AUGUSTA — Placing his self-interest above the nation’s and engaging in potential criminal activity, Donald Trump, a cultural and anti-establishment fraud, is turning Republicans into sycophants and destroying the party’s brand. Yet, despite all the drama, the president isn’t the country’s biggest problem.

He’s just the latest fake change agent leading a government whose lack of political will is transforming the richest country in the world into the most indebted and creating an existential threat to American democracy and capitalism.

As the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and the possibility of a midterm blue tsunami threaten his presidency, Trump brags about strong economic growth. He describes 4.1 percent growth in a recent quarter as a “miracle,” although the economy is struggling to reach 3 percent on a four-quarter basis, just half of what he promised during the campaign.

Trump’s short-term miracle is created by the massive stimulus of a budget-busting and discredited trickle-down economic strategy. A looming trillion dollar deficit, huge corporate tax cuts, wholesale business deregulation, and the gutting of financial, consumer and environmental protections are a boondoggle for big corporations and the wealthy coupled with an empty promise of future relief for workers, including Trump’s base, who are struggling with stagnant wages and higher prices. His economic strategy will tank even faster because he’s begun a trade war he can’t win, ignores unsustainable debt and structural unemployment and set in motion another 2008-like financial crisis.

Trump peddles a pro-business, anti-Washington, anti-global, anti-immigrant and anti-media message with the same shamelessness with which he swindled students who attended his sham university. Equal parts economic nationalist stoking racial fear and political opportunist, Trump promised to drain the Washington swamp but created an administration that is proving to be far more corrupt than the rigged political and economic system he supposedly ran against.

Beyond its empty promises and corruption, the Trump administration is remarkable because it is an idiocracy defined by the president’s ignorance of issues, limited management skills, contempt for the rule of law and willingness to make up his own facts and dismiss unfavorable press as “fake news.”

However, Trump is only marginally worse than any other modern president or Washington insider who promises change while protecting the status quo and perpetuating national decline. Massive borrowing maintains the illusion of normalcy. National debt has more than doubled to $21.5 trillion in just the past 10 years, and, with permanent trillion dollar deficits and interest rates rising, debt repayment could exceed defense spending in 10 to 15 years.

In the past 50 years, Washington has failed to solve a single problem, created big government liberalism and big government conservatism, made special interests more powerful, mismanaged the economy and fueled growing income inequality. Making Washington a bottomless cookie jar that uses debt and taxpayer money to buy their votes has created increasingly bad government with every problem becoming perpetual and every solution temporary.

So, given that Democrats and Republicans have no agenda beyond plutocracy and protecting big government, what will it take for voters to realize that they must change because Washington won’t? Since voters increasingly dismiss the two-party system as the political equivalent of professional wrestling, an effective PR campaign aimed at creating a nonpartisan National Unity Agenda and Change Coalition lobby can begin to reshape the political landscape.

Creating a nonpartisan National Unity Agenda of bold and diverse ideas is a matter of combining elements of liberalism, conservatism, populism and libertarianism, the centerpiece of which is dismantling a Washington establishment that has spent trillions of dollars on countless problems only to create bigger and costlier problems – and more of them.

Key elements of a National Unity Agenda include ending deficit spending by eliminating massive waste, returning real power to the states and creating tax fairness; breaking up the biggest banks; promoting free but fair trade; rebuilding America’s decaying infrastructure; securing the borders; implementing tough consumer, worker and environmental protection; streamlining business regulation while protecting taxpayers; and embracing meaningful health care, entitlement and campaign finance reform.

A National Unity Agenda is essential to ending a political merry-go-round in which voters keep making the same bad choices that perpetuate a big government system that can’t be made less corrupt but only smaller, more accountable, and less dangerous.