Donald Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail that have left many Democrats afraid of what him being in office entails for America's future. But President Obama is confident that as president, Trump will have to become more moderate. "Reality will force him to adjust how he approaches many of these issues. That's just how this office works," Obama said on Nov. 20, the Associated Press reported.
And it's true. As he and his team began the transition process, Trump began editing some of the policies he had trumpeted around during the election. Saturday Night Live even made fun of this during its Nov. 19 episode. Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, decides to scrap his plans on illegal immigration, repealing Obamacare, and hiring a prosecutor for Hillary Clinton — all major facets of his campaign speeches. And yes, this actually kind of mirrors reality. Trump hasn't exactly been clear about his position on the Affordable Healthcare Act, seeing as how he told The Wall Street Journal after his election that he would like to hang on to some parts of it. Still, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan have made it clear that repealing Obamacare is a priority.
The president-elect was very clear that his position on immigration was to protect our borders, to the point of building a fence on the Mexico-United States border. In 2015, Trump promised a "deportation force" to remove 11 million illegal immigrants. But for now, Trump has decided to deport two to three million "criminals," as he calls them, and figure out a plan for the rest of the illegal immigrants later. And when it comes to jailing Hillary Clinton, he's decided to leave his former opponent alone — for now. "I don't want to hurt them," Trump said of Clinton and her family on 60 Minutes. "They're, they're good people."
So yes, some of Trump's policies have become softer as he realizes how difficult it would be to actually carry out his promises. But this is unfortunate for the millions of Americans who voted for Trump based on his bold call to "Drain the swamp!" Because while he ran on a platform of getting rid of special interest and lobbyists in politics, according to many, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Trump has actually included many Wall Street insiders and special interests in his transition team. And sure, Pence may have instituted a "no lobbyists" rule, but it's unclear whether all of them have actually left their lobbying positions, as NBC News reported.
Rather than going moderate when it comes to the environment, Trump has chosen climate change denier Myron Ebell, a man without a science degree, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. His attorney general would be Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has opposed legal immigration. And how can we leave out Trump's choice of chief strategist, Steve Bannon, former Breitbart head?
Trump has definitely had to leave some of his campaign promises behind, at least in part. But has he really become more moderate? It's a bit of a toss-up, considering some of Trump's extremely conservative choices. We'll have to wait and see how things actually play out when he's in office.