Although I didn’t vote for Trump, and I don’t think he will be a great or even a good president, unlike many in Santa Barbara, I’m willing to give him the opportunity to succeed. One of his main campaign promises is to “drain the swamp” or eliminate the powerful special interests that have had great influence on our legislative process for a long time. I think this is one effort that most people on the right as well as the left can get behind. The influence of corporations, government contractors, unions, trial lawyers, and many other special interest groups has plagued our political system for many years.
Trump can take many different actions, and he seems to be taking some steps in the right direction. Limiting employment as a lobbyist after government service is a good start. Government contracting reform would be another. It will also be easy for Trump to take on the high-tech lobby with H-1B visa reform as they were never friendly to his campaign to begin with.
The real litmus test for me is if Trump is willing to take on the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry was one of the biggest contributors to VP-elect Mike Pence’s campaign as well. If Trump allows Medicare to negotiate drug pricing, it will have a great effect in reducing health-care costs. This will hurt drug companies and benefit consumers. It will also infuriate many in Trump’s own party. But it would make me a true believer in his promise to “drain the swamp.” If no drug price negotiations are implemented, we will know that “draining the swamp” was just another campaign slogan, and Trump is just another politician making empty campaign promises.