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Just about nine months ago, I wrote a thinkpost called Why "President Trump" Is NOT As Far-Fetched As You Think", which outlined the basics of why a nonsensical candidate who had no political experience of any kind could wind up being the Republican Nominee for President during this election cycle.


At the time I wrote that piece, a lot of people were saying that Donald Trump was a mere carnival side show, and that his huckster style was entertaining, but would, over time, wear thin and people would eventually come around to select a "real" candidate.

One slight problem with that concept: there was no real candidate! There were about thirteen other terrible, horrible, no good, very bad candidates and Trump. With that configuration it was just a matter of time as round by round, each of those other candidates was forced to suspend their campaigns until we have... Donald Trump.

It's easy to see why Trump won against that crowd. He had two distinct things going for him: he wasn't a part of the Republican establishment, a group that thought that guys like John McCain and Mitt Romney and George W. Bush were adequate people for the job. And he was a successful businessman, which gave some the impression he actually could get things done.

And we can't put too much emphasis on the "backlash" elements that the Conservatives in this country have for President Obama. Anything and everything the GOP has done since 2009 was in an effort to either prevent the President from accomplishing anything useful, or at the very least, make him look as bad as they could. The stagnation created could then be placed on the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and everyone would vote Republican the next time around because look at what that Democratic President did! How's that hopey-changey thing working? Just don't point out the Republican involvement in how it all went down, and maybe people will buy into the rhetoric. Thanks, Obama.

Politics is a big shell game. Admittedly, the Democrats have their problems as well. But there is never a feeling that the Democrats will simply ignore the complaints of their constituents, which has long been the sense coming from the GOP side. But that causes us to examine Trump in a different way because he isn't a typical Republican. He's not really a Republican at all - even his kids didn't re-register as Republican so they couldn't vote for Dad in the New York Primary a few weeks ago.

But here's the crucial element: So far, since Donald J. Trump has entered the race, he really hasn't said ANYTHING. I mean, what has he talked about? He wants to build a wall on the Mexican border, and he's going to make Mexico pay for it. He wants to stop all Muslims from entering the country. He's even considering deporting Muslims. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood. He would consider using nukes in the Middle East. And, before he can say much more than that, protesters interrupt his speeches, fistfights break out in the crowd, he makes some jokes about it and leaves. The candidate, so far, hasn't explained his view of the issues, hasn't shared what makes him a viable choice to be president, hasn't revealed what sorts of practical elements he could do in that role and has skimmed past all of the other information that would be useful in helping decide if a voter should cast a ballot for him.

Additionally, while, yes, the topics he has tackled in interviews and at his rallies are "things," they actually aren't things that the president can do. Those sorts of things fall beyond the Executive branch. So, of all the things Trump has talked about, so far, none of them relate to the job of President of the United States.

In fact, I don't think Donald Trump has any sense about what the job of president of this country really entails, and it shows in his responses. He has no clue about foreign policy. He has no idea about being a representative. His diplomacy is non-existent. Even when it comes to domestic economics, an area you would expect someone of his pedigree to be knowledgeable of, he seems out of his depth and without any reasonable responses.

"It's gonna be so good!" "Watch and see." "We're gonna be winning so much, you're gonna get tired of winning!" None of these comments explain how any of this is going to happen, or even hint that he has some plan to make any of it happen. The Wizard of Oz had more of a concept than the GOP Nominee.

The Man Behind The Curtain says a lot of stuff that makes people angry. When people do get angry about it, it causes distractions which makes for media/video opportunities. The candidate's name gets used over and over and the result is more recognition without any more substance. There is a lot of bluster and a lot of "I'll figure it out once I'm in the Oval Office" kind of response. Is that confidence building or wishful thinking?

The sense I get from this guy is that he may not know what he's doing, but he believes he can just pick a bunch of people who do. The Cabinet will be like the Board Room on "The Apprentice," and if one of them screws up... well, you know the two word phrase.

Why should anyone vote for Trump? I'm still waiting to hear that question answered, and even reports from people who attended his rallies in person had no clear concept of anything to do with the basics of that.

While all of his peccadilloes and colorful verbiage make for a great Reality TV show character, they also make for a horrific Commander-in-Chief. The White House is not a place for "on the job training," especially at this point in history.

Truth be told, a lot of people in the Republican Party do not like Donald Trump and there is already a movement to have Republicans vote for Hillary, just to show you how much the GOP wants to distance itself from The Donald (and, of course, to make sure Hill is a one-term president).

So, with that, I think we can finally exhale. Trump won't have to worry about building a wall, unless it's the wall of some new skyscraper. He won't have to block Muslims from entering, unless it's entering the country club attached to one of his many golf courses. And he won't have to move out of New York for Washington D.C., to a home that he can't put his name on, anyhow.

All in all, I think everyone is relieved.

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
herwonderfulday
May. 4th, 2016 02:14 pm (UTC)
How wrong was I. And how my mind has changed since then! It's amazing. I haven't even read this yet - reading it now.
herwonderfulday
May. 4th, 2016 03:05 pm (UTC)
Okay! Let's talk about it!

I have grown increasingly more excited about a Trump presidency since I went to his rally in September - I won't lie. At first it was intriguing once Scott Adams broke it down, but witnessing it? It was something else.

The candidate, so far, hasn't explained his view of the issues, hasn't shared what makes him a viable choice to be president, hasn't revealed what sorts of practical elements he could do in that role and has skimmed past all of the other information that would be useful in helping decide if a voter should cast a ballot for him.

That's not entirely true. He's explained the wall; the people voting for him is what makes him a viable choice for president; and he has explained practical ways to support what he's saying. We'll take the wall since it's a big example: he wrote an entire piece on how Mexico is going to pay for it. Are they going to write us a check for billions? No. The wall can be paid for in other ways.

Even after Scott Adams broke it down, it still doesn't seem like you're getting it. Trump is a negotiator. He makes deals with people. He can work with people. You think Ted Cruz can do that? Cruz doesn't get his way, he shuts down the government. Trump has said that in order for a deal to be successful, you have to come to the table with something to give up - something Republicans can't stand. "We're not gonna give in to anything the Democrats want!" I don't think that's gonna happen under Trump leadership - but we'll see. It's not like Republicans answer to the President.

Successful dealmaking comes with starting with the most outlandish thing and then "giving up" the things you didn't really need until you meet in the "middle". Voila. Everyone's worked together to get to the center, which is where America should be.

There's some merit to what he's saying when he says he's a businessman who has to work with politicians on both sides and foreign leaders and foreign businessmen. The business world may have it's own style of diplomacy, but it still requires working with others for tangible results.

I don't think it's realistic to expect ONE man to know everything about every subject and have a perfect answer or plan. Even if that person is running for president. This is why presidents have advisors and cabinet members, right?

I think a lot is going to hinge on his VP pick. It can't be Christie and I really hope it's not. The MSM is suggesting maybe a general to fill out his lack of foreign policy. I don't think a Trump presidency will be the awful thing the left is making it out to be.
penpusher
May. 4th, 2016 03:29 pm (UTC)
When I say he hasn't shared what makes him a viable choice to be president, I mean, he hasn't given us any substance at all. The wall is more of a distraction from the fact that he's not actually saying anything! This approach may work in business, but the country is not a corporation.

I'm not saying that the candidate for president has to have the answer for everything. I'm saying that this particular candidate hasn't given an answer to ANYTHING. Maybe he'll be more forthcoming during the debates, but I really doubt it. He wants the citizens to fill in the blanks for themselves, which is why he hasn't said anything related to his role as president. He simply has no idea what the job is, and he's hoping that if he gets elected, he can just turn it into what he wants it to be. That isn't how it works and that isn't a person I want to see in office.

As for how terrible Trump would be? Nukes in the Middle East? A pissing contest against Putin? I'm not of a "let's see what happens" mindset. The last time that took place, Dubya got in, and we all know the rest.

So you have swallowed the Kool-Aid and are a now a Trump supporter. I just don't see anything to suggest his presidency is viable.
herwonderfulday
May. 4th, 2016 03:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Just so I have something to compare it to because I guess I don't quite understand what you mean when you say he hasn't said anything related to his role as president.

What are some things some other candidates have said that relate to their role as president?
penpusher
May. 4th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
Hillary can cite her years of work as Secretary of State when talking about dealing with diplomacy, when discussing any of the hot zones for war in the world, she can speak intelligently about ways to work through situations based on her understanding of our policies and what is appropriate.

Trump's view of this is to walk in with the attitude that the US is right, here's what we're going to do, and now, we'll either do it that way, or maybe we will negotiate. You don't know because I'm playing by my own rules.

While that approach may have some appeal to the people of our country - that isn't the kind of thing I want MY president to do, and it could cause some severe issues, not just with the enemies or antagonists of the US, but also with our allies. Isolationism doesn't work. The United States learned that lesson during World War I.
herwonderfulday
May. 4th, 2016 05:20 pm (UTC)
A lot of people don't think Hillary was all that great a Secretary of State, so pointing to her record only helps those who would already vote for her. You can google "Hillary Clinton, Syria" and articles (even from Salon and Huffpo) come up explaining her failure at handling hot zones for wars.

I don't think Trump has ever said he's an isolationist. I don't think it's the worst thing for a candidate running for president to say they'll put American interests first. There's no reason to think a good deal can't benefit everyone involved.

Trump's view of this is to walk in with the attitude that the US is right, here's what we're going to do, and now, we'll either do it that way, or maybe we will negotiate. You don't know because I'm playing by my own rules.

Isn't that the point of negotiating? You go in with your list of goals. If the other party agrees, great, if not, you both negotiate down to what's important. Whose rules should he be playing by?

While that approach may have some appeal to the people of our country - that isn't the kind of thing I want MY president to do, and it could cause some severe issues, not just with the enemies or antagonists of the US, but also with our allies.

What severe issues with our allies will Trump cause?

When this all started, I was kinda getting behind Hillary. I can get behind her on women's issues. But the longer this goes on, I have to admit, I have a generally neutral/unfavorable view of her now. It could be because most of the stuff I read is pro-Trump or pro-Bernie and those camps both don't care for Hillary so I get a lot of anti-Hillary stuff in my feed. I like to think I can think critically about it. Like, I don't blame Hillary for Benghazi but the Goldman Sachs speeches thing is a little suspect.
penpusher
May. 4th, 2016 11:47 pm (UTC)
While Hillary may not have been the greatest Secretary of State, she A) learned a lot about the process while in the field and B) has made some connections with some world leaders already, giving her a leg up.

Everyone is familiar with Syria, and if you read through the reports you know that the Republicans voting not to provide more funding for more security was a part of the reason things went down the way they did.

People already see the United States as the blowhard, the "We Rule The World" country and having a guy that actually embodies that sentiment really is disturbing. Do we want to antagonize our enemies with that approach? How would even our allies see us?

The problem is I have seen nothing that gives me any sense about Trump's knowledge of what a president should know, I have heard nothing that would make me feel confident in voting for him, based on the fact that he is not being responsive to many questions he is asked - if you'll note, in interviews, when he is asked a question, he will frequently not answer it, twist it and go on to talk about something he wants to talk about. To me, that says he really doesn't have an answer for the question he has been asked. That says to me, he's not ready to be a leader.

So, you're just anti-Hillary. Or you're Pro-Bernie.

Personally, I'm not reading any candidate's feed. I do scan around some blogs, and check out all of the news channels at times. But, to me, anyone who keeps all of their concepts hidden and keeps repeating "it'll be great," tells me that they don't have a plan. I don't want someone who is unprepared to enter the Oval Office. We already seen what happened when it did.
herwonderfulday
May. 5th, 2016 04:00 am (UTC)
While Hillary may not have been the greatest Secretary of State, she A) learned a lot about the process while in the field and B) has made some connections with some world leaders already, giving her a leg up.

Is chief diplomat for the US a job where it's okay to learn "on the job"? Aren't Trump and Putin pals? Now there's a connection with a world leader that gives him a leg up already. We for sure aren't going to war with Russia now - we don't go to war with friends.

in interviews, when he is asked a question, he will frequently not answer it, twist it and go on to talk about something he wants to talk about.

That isn't unique to Trump and you know it. Everyone does that. Hillary was on Andrea Mitchell and every Bernie question she asked Hillary about, Hillary pivoted and turned into a Trump thing.

It just seems insincere that you really have no sense of Trump's knowledge of what a president should know. Like, Trump has no idea? At all? Really? Do you know what a president should know? Do I? I've got a few ideas. I'm sure you do too. Trump obviously does. Especially when it comes to trade (he and Bernie sing the same tune) and building things like infrastructure. And what he doesn't know, he can delegate out or seek council for, which is what you or I would do.

I tell you what though - this election between Hillary and Trump... I think it's going to be terrific (in the archaic sense of the word). Something we've never seen before. It's gonna be dirty. Trump has a past and Hillary has dishonest written all over her. By election day, we're gonna know/be reminded of every horrible thing the two of them have ever done.

Some talking head on MSNBC said she was just going to turn her TV off this election and I'm kinda with her. I don't want to know every bad thing these two have ever done. It's gonna be like those videos of people losing their minds at the airport. I can't watch people at their worst. It makes me so uncomfortable.
xaotica
May. 10th, 2016 11:18 pm (UTC)

I just don't know how to get behind a candidate who thinks it's reasonable to tweet about how another candidate's wife isn't hot enough. I would feel the same if a liberal candidate tweeted about a conservative candidate's husband or wife.
penpusher
May. 11th, 2016 05:03 am (UTC)
There are a lot of problems with Trump and usually they're the same problems he points out in his opponents, which proves he is a pretty decent politician.

However, there's a reason we elect people to the office of President of the United States from another elected office, or at least from public service for the country, like the military. We need to know that the person has a concept of what the job is about.

This was and continues to be a major reason why I cannot support Trump. Based on all the things he has said, he really doesn't seem to have a clue about how the presidency works or what he would actually do when he got the Oval Office. At this crucial stage in history, that means a whole lot.

But of course all his schoolyard bully remarks certainly don't mark him as a good diplomat. Imagine Trump assessing Vladimir Putin's девушка du jour. Let's Make a Cold War Again1
davesmusictank
May. 4th, 2016 06:24 pm (UTC)
Fascinating blog - still not a Trump fan but he does seem to have a certain quality.
penpusher
May. 4th, 2016 11:54 pm (UTC)
Trump is, for what it's worth, a great New York character, right up there with former mayor Ed Koch, former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and Vogue chief Anna Wintour. Certainly his personality has carried him a long way on this campaign, and he has said the right things to his audience to buoy his support.

We still have six months more of this...
halfshellvenus
May. 4th, 2016 06:39 pm (UTC)
Even with the lousy pool (I honestly thought Kasich would do better, since he was the only really sane person in the group), I did not think Trump would get this far.

In fact, he has "rage-quit" written all over his personality, aside from being a completely bozo with no useful experience.

And yes, the actual details? "We're gonna talk about that latuh."

It IS later. And there is still no substance under the bluff and tantrums. Gah. I'm hoping this just all makes it easier for Hillary to win.
penpusher
May. 4th, 2016 11:57 pm (UTC)
Kacich probably would have made it, if he had made more noise, early. He was totally lost in the crowd and certainly the higher profile candidates were taking up all the space when he needed to get his name out there... Bush, Rubio, Cruz and even Carson were all in the way. It was just a case of too little, too late.

I considered that perhaps Trump got into the race to get Hillary elected... but maybe that's too meta, even for a Reality TV star?
halfshellvenus
May. 5th, 2016 12:07 am (UTC)
Hahaha-- that's my son's favorite current conspiracy theory.

He has drifted to the right in the past year (he's 16 1/2), and we're hoping he'll drift back left in time. Because, yikes.
penpusher
May. 5th, 2016 02:52 am (UTC)
Sounds like an episode of "Family Ties!"
itsjustc
May. 7th, 2016 01:33 pm (UTC)
Fascinating read - I'm definitely not a Trump fan - too much of a feminist to be forcibly pushed back into the 1950s!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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