Overseeing Overseas Operations: Special Interests in the 2016 Election

In this election, there has been a lot of discussion pertaining special interests that both candidates may have outside of the US government. Clinton has recently come under fire (again) for alleged pay-for-play operations favoring those that make “charitable” donations to the Clinton Foundation. Trump’s outside interests, on the other hand, are inseparable from his self-praised corporate mastery; many of his investments are linked to foreign countries’ professional and political elite.


Although Trump’s business transactions are not new information, many are beginning to question whether or not his corporate affiliations will affect diplomacy between nations in the event of his election. Those who are concerned about his foreign relations cite the Scottish resort debacle (which led to him suing the Scottish government and effectively caused homeowners in the surrounding area to despise him) and the countless allegations of failed payments within the nation as indicators of his insolence. If these negative trends continue into his other business ventures, it could be incredibly bad for US operations, namely in high stress places places like Syria, where Trump and Turkey’s Dogan (who is responsible for attacking US backed Kurds forces) share assets in a media conglomerate. Are these corporate interests affecting Trump’s chances at the oval office?


Any answer to this question is obviously speculative. While some cite this as one of the factors in their hesitancy to side with Trump, the previous interactions that Trump has with foreign officials may be just a large an asset as they are a hindrance. I personally feel that, with most things that have potential positive and negative ramifications, the perception depends on the presentation. If Trump’s campaign were to address these points and attempt to frame them in a positive light, as an in and direct, healthy relationship with bureaucrats that could affect the future of the United States’ success, it could be a serious advantage. It especially could be seen as a leg up on Clinton, whose Benghazi foreign policy blunder has been dominating the media and haunted her campaign. Truth be told, however, this only way this will really come into play is if the investigation of the Clinton Foundation seriously incriminates her, which is unlikely to happen within the next five days.