Corruption—not Russia—will lead to President Donald Trump’s downfall, according to New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump said, “My whole life I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy. I’ve grabbed all the money I could get. I’m so greedy. But now I want to be greedy for the United States.” Herein lies Trump’s appeal—he was a highly successful businessman that would apply his skills to the government. This appeal served him well, as he is now the president of the United States.
But Trump has ignored his promise to work unselfishly for the U.S. His approval ratings are now in the low 40s, which is lower than the average of any other president. But as the 2020 presidential elections loom, many worry that his low ratings won’t be enough to boot him from the Oval Office. Although his racist and misogynistic comments spark outrage now, they were also perfectly apparent in 2016 during his campaign, and he won anyway.
Trump’s potential collusion with Russia will also not dissuade his voters, as it has little immediate impact on any voter’s life. Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels will also have little to no effect, as his voters never harbored illusions about Trump’s relationship with women.
Yet, Trump won because he made a promise to the American people. He told U.S. citizens that he knew how to make money, and he would do it for the U.S. and make everyone rich. The seemingly clearest way to remove Trump from the White House in 2020 is to emphasize to voters that Trump did not uphold his promise. In fact, Trump has multiplied the problem by surrounding himself with other greedy people who became his Cabinet members and senior officials. Many of these officials have been benefiting from their new positions by using taxpayer dollars for personal expenses, such as a trip to Fort Knox to see the solar eclipse.
Trump has continuously hired those who have few moral or financial scruples, because they were in precarious financial situations. When Trump hired Paul Manafort, he was in debt to a Russian oligarch. While advising Trump, Michael Flynn was selling his credentials to Russian and Turkish dictators. Jared Kushner was struggling to pay off an enormous loan he took out on a building in Manhattan, and seemed to use his position to leverage investors.
While campaigning, Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. He has done no such thing. Trump his not raised ethical standards, and his administration has very clearly violated existing standards.
Trump’s love of money will have to be his downfall in the 2020 presidential election.