greater pressure; the politics of division along demographic lines still promises to minimize the Republican Party. In fact, the Republicans still face an almost insurmountable road via the electoral college, let alone the popular vote. 

Both parties, after this election, are faced with re-inventing themselves. The Democrats must make inroads in the flyover states and the Republicans must breach the hold the Democrats have in the large urban centers. Right now, it is safe to say that neither side seems to have a plan to do that. 

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