What would a Trump presidency mean?
It’s official. Donald Trump, as of July 19, 2016, is the Republication nominee for President of the United States. How could this combo of successful businessman, womaniser, and charismatic reality show TV star edge so close to the highest office in the United States?
This same man built his 2012 presidential run by challenging Obama’s citizenship, claiming he was really a Muslim born in Kenya, he’s synonymous with the Trump University scandal, his “generous contributions” to charity, when fact checked (by the Washington Post) prove false, and he will not release his tax returns.
Trump 2016 has not swallowed magic beans. He promises similar nonsense, to build a wall on the Mexican border, bring back water boarding, and ban Muslims, all the while lacking a coherent plan regarding economy, tax policy, international relations, constitutional law, or any of the prerequisites necessary to lead a nation.
How bad is Trump?
If the GOP somehow reincarnated and ran Abraham Lincoln, the liberal media might still brand him a racist unfit for the presidency, so the fact they are anti-Republican is no surprise. But Trump is a gift that keeps on giving. He polarises everyone, including the last 2008 and 2012 Republican candidates for president, Mitt Romney and John McCain. Consider the National Review, founded by conservative icon William F Buckley Jr, and their “Conservatives Against Trump” narrative. Jonah Goldberg writes,
“I’m losing the will to rebut Donald Trump’s ‘arguments’ because he really doesn’t make any.”
Spot on analysis continues from Jason Riley at the Wall Street Journal:
“The problem is Donald Trump. Some political incorrectness is refreshing after seven years of Mr Obama, but Mr Trump’s attempts to stretch the definition aren’t working.”
True. We cherish free speech and don’t want the government deciding what is or isn’t offensive, but this does not mean we embrace the bigotry of Trump’s demagoguery (or that of the Westboro Baptist Church).
Add the Washington Post’s George Will:
“If Trump is nominated, the GOP must keep him out of the White House.”
And Jennifer Rubin, who aptly describes Trump’s lacunae:
“The virtual absence of anything resembling an economic agenda suggests Trump has no clue what he will do.”
Then enter David Brooks of the New York Times:
“Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out.”
Can more profound analysis exist? How can we question his substantive policies when he has none?
So how has Trump garnered support?
This mystery is of Area 51 magnitude.
The United States has always dealt with racial tension, international conflicts, and economic nadirs, but we’ve never had a bozo like Trump.
The unpopularity of Clinton does not explain it. The rise and push back against the regressive left aka Social Justice Warriors cannot explain Trump. Unemployment cannot explain Trump. The real threat of terror cannot explain Trump. If fomenting prejudice against Muslims explains Trump’s popularity, then shame. The United States needs to work with our Muslim allies, overseas and domestically, to help solve the legitimate threat of groups like al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Daesh. There has never been a candidate less qualified to navigate this than Trump. Nevertheless, at least a third of the United States will vote for Trump in 2016.
What would a Trump presidency mean?
Aside from trying to appoint his sycophants into positions of power, we have no idea. Yes, the US would survive because the legislature and judiciary would check his executive incompetence. But this is no consolation. At least we have reason to be optimistic. Trump, unlike in the primary, has never been a frontrunner for president. He has little chance of converting anyone or gaining momentum despite his opponent, the divisive Hillary Clinton.
So how do we lessen further Trump’s chances?
Avoid this year’s Ralph Nader (who helped Bush defeat Gore), the anti-Vaxxer Jill Stein. The best shot remains Clinton, but if you cannot stomach Hillary, consider the fiscally conservative but socially liberal Gary Johnson, who had two successful terms as Republican governor of New Mexico. Be comforted that Johnson, unlike Stein, pulls from the Republican base, and though Johnson may not have a chance of winning, he could hand key states like Utah to Clinton.
All is not lost. Trump remains a long shot. And, as humorist Dave Barry says,
“I believe that a Trump presidency would probably be funnier, assuming you don’t care what happens to the nation.”
But, to those that care, let’s forgo entertainment and send Trump back to the tabloid celebrity status that befits him.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.