Donald Trump ran his election campaign as the ideal “outsider,” promising his supporters that he would shake up Washington and “drain the swamp” by getting rid of corruption and wealthy elites in our government.
It was a message that has resonated with large swaths of the country who feel that the political elite has let them down in favor of their own narrow interests.
Somehow, the billionaire real estate tycoon — who lives in a tower adorned with his own name in gold lettering — was able to style himself as a populist who would take on the issues that Americans face every day.
Three weeks since Trump dealt a shocking defeat to Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, some people who voted for him with the hopes of real change are dealing with a hefty case of buyers’ remorse.
One such voter is 59-year-old Teena Colebrook.
As The Associated Press reported, Colebrook voted for Trump hoping that he would rid the system of the privileged upper class. But when she heard that Steve Mnuchin was Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, she got a bad feeling.
She was vividly familiar with the former Goldman Sachs executive and hedge fund manager’s work.
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, a bank formerly headed by Mnuchin, OneWest, had foreclosed on her triplex in Los Angeles. It generated her main source of income.
It was a blatantly hypocritical appointment given that during the campaign, Trump had often railed against Wall Street. He had tagged Clinton as being too cozy with the financial industry and complained that hedge fund managers get away with "murder" under the current tax code.
That he would make a 180-degree turn just weeks after the election is a betrayal that many of his supporters are finding difficult to digest.
"I just wish that I had not voted," Colebrook told the AP. "I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in."
Mnuchin is only the tip of the iceberg as is evident from Trump’s other appointments. Trump is less draining the swamp but rather filling his administration with members of the infamous one percent.
Other than Trump himself, the president-elect has tapped businesswoman Betsy DeVos, worth $5.1 billion, bankruptcy “king” Wilbur Ross ($2.9 billion), and he is said to be considering oil tycoon Harold Hamm ($15.3 billion), former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney ($250 million), and Todd Ricketts whose family owns the Chicago Cubs.
According to Politico, all told, Trump’s Cabinet and administration could be worth up to $35 billion — that’s quite a chunk of change.
Trump’s dazzling roster of gazillionaires undermines the fundamental philosophy of his campaign before he even takes office.
But not only are his appointments causing his supporters concern, it’s his policy shifts as well.
Let’s start with the foundation of his campaign: The wall.
Building an ocean-to-ocean wall across the border with Mexico — with Mexico paying for it — virtually defines Trumpism. He has since waffled on the issue of “building the wall.” Though, recently he insisted that the wall would be built, but then again, many of his positions can change depending on the sun.
One of Trump’s key policy proposals was to “repeal and replace Obamacare." But he’s already said that he plans to preserve at least some important elements of the Affordable Care Act — an unexpectedly nuanced and pragmatic position.
"Lock her up" was — and still is — a popular chant at Trump rallies. Again, the incoming commander in chief who said that he would appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton’s emails, but doesn’t seem too keen on pressing the matter he championed as a candidate.
While many of his supporters are dyed-in-the-wool Trumpheads, some of his more reasoned supporters are having second thoughts.
@realDonaldTrump is not gonna prosecute the Clintons and call them good ppl? He becomes already part of the swamp? Regret my support?!— Deplorable Ronaldus (@Ronaldus_64) November 14, 2016
@realDonaldTrump Thanks for becoming a politician and going back on your promises. I'm thinking mayve I shouldn't have voted period.— Paul Jackson Jr (@PKJack54) November 23, 2016
@AnnCoulter I never thought I would ever say this, but Trump is acting like a weak establishment cuck! What the hell happened?— Adorable Deplorable (@OliMauritania) November 25, 2016
From everything we can see of Trump’s evolving administrations, it’s clear that many of his supporters are destined to be disappointed.
His downfall may have already begun.
Banner photo: Reuters