Sunday, February 28, 2016

What Kind of President Would Donald Trump Be?

With Trump seemingly gaining the kind of momentum he needs for the establishment to decide to embrace him, I thought it made sense to point out what kind of President Trump would be. Unfortunately, I have no idea. It's like the man suffers from multiple-personality syndrome. That is the real problem with Trump. But that won't stop me from enlightening you (or perhaps delightening you). Here are the possibilities as I see them.

(1) Amazing Conservative... Ronald Fricken Reagan II: It is possible that Trump will be the greatest American president since Ronald Reagan. This is premised on the idea that Trump has been playing a role and nothing he's said so far to his supporters is true. Further, it's premised on the idea of who is in his kitchen cabinet. If Trump essentially steps aside, enjoys the pomp and circumstance, and lets Arthur Laugher, William Bennett and Rudy Giuliani make his policy, then he could very well run the most competent, conservative administration since Reagan's second term. This administration, by the way, would be largely fiscally conservative, have a neocon foreign policy and have a reasonable-but-not fringe social policy.

(2) Hard Core Liberal: If you look at the positions Trump has held consistently, his views are that (1) the Government should spend money to help business and stimulate the economy, (2) he's pretty far left on social policy, (3) he favors concentrations of power in government, foreign organizations (like the EU), and business, (4) he knows the value of having illegal aliens to do the work Americans won't, and (5) he likes to be popular, so he's poll driven. That makes him pretty close to Bernie Sanders in outlook except he doesn't like the minimum wage.

(3) Crony Capitalist: Trump's core beliefs are crony capitalist. He believes in Big Government helping Big Business. He's comfortable with Big Unions. He thinks government is about settling scores and he thinks nothing of bending the laws to help those who find ways to use the power of government against their enemies.

So which is he?

Well, he's selling the idea that he's the first. His supporters seem to be relying on this in fact. At the same time, his long-term views are the second. But his personality suggests the third. That leaves me with the suspicion that Trump will be this:

(4) Obama II: Most likely, Trump will be this. He will essentially adopt Obama's policies of indifference while kicking back and enjoying the perks of power. His policies will be a random foreign policy, generally liberal social policies (doing nothing difficult), and neutral economic policy with the real purpose of his policies being to grant favors to donors and friends. He will view the government as a means to a four-year taxpayer paid vacation and as having the cat-bird seat to plunder the Treasury to enrich himself and his friends.

Thoughts?

41 comments:

ArgentGale said...

Pretty sad that we have to contemplate this possibility and that things went wrong enough to get us here. I'm guessing 3 or 4 is most likely from what you described...assuming his increasingly brazen offensiveness doesn't lead to Hillary completely blowing him out and getting substantial - if not super - Democratic majorities to go with her. In any case, what a waste, huh?

- Daniel

Kit said...

I sadly think you are right.

Remember, Obama employed a few smart folks at the beginning of his term (Robert Gates, ok, only one).

My real fear is what he'll do with the IRS, the FBI, the SEC, etcetera.

AllenaSelina said...

I agree, Andrew, that Trump will be more like Obama than most people suspect.
Trump is very thin skinned, like Obama, and he has a Yuge Ego (the Ego has landed), likes big govt. like Obama, wants to spend more taxpayer money, like Obama, likes to help big businesses and friends with govt. power, like Obama, and has no respect for the Constitution, like Obama.
Even his slogan: "make America great again" is like Obama's vague, but feel good "Hope and Change" garbage.
Of course, he avoids specific plans as much if not more than Obama did.

The only real difference is, I don't think Trump is as smart as Obama. And I don't think Obama is smart.
But like Obama, he does know how to rile up the fringe and use emotions and feel good talk to influence his worshippers.
His followers, like Obama's, are immune to the truth.

All this makes him a very dangerous man, just like Obama, but I suspect worse.


Anthony said...

Judging by his rhetoric Trump is a European style populist/racist so he would probably fall into category 3. That rather than Reagan II (does anyone think for a minute Donald Trump supports free trade?) seems to be what his followers are hoping for.

Its not clear how many of his impulses a Republican Congress would go along with but I'm sure they'd go along with a lot of it. They wouldn't want to face a populist primary challenge when up for reelection.

Very, very, very few people really care about procedure (read: the Constitution) so long as the right ox get gored. It would be interesting to see who his SC pick(s?) would be.

Patriot said...

I think he will be a mix of all three. Some good cabinet and advisor picks....revenge politics at their best......no attention to the Constitution.....cronyism out the wazoo.

tryanmax said...

I could be a lot more satisfied with the sequel predictions if they had secondary titles, like Reagan II: Trickle-Down Boogaloo. Although, unfortunately, I think you're right that it's most likely to be Obama II: The Reckoning

Kit said...

The other problem is that by nominating an anti-free trade, pro-planned parenthood, pro-entitlement, pro-corporate welfare liberal, the GOP can in no way call itself the conservative party.

And I'll be out.

Kit said...

On the conservative "kitchen cabinet": Nixon pulled the same con in 1968. He surrounded himself w/ a slew of conservatives and earned National Review's endorsement in 1968, something he failed to accomplish in 1960. When he became president he even appointed a few to his cabinet.

By 1972, he had shifted back to big government leftism and the National Review refused to issue an endorsement for anyone in 1972.

Kit said...

By the way, this is why I still recommend the book, A History of the Conservative Intellectual Movement. Available on Amazon.com at $17.99 for paperback and $9.99 for kindle. It's free if you have Kindle

LINK

Now, that my morning plug for a great book is done, I'm going to class.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, As odd as it may sound, I still see Trump crushing Hillary. How this affects the under-ticket, I have no idea. I suspect low turnout, so it may all come down to enthusiasm for the candidates themselves, which would hurt the Democrats.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That is true. Obama brought in a lot of experts who made various people happy, but then slowly wore them out and replaced them with idiots.

Keep this in mind too... Trump has a history of hiring good people, arguing with them when he doesn't like the answers, and firing them. He's burned through a lot of very good people to go his own way. So it's hard to trust scenario one even if those three guys tell us that his plan is to trust them.

AndrewPrice said...

Allena, "The Ego has landed." LOL! Nice! :)

What bothers me about his slogan is the assumption that America isn't already great. This is an amazing nation and it's doing amazing things. The economy is soft, but all the rest is scaremongering. And I know that all politicians do that because they want you to be afraid so you vote for them, but honestly, the best politicians we've had all reminded Americans that they were great and could do anything.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Free trade is dead on the right. That part of Reagan won't come back for some time. I think you describe Trump well.

I agree about the disrespect for "procedure."

In terms of the Republicans, I don't know what Trump will actually propose, but my guess is that they will go along with whatever he proposed if it's something they would have proposed themselves. Otherwise, I don't think they'll give him anything.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, That's most likely what we'll get. It will be interesting to watch.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, LOL! Next time I'll put more work into the titles! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Nixon and Trump have a lot of similarities.

AllenaSelina said...

"but all the rest is scaremongering. And I know that all politicians do that because they want you to be afraid so you vote for them, but honestly, the best politicians we've had all reminded Americans that they were great and could do anything."

Precisely! That's what Reagan did, and I saw a remarkable difference in morale when he was the CINC. Virtually everyone in the Navy I served with or knew loved Reagan for that, and also loved him for raising our pay.
During the Carter years, morale was the lowest I had ever seen.

Fear may be effective getting politicians elected, most the time, but it divides Americans and feeds off fear and hate.
Right now, Trump, Clinton and Sanders are the worst candidates in that regard, because that's all they talk about. They have no unifying vision. Everything is Apocalypse Now! And only they can fix it. That's a middle finger to our intelligence and to the people that make America great everyday.

I know there are idiot voters too, and voters that only vote with emotions rather than reason, but I believe there is a real hunger in most Americans for unabashed patriotism and American exceptionalism in our leaders.
Men and women of vision that believe Liberty is what makes us great, not politicians, not fear, and not hate, and certainly not socialism.

AllenaSelina said...

Or to put it more succinctly, most Americans like to be inspired, not controlled by fear. And most Americans are rebels at heart and don't like being talked down to, or told that their efforts don't make America any greater than any other country.

Allena-C said...

Ok, I finally figured out how to get my middle name off my profile, lol.

Anonymous said...

More than Trump, Cruz is more Nixonian. Hard working hard charging ambitious disliked guy who has always wanted to be President.

BevfromNYC said...

How many of the primary voters do you think are really Democrats who cross party lines to cast a spoiler vote for Trump? Actually Democratic voter turnout has been historically low so far.

Kit said...

"How many of the primary voters do you think are really Democrats who cross party lines to cast a spoiler vote for Trump? Actually Democratic voter turnout has been historically low so far."

Would not surprise me.

Allena-C said...

The democrats want Trump to b the GOP candidate. They sure don't have to look far to dig up dirt on him. Hell, they can simply use his own words against him.

Kit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kit said...

Oh, this article from The Federalist about how Rubio is the classic 1980s movie underdog.
LINK

These three paragraphs sum up his points nicely:

———————————————
You know what also reached its height in the 1980s? Professional wrestling. I didn’t watch it because you don’t get to be an effete, intellectual elitist by watching WWE. (I was too busy with the math team.) But I had friends who watched it, so I know that Vince McMahon had perfected the fake theatrics in which you build up the Heel, the contemptuous blowhard the audience loves to hate — basically, the Trump role. But Trump knows WWE, and he should have seen the problem. In the end, the only reason you build up the Heel is so the crowd can cheer when the hero takes him down.

Up to now, Rubio has campaigned on sincerity, uplift, and mastery of policy details. If he had started out slinging sharp one-line put-downs like this, he would have risked looking petty and classless. And he really would have had to worry about taking it too far.

But by the time we’ve all watched Trump insult everybody for six months, we are so ready to see someone give Trump a taste of his own medicine that Rubio can now get away with just about anything, as long as it’s funny and really zings. We’re at the point in the story where we really want to see George McFly lay out Biff Tannen.
———————————————

If this works well enough (and there is no guarantee it will) then Rubio should totally shout “Yo, Adrian!” Tuesday night.

Kit said...

Apparently, the link doesn't work, so here:

http://thefederalist.com/2016/02/29/marco-rubio-and-the-1980s-underdog-movie-theory-of-the-gop-primary/

Koshcat said...

When you described Trump, I thought of Nixon as well although he was before my time. All three, Nixon, Trump, and Obama, are narcissistic assholes except Nixon was also paranoid. I also worry that if he is elected president, Trump's term will end similarly to Nixon's.

One thing Trump does across as is a do'er. If he said he would close Gitmo, you get the feeling it would be closed the day after the inauguration. Now, the prisoners would either be shot or shipped to Mexican prison for tons of cash (who knows) but the damn thing would be closed. People are tired of the K-street mental masturbation that occurs in Washington. The problem is they also don't understand what would happen without it. See: Porkulous and Obamacare.

Anthony said...

OT,

Oscar viewership cratered. Sharpton is claiming credit. I strongly doubt it but confess I have been unable to come up with a plausible explanation. Part of my lack of insight may be due to the fact I've never watched the ceremony.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/oscar-ratings-surprisingly-sink-to-lowest-level-since-08-sharpton-calls-numbers-heartening/

The Chris Rock hosted event seemed to have everything going for it: Tons of controversy (#OscarsTooWhite), an unpredictable host (Chris Rock, who has tremendous) big name nominations (DiCaprio, Damon), box-office hits (The Revenant, The Martian), and even the Vice President with Lady Gaga. Add it all up and you somehow have your lowest-rated Oscars in eight years, with Nielsen reporting the program clocking in with 23.4/36 in metered market results.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I suspect the answer, contrary to what Sharpton thinks, is that people stayed away because they weren't interested in watching a bunch of rich, white smug liberals tell us how racist the world is and then put on the white guilt routine.

Anthony said...

That makes perfect sense.

Koshcat said...

I didn't watch it either due to Andrew's reasoning but I did watch Chris Rock's monologue. It was very good. He sounded more like a true conservative than Trump or Santorum ever has.

ArgentGale said...

I'm still not sure, Andrew. Thinking back to the 2012 postmortems here, among other things and a few observations of my own, it seems like a Trump nomination will lead to a motivated left (even if it his Hillary, the objective will be simply to stop Trump), a demoralized right outside the fringe elements, and a middle getting frightened into Hillary's camp due to Trump's offensiveness and the fact that even Hillary can make herself look sane by comparison and this isn't even getting into the effects of the down-ticket races. I could be wrong but I'm not optimistic about the election or the future of the party if Trump gets nominated.

- Danie;

BevfromNYC said...

RE: Oscar viewership - I don't know anyone who actually watched the Oscars including myself for exactly the same reasoning that Andrew states - I am tired of rich, pampered smug Hollywood types pontificate as if what they do is a combination of brain surgery, curing cancer, and solving poverty/hunger for all times.

Seriously, the actors are giving millions of dollars to be treated like royalty and the sum total of their collective skills include learning all their lines not bumping into the furniture.

AndrewPrice said...

Allena, You're right about Reagan. I really wish the GOP as a whole would realize that being positive is a great strategy. Yes, it doesn't win over the people who want the world to change, but it does win over the public at large. It would be very good for our side to learn to see America as great again!

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I think a Trump administration would be dogged by scandals.

I get the frustration people have, but unfortunately, Trump is not the answer. Trump has just learned to speak their language, but he's not going to do the things they want.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, Chris Rock has at times been very conservative and very insightful. It's too bad he can't connect the dots and be a conservative.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, I honestly don't know. I suspect that if Trump is nominated, he will win in a landslide as the "why the heck not" candidate. But the scenario you paint is just as possible sadly.

As to 2012, keep in mind that Obama lost 9 million votes. It's just that the GOP lost even more.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, And from what I've seen of late, many of them don't even learn their lines. They get fed them.

Seriously though, you knew that the whole thing was going to be "look how racist America is" and these rich, smug liberals who are the ones who did the racism in question (assuming it is racism) will point the finger at us and tell us how bad WE are. Who wants to watch that?

ScottDS said...

I don't pay as much attention to the Oscars as I used to, and I mainly care about the tech stuff anyway...

...BUT I am so happy that Ex Machina won for Best Visual Effects. It's such a small movie (the cheapest FX Oscar winner since Alien) and the work is absolutely seamless.

BevfromNYC said...

Scott - the Oscars should be about peer to peer acknowledgment and rewarding the best work no matter what. Of course that's utopian, but it really used to be that way for the most part. Now all these awards show are just about what people are wearing and what political issue one can hammer with in the time allotted whether in red carpet interviews or stage presentations.

EPorvaznik said...

>>Yes, it doesn't win over the people who want the world to change, but it does win over the public at large. It would be very good for our side to learn to see America as great again!>>

Hmmm, like Rubio's been doing as he gains in the polls, at least as far as those can be trusted while Trump inexplicably keeps on truckin'.

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