Presidents typically set a tone for the country.
In the case of Donald Trump, his extreme unpopularity and barefaced grift have made other elites eager to differentiate themselves, a New York Times columnist writes in “Under Trump, the Swamp is Draining.”
“With Trump there is no pretense of respectability or rectitude. There is only the open, shrugging grift,” the column reads.
A large number of Trump voters supported him specifically because they regarded everyone of his class as a shameless grifter, the column argues, and they thought maybe he would disrupt the system.
“That hasn’t worked out,” the column reads. “Turns out that when you send a businessman-grifter into the world of political grifters he hires some of the worst of them to help him with the fleecing.”
But as so many Americans recoil from Trump, the elite look to differentiate themselves as much as possible.
“The shock of his ascent has created swamp-draining conditions — in which other corruptions have suddenly been exposed, and there have been many deserved falls from grace,” the column reads. “Trump has clearly been a catalyst: The sense of moral crisis created by his ascent, the sense of moral outrage felt by women, especially, and the finger-pointing within a divided, freaked-out establishment has made it easier to acknowledge rot in meritocracy, and to purge the grossest examples from our entitled class.”
Read the column here.