January 20, 2017

The Greatest Reality Show on Earth

The Greatest Reality Show on Earth

In just a couple of short hours, Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office to become the 45th President of the United States.

The road that got us here started in June 2015, when Mr. Trump announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination. In a field of 19 candidates, the general consensus at the time was that this was just another in a long string of short-lived publicity stunts by the real estate developer/reality TV star. But as it turned out, it was no stunt, and much to the surprise of many people, possibly including Mr. Trump himself, he did, in fact, win the nomination of the Republican Party.

In the sprint that followed, right up to election night, most polls, pundits, and popular wisdom had Mr. Trump losing badly to the presumptive next president, Hillary Clinton.

Well, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. And here we are on the brink of the greatest reality show of his career – a Trump presidency.

The past 18 months or so have seen the most divisive political campaigning in modern history. Most people assumed that the Trump of the primary season would have no choice but to pivot in order to compete in the general election. But, alas, there was no pivoting for Trump the candidate, and in fact, he doubled down in his general election campaign. And it worked.

As President-elect, many were still expecting a pivot, to a more “presidential” Trump, but again, it was not in the cards. The transition of power since the election has been nothing short of contentious and bizarre.

If what we have seen since the campaign began is a preview of the next four years, we’re certainly in for some interesting times. I, for one, was not a Trump supporter but am hoping his unconventional style is just what we need.

My personal expectations are that the Trump presidency will continue the short economic rally we’ve seen since Election Day. Between tax cuts, reduced government, a relaxed regulatory environment and a major public works initiative, we should have at least a two-year run of economic prosperity and expansion. And if Trump actually delivers on his promise of “Making America Great Again,” our economic good fortune could run for his entire first term.

So will he build the wall, defeat ISIS, deport undocumented immigrants, repeal and replace Obamacare, reduce taxes, ban a whole religion from entering our borders, renegotiate trade agreements, impose tariffs on imported goods, negotiate peace in the Middle East, and continue his bromance with Vlad? Who knows, but it certainly won’t be boring or business as usual from today on.

We are truly in uncharted waters as Mr. Trump takes office. Whether you voted for him or not, let’s hope he’s as successful as he thinks he is.