As much as I don’t want Trump to lose the election this year, if he does end up losing, he will have no one to blame but himself. Trump won the 2016 election by promising to change the way things were done in Washington, and to align policy with the interests of the public. Instead, he has let the swamp fester. His biggest policy “victories” are policies the Jeb Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s of the world could applaud if they didn’t hate all things Trump.
Instead of filling his administration with loyalists, using a fight against corruption as a means to root out his opponents on both sides of the aisle, and delivering on policies that stabilize the country and promote greatness amongst the people, Trump has ceded administrative control to the people within the Republican party who most oppose his agenda.
Trump has focused on unity and outreach to people who are uninterested in his olive branches, while letting the people who stood by him through the 2016 election get steamrolled by the system and left out of power. Trump happily appoints all of the judges legacy Republicans want, and they get swiftly confirmed. But Mitch McConnell refuses to recess the Senate and let Trump fill positions in his administration while Democrats force debates and floor votes on every position. A few senators frog-marched off for corruption would have solved these problems a few years ago.
That isn’t to say that Trump hasn’t faced immense obstacles and an intransigent ruling class throwing every trick in the books his way, but Trump hasn’t used the tools at his disposal to fight them. Trump hasn’t adapted to the media’s deliberate attempts to deny him the bully pulpit when he could easily be doing daily speeches from the oval office hosted online. He hasn’t reformed the White House press corps, allowing legacy media organizations to monopolize access. All of these small and simple things could have and should have been done long ago. And they would have been done had Trump made sure his administration was full of loyalists.
It’s not too late for Trump, but he needs to cut loose Kushner and his ilk, bring in people who supported him in 2015, and start leading as the destroyer of a corrupt regime long past it’s expiration date rather than desperately trying to reenact Reagan’s 1984 re-election.