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The Unkept Promises of the PEOTUS

I started compiling a list of things Trump said he would do — you know, as a check-sheet to go back to and see how’s he done in following up. This kind of thing is pretty routine. Here, for example, is a look back at how Obama fulfilled his promises.

But, since The Donald hasn’t taken the oath of office yet, I’m not interested in any specific legislative or governmental issues — those are either routine like cabinet nominations, appointments of advisors, tapping heads of agencies or they’re best regarded as premature like specific bills he might put forward for Congressional action once he’s in office.

What I’m interested in here is the dozen or so specific promises he’s made to the American people during the campaign and after his November 8th victory. Surprisingly — or not, depending on your political persuasion — the number which he followed through on is precisely zero. There are probably more of these faux pledges but this list shows pretty clearly what we’re dealing with in our new PEOTUS. At one time or another, Trump said he would:

•Release his personal and corporate tax returns

•Hold regular press conferences

•Provide documentation on Melania’s immigration status and whether she violated US immigration laws

•Specify what information about the Russian hacking that he claims he has that the CIA does not

•Explain how Mexico will pay for the wall now that he’s determined that US taxpayers will have to fund it

•Present a plan to prevent conflicts of interest between his duties as president and his corporation

•Clarify the operations of the Trump Foundation and why they did not violate New York State laws

•Provide an explanation why his international corporate links would not violate the Emolument Clause

•Explicate what his plans are for filling the vacuum that would be created by withdrawing from NAFTA

•Explicate what the impact of withdrawing or limiting the US’s role in NATO and the UN would be

•Present an analysis of the impact that “tearing up” the Iran agreement would have on the Middle East

•Put forward a detailed economic projection of the long-term impact of his proposed tax cuts

I’m not just inventing issues. These are all things Trump has said he will do, from promising to release his taxes if he’s elected, to ensuring us that he has full documentation that the future First Lady did not violate the guidelines of her visa when she first entered the country, to outlining what he knew that shows that the CIA was mistaken about the Russian hacking,[1] to promising to provide full economic analyses of a host of domestic and international proposals.

He has, of course, done none of these. It would be folly for anyone to expect that he will. In some cases transparency would be, well, revelatory like his tax returns, the full gory details of the Trump Foundation and Melania’s apparent visa violations.

In others they were just typical Trumpian bluster done to whip up his base but with no thought or plan behind them such as tearing up the Iran deal or withdrawing from NAFTA. It’s simply not possible for him to provide the analyses he promised since no such exist.

In still others the projections, if carried out honestly, would show them to be completely unworkable (dumping the Iran deal), economically disastrous (pulling out of NAFTA) or geopolitical suicide (reducing our role in NATO or the UN).

The bottom line here is we’re faced with something we’ve never confronted in the nearly 250 years of our Republic. We had a nominating process that was unlike anything we’ve seen before — more like an extended series of clips from The Twilight Zone in living color than a normal political contest. It was followed by an election unlike anything we’ve seen before — even Rod Serling wouldn’t have come up with what’s been played out before us. And now we’re really off the end of the pier, into the cold, dark waters of a socio-economic-political black hole.

I guess I better check my Twitter feed to see what shit’s coming down the pike now — you can bet it won’t be any effort by Trump to fulfill any of those promises he made. In fact, I’m quite certain that he wouldn’t remember making most of them….


[1] On this one, when pressed he said he’d let everyone know “on Tuesday or Wednesday” without specifying which Tuesday or Wednesday.

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