- + The ongoing impeachment saga has pushed Trump into a frozen slack.
- + But, Trump’s nature of a property developer persists in his presidency.
- + He has often leveraged people’s capital to get ahead in his career.
As it stands, the reputation and stereotyping surrounding the likes of landlords and property developers is somewhat negative. Everyone has their own story, managing the ever-tense dynamics with an invariably hostile, intrusive, greedy and potentially even law-breaking proprietor. To this effect, no one quite fits this quintessential property developer character archetype as Donald Trump. As is well known, the current POTUS has a long history in Real Estate, maintaining a worldwide portfolio of various properties, resorts and hotels, thereby inviting the world’s financially liquid to come and bask in the proverbial sun that is the aura of Trump-owned business.
A Man of the People
As a product of such professional pursuit, Trump embodies and consistently employs the traits of a property developer in his everyday actions as President. In his private sector life, Trump would leverage the financial backing he would receive from others, be it his partners, investors or family, for the sake of his own endeavours and success.
We all remember his poor-man’s plea in 2016, so effectively relating to the US populous when recounting how when leaving home, he received nothing but a small loan of USD$1million from his father; which has now been estimated to really have been something closer to USD$60million (did we mention he’s a chronic liar?). Nowadays, however, this trait has transferred from leveraging other people’s financial capital to that of others social and moral capital, as a means of generating public approval. The key point, however, is whatever Trump might be leveraging, it is rarely his own.
In the context of the ongoing Impeachment saga, Trump in many ways is leveraging the oft-misguided faith and trust placed in the US Bipartisan system, in which Republicans are prioritising their political party (in the form of defending Donald Trump and supporting his case to challenge the impeachment) over their better judgement. At an individual level, this effectively sees Trump manipulating and compromising the ethics of other House and Senate members, using their unwavering fealty to the Republican party, as a way of keeping his deteriorating image intact. To this effect, Trump’s logic is simple; if I force enough people of influence to defend my actions, irrespective of how flimsy or legally defunct their defence might be, then enough of the US public will buy it.
Testing the Faith
In many respects, this has worked. A recent Reuters poll alluded to the notion that in spite of his Impeachment, less than half of the US population wished to see Trump booted from the White House. However, the arguably defining moment of the Republicans’ steadfast fidelity will come at the impending Senate Impeachment Trial. Withstanding an acquittal of Trump, in which a trial takes place and witnesses from both sides of the ledger are heard, Republican Senators will be forced to take the stand and etch themselves in history by putting their name and approval on a President who has so blatantly broken the law.
To ultimately pass the conviction, 67 (of 132) Senators must vote in favour of the bill, of which we can likely assume all 47 Democrats will vote affirmatively in unison. But where will the extra 20 votes come from? At least at this stage, chances of mass Republican migration across the floor appear as likely as Boris Johnson putting his hairbrush received for Christmas into use.
Blinded Loyalty Isn’t Dangerous, Right?
Alas, Republicans seem all but committed to keeping their demander-in-chief in power, with Senator Lindsey Graham going as far as publically announcing that he will not even “pretend to be a fair juror…”, and will do everything he “can to make it die quickly.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has equally come out in defiant support of Trump, saying that he will not be an impartial juror, despite having to swear an oath of impartiality at the beginning of the trial. As it were, the majority of the party appears to be adopting a characteristically Trump approach to dealing with the criticism that has come as a product of such questionable loyalty, in which it has simply been belittled and denied (in no particular order) without further explanation.
Anyone Smell Burning Flesh?
In any case, whether they believe the words coming out of their mouths or not, what is undoubted is the fact that the Republican posse is simply coming across as pawns on Trump’s chessboard, having been caught up in the President’s lifelong journey of manipulation. To this point, Trump has largely gotten away with his arms-length approach, risking and losing only that of which he does not truly own. However, with his image taking an unprecedented battering throughout the Impeachment process, perhaps inadvertently, Trump has finally placed some of his own skin in the game. But how much the President stands to lose is what remains to be seen.