The Swamp looks poised to win big this time.
Although hardly mesmerized by the political spectacle unfolding across the sea, Irish eyes are watching the accession of the Trump era with trepidation. A recent national poll revealed that only 12% of the population thinks that Trump’s presidency will be good for the Republic. The Irish one. And the American one, needless to say. (Trump does have some fans here, too: support is most notable in West Clare, where the Donald bought and renovated a multi-million dollar golf course and hotel. Both are far beyond the pay grade of most Clare men and women, but the project brought jobs and cash flow into the coastal area.)
Watching US developments from a distance as Trump began filling his cabinet positions with corporate raiders, ultra-wealthy bankers and financiers, assorted tycoons, white supremacists and retired generals, it was hard to escape the feeling that the angry middle-class white males from the rust belt and other depressed zones of the heartland who turned to Trump for “change” are in for a big surprise as the reins of power are increasingly turned over to the upper percent of the One Percent. They are now going to have to foot the bill for The Wall, as well. Tax breaks for the very wealthy will increase the burden on the middle class as the deficit rises and social services, the environment, and health care are driven into the ground. And as for those tax returns, well, it’s anyone’s guess if they will ever be released. At least his promise to prosecute Hillary Clinton has been forgotten. That’s just as well. Living in a glass house, even one with tinted windows and drawn curtains, is not the best vantage point for hurling stones.
Wall Street may love it, but the swamp just got a lot bigger and a lot deeper.