A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post that compared aspects of the Trump populist candidacy and possible election to the Presidency to one of Americas most prominent populist Presidents, Andrew Jackson. This afternoon I realized there is a better, if equally imperfect, comparison to be made. It came to me as I was squawking with a Trump supporter on facebook. The supporter was comparing Hillary’s horrible record as Secretary of Defense and her lies involving Benghazi and the email scandal vs Trumps lies involving national security. Now, there is no comparison because Trump, of course, doesn’t even have a record in that field at all.
And then it hit me…
There is a much more recent political novice that we can look to that is a much better example of how bad things can get for “outsiders” officeholders. The one I’m thinking of met many of the same criteria as Trump. Here’s the list of promises made when this other guy was a candidate:
- He was a celebrity, which helped him campaign against opponents.
- He could say things that other politicians running for office couldn’t.
- He was hailed as an “outsider” because he’d never held office before.
- He was going to be able to fix the budget because he was a successful businessman.
- He has plenty of money and pledged not to take money from special interests.
- He proposed tax cuts for the rich.
- Fix education (everyone promises that)
- Proposed tightening immigration due to terror risks.
The person I’m referring to is, of course, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He ran as a Conservative, noting he had voted for then Gov Pete Wilson’s famous anti-immigrant prop 187. Problem was, with everything else he was more liberal. In the campaign the people that brought that up were brushed aside. In his first year in office, he did try to govern as a Conservative. The “Governator” tried to use brute force based on his star power and popularity to get the Conservative agenda passed, but that didn’t provide him the kind of political leverage in the hallowed halls of of the legislature everyone assumed it would. After failing to get his agenda passed via the the legislator, he bypassed them and brought several laws up for popular vote through the initiative process. The voters smacked his initiatives down.
Then what did The Governator do???? He reverted to his true nature and governed the rest of his first term as a liberal. And he got re-elected as a Republican liberal / centrist.
For all my friends who are Trump supporters, I can’t ask you not to support him, as I know you either like him, or view him as the lesser of the two evils between the two major candidates. What I do ask is that you consider that Donald Trump may very well be a modern day Trojan Horse, a man who is likely to betray you and the country at the first difficult challenge.