By Zach Dvorak
After arriving in Washington D.C our Drake University crew has been in non-stop motion. We have run around our nation’s capital like a well-oiled machine absorbing the community that hosts the most powerful government on Earth. I am exhausted, mentally drained, and always looking forward to what is next. Never before in my life have I had an opportunity like #DrakeinDC has provided, and while it is still early in my time in DC, the knowledge obtained so far exceeds that found in textbooks.
The Washington Center has started our curriculum yesterday with a documentary on political discourse, and today an election post-mortem. Two things gravely needed after an election like the one that only recently happen, but already feels like a lifetime ago.
While my classmates talked about political discourse like in Tim Webber’s outstanding “Building bipartisanship” blog post, I will focus on the aspects brought up in the panel explaining what exactly happened during the presidential election.
The speakers were Ruy Teixiera, a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation and American Progress, and also the writer of The Emerging Democratic Majority, and John Hudak, the deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies.
They made a great pair to talk about what has happened and what to cautiously expect as we say goodbye to Obama and hello to the next four years under Trump. Mr. Teixiera focused primarily on the micro side of the election, with data and demographic shifts that potentially answer the question “what in the hell happened this election?”, and gave perspective on the flaws that both candidates now can see in hindsight. The ying to Ruy’s yang was then provided by Mr. Hudak’s macro take on the election, described by him as “looking at the election with a thirty-foot pole”. His distanced thoughts brought up a good point that maybe Donald Trump’s business acumen might be more of a negative than a positive.
Alec Wilcox, who wrote about DC’s monuments as a “A Refreshing Dose of Patriotism”, brought up this as an interesting topic, when I talked to him today, that we will eventually see in the Donald Trump presidency. Personally, I have spent my three and a half years at Drake totally invested in the business school, and have loved almost (curse you accounting!) all my time there. Being heavily invested in the program has offered me the opportunity to graduate with two majors with three concentrations in Marketing, four internships, and given me the tools for successfully entering the workforce with little turbulence. But that primarily is for the private sector. If anything, this course in two days has already told me that I know not nearly enough about politics to start to think about working in the public sector. So it made me think today, with the thoughts of John Hudak, that maybe Trump severely underestimates the requirements on being a successful government employee.
Hudak provided our group the point that Trump has, for most of his life, been in ultimate control of his business decisions. He of course has advisors and individuals who might advise him, but they have no power in preventing his choice. That simply won’t happen in the White House. He will be inconvenienced at every step of legislation and who knows how he will take it.
Usually I try and stay away from making assumptions about things I have no control of. I don’t know Donald Trump. I don’t know what his expectations are, and I certainly don’t know what his aspirations are. But what I do know is that Trump succeeding will boost all of America, and wishing him to fail will do more harm than good.