Carl Sacklen

Trump is Realising It's Easier as an Outsider

However hard you try to cover up some stains, they never really go away. The same will be true for President Trump’s failed attempt to repeal Obamacare. A hallmark policy of his campaign, repealing the Affordable Care Act would have been a significant success for Trump. Now though, it serves as a reminder to everyone the arrogance with which he treats the Oval Office.

I’ve wrote before Trump’s victory that populists struggle to come up with coherent policies if they win, mostly because they spent a lot of the time complaining about what’s wrong about the system. Once they become the leader of that system, everything becomes slightly harder. Trump is now realising he is being held to account - something he didn’t have to suffer through when he was just a grumpy Republican who had discovered twitter.

Accountable to promises

During the campaign, if the media said something he disagreed with, even if what they reported was completely true, he decried it as fake news. The result was that as hard as the newspapers tried to catch him out, Trump was able to steer the agenda. Now that he’s in the White House however, the media have upped their game. With fact-checking and “not fake news” campaigns, Trump is being held hostage by many of his promises from the campaign. His failure to repeal Obamacare will turn both conservative and liberal media outlets against him.

Hypocrisy catching up

Back in the good old days when he was just a rich guy with a twitter account, Trump would tweet about how much time Obama spent on the golf course. Now that he’s in the Oval Office however, he’s spending a significant amount of time at his golf courses and resorts, all at the expense of the taxpayer. As an outsider, he was able to get away with going to his resorts whilst also raging about Obama’s rounds of golf. Now though, the hypocrisy is beyond satire.

Legislating is hard

It’s easy to complain about what’s wrong with current legislation. It’s a different ballpark to come up with a better alternative, especially with no politics experience. His administration waltzed into the Freedom Caucus and demanded they voted for the new healthcare bill. Their response was a resounding no, symbolic of the difficulties a president faces when trying to pass a bill.

When he was campaigning, all he offered were vague policy promises and ideas. This was enough to get him elected because he said what the people wanted to hear. It’s not, however, what the legislators want to hear. The result is a president with hollow campaign promises and little more than a few executive orders.

What next

In his book The Art of the Deal, Trump wrote the following:

“You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on …”

Perhaps now he’s realising that it’s easier being a political outsider. Now he actually has to come up with ideas instead of critiquing everyone else’s.