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Promises, Promises

As Trump prepares to “kick-off” his re-election campaign (has he ever really stopped campaigning?) in Florida, he continues to use the slogan “Promises Made. Promises Kept”. It’s a mantra his base is all too willing to accept, even while ignoring the fact that he has reneged on most of his promises.

Let’s take a look at some of those promises, the results and the justifications for their failures.

Repeal and Replace Obamacare

This was the cornerstone of his campaign. His hatred of anything related to President Obama is legendary. During a 60 Minutes interview he promised to repeal and replace Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “almost simultaneously”. Despite having a majority in both houses of Congress, the most he could muster was a passage in the House.

He gathered House Republicans on the White House lawn to take a victory lap. Despite this, the Senate refused to pass the law that would abandon millions with nothing except a promised replacement. Despite having the majority, Trump blamed Democrats for that failure.

Trump continues to chip away at Obamacare, first by repealing the individual mandate, then by refusing to allow funding to advertise the continued availability of Obamacare. Nevertheless, the ACA remains as a viable healthcare option that is relied upon by millions of Americans, even those who say they hate “Obamacare” but support the ACA. (Excuse me, it’s the same thing.)

His most recent “promise” is that he will unveil his replacement after he is re-elected.

Build a Wall to Halt Illegal Immigration and Have Mexico Pay For It

This signature campaign promise was an aim to tap into the fear of his base that “Mexicans are taking your jobs”. The “Build the Wall” chant was a staple of his rallies, and it was ALWAYS followed by the echo that “Mexico!” would pay for it.

What followed were government shutdowns and Executive Action to attempt to use American taxpayer dollars to finance this campaign promise.

He again blamed Democrats for failing to provide funding and erroneously continues to claim the Wall is being built. He also is using a convoluted logic that Mexico is indirectly paying for the Wall through increased tariffs .

In reality, there are sections of the Wall being “built”, but they are only replacements and repair of existing border walls.

I Will Release My Tax Returns

From the start of the 2016 campaign, he has repeatedly promised to release his tax returns once an IRS audit is completed. This is something every president since Richard M. Nixon has done to show they aren’t heavily in debt, or beholden to some foreign power. He has claimed that he cannot release his returns while they are under audit, something the IRS has repeatedly debunked.

Despite this, and even a lawful demand by Congress, he has continued to refuse to allow anyone to see them. He has even threatened a lawsuit against his own accounting firm should they allow his returns to be released.

Soon after his inauguration, and several times thereafter, he has stated that no one wants to see his tax returns. His acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney has vowed that Democrats will never see them and his base continues to support this stance.

“Lock Her Up!”

Nothing riles up his rally supporters than the mere mention of Hillary Clinton. Despite the election being over for more than two years, the “Lock Her Up!” chant continues on cue. During the 2016 campaign, his base used smears, conspiracy theories and out and out lies to claim that Hillary should be imprisoned for acts real or imaginary. During the debates, he even stated that she should be in jail when she accused him of being a Russian puppet.

He claimed that, if Hillary were elected, we would have “unending investigations”.

While there have, indeed, been investigations, it is the alleged misdeeds of Trump and his cronies that are the subject of these investigations.

Despite this, he and his base continue to use Hillary as a deflection mechanism to take the focus away from his own issues, and now he is using his attorney general to investigate the other investigators as his 2020 campaign ramps up.

Other “Promises”

There are so many more promises he made that he did not fulfill. His middle class tax reform, standing up against the NRA and of course his ultimate promise, to “Make America Great Again” are all indicative of his failure as a leader.

True, all politicians make promises they don’t keep, but Trump has done so in such epic fashion as to defy all political sensibility. He has told more lies, made so many misrepresentations and called factual reporting “Fake News”.

Why does his base continue to believe him? Sad to say, they are mesmerized by him, and will continue to believe his “promises” no matter what.

For us… It’s Time to Take a Stand!

CJ Waldron is an adjunct professor at Horry Georgetown Technical College and a contributing Writer for the Horry County Democratic Party where he covers a variety of Democratic issues, news, and commentary. Opinions and viewpoints expressed in his articles are solely his own.
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