God bless congressional gridlock.
Trump will be a terrible president. Statement of the obvious, maybe? He’s a megalomaniac, focusing on a twisted and corrupted world view to achieve his own personal goal. However, if, heaven forbid, we do see a Trump presidency, a year down the line those most likely to be disappointed won’t be those who didn’t vote for the man.
It will be those that did. Trump is an anti-establishment figure, he likes to challenge the “politically correct” norm. He says things that no other politician would say, he says “what the American people are thinking” (quote every Trump supporter, ever). There is a reason he can say what he likes; he has never held public office. Trump can stand at a lectern, pronouncing how he’ll ban Muslims, build a wall “and Mexico will pay!” (cue fervent chanting), but he will never follow through on any of these promises. This is for one reason, he will be operating within one of the most checked and balanced systems in the world; just ask Obama.
It’s not just Democrats that will block every piece of legislation he ever puts in motion, on principle. It will also be Republicans in congress who haven’t exactly been silent in their dislike for ‘the Donald’. Yes, Paul Ryan and Chris Christie can proclaim their adoration in the convention but once he’s elected? There will be no such outpouring of emotion; those who actually think he will win simply want to keep their jobs.
Another mammoth hurdle to Trump, for all that he is promising, is the Supreme Court. If, though it’s looking increasingly unlikely, a new liberal justice is appointed, Trump will be powerless. Even with a conservative-tilted supreme court he will have little opportunity. The Muslim ban is a clear breach of the 1st Amendment to the constitution; any supreme court would rule that. Could Trump overturn the 1st Amendment? No chance. Republicans seem to fervently defend the 2nd Amendment, and the 1st when it suits them, so how can they possibly see this ban as lawful? It will never happen.
Now onto “Mexico will pay!” (“who’s going to pay?”, “MEXICO!”). Mexico will not put billions of dollars into a border wall. End of discussion. Saying Mexico will pay for an expensive and superfluous wall is as ridiculous as that old favourite: “we sent £350m a week to Brussels…”. So now we are running out of Trump promises because away from these, he has no policy. His speech to the convention proved it. He included no specifics and simply promised to ‘fix things’. Yes, there will be a move to the right but Trump may well face 4 years more frustrated by congress than Obama ever was. He will be immobile – it’ll be left to his advisers to come up with moderate policy that will pass both houses.
And finally, does Trump even believe what he says? Since the start of the campaign he’s reversed his position on gay marriage, abortion and gun laws just to please the traditional Christian right. He is a vote winner, and he definitely knows what to say, but he won’t be able to govern. The next name on “Politicians who sacrificed their careers on lies and broken promises”, next to Nick Clegg, will be Donald Trump.
He’s the anti-establishment, anti-system candidate. Once he’s in the system, and part of the establishment, he becomes just like everyone else.
So worry not, Trump haters, he will be useless. Trump supporters, be careful what you vote for, because it just won’t happen.