Donald Trump’s unorthodox style of presidency continues to defy the expectations of the press in the United States as the new administration turns it back on conventional standards of personal and institutional behaviour. There’s been nothing quite like it for decades, possibly surpassing the scandals and peccadilloes of the Clinton or Reagan years. Indeed one might have to go back to the turbulent latter half of Richard Nixon’s term in office to find a similar example of a White House gone rogue. And its only been a month. This week’s fairly staid address to Congress saw pundits declaring that the former new York businessman was moving towards a “reset”, adopting a more presidential tone. Unfortunately this is not optimism; it’s gullibility. We have a heard similar predictions throughout Trump’s turbulent election campaign and his first few weeks in office. Each and every time he has reverted to type and this will be no different.
The Donald Trump of the Oval Office is the same Donald Trump of the hustings. Nothing is going to change. For the better at least. Acton’s phrase springs to mind: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” As invested interests settle into power throughout the United States’ government the ripple effects are likely to turn into waves spreading out from Washington and across the country and globe. Not so much a pebble in a pond as a bloody great asteroid in the middle of the ocean.