Oh, I know. Who am I to venture any sort prophecy about the result of the upcoming general election this November. More to the point, why would I even think anyone else would care what I thought one way or the other. Well, it’s my blog. I’ve also seen a lot of these elections come and go in the last 65 years. So I suppose I qualify an opinion on the subject simply because I’m an aging Baby Boomer helping to bankrupt Social Security and presumably leaving future generations to flounder in some apocalyptic social debt. (P.S. – I’ve heard that political theme all my life.)
For my purposes here let’s forget all about the personal attacks, bankruptcies, business failings, making-fun-of-the-handicap impressions.. yada, yada, ad nauseum. Let’s also forget for a moment all the alleged good things, like being a big negotiator, business acumen, straight-talking, shoot-from-the-hip man of action to change the world.
My list of reasons he won’t win…
- He wants to run the show, versus wanting the lead the show. No solutions, just promises that he, and only he, knows how to make the country great again. In either case, a president only can generally go so far as Congress (and the Court) will let him or her go. If he’s thinking he will just “presidential decree” everything Congress will not address then this country is likely going to have to put up with years (and expense) of court challenges. Besides… proclaiming yourself the messiah is kind of like wanting to be a dictator, and benevolent or not, dictatorships don’t usually work well, even if you could get past the Constitution and the millions of trigger-happy gun owners thinking that their firearm is all that stands between freedom and a renegade government-run-amok.
- He has no political acumen for building lasting relationships. He’s been the one in charge in his own world for the bulk of his life so he’s not likely going to be happy “surrendering” to the slow and many times monotonous and cumbersome process of democracy in action. Hating politicians is nice populist rhetoric but in the end it takes politicians to run things.. and we can only hope we can select the good ones. Making deals in business is all about money, return on investments, and trying to position one’s self to make a profit for the owners (which are generally investors or companies who invest our insurance payments and 401K’s) . This is the nature of capitalism and is good for the country. In government many times it’s people’s lives in the balance, security of the nation, and sticking to a budget in order to preserve a financial status quo. Government is a non-profit corporation by design. Trump is a for profit.
- He has no presidential image. Should this even matter? I suppose each American has their own idea of how they want their president to be perceived both domestically and internationally. But everything about Trump is about intimidation. His looks, his attitude, his general demeanor. This has been his success style in business and in the entertainment world in building up his marketing brand. I’m sure he’s the best dad and husband in the world to his family, and I am sure he is vastly different at home than in public, and I am sure at home he’s Mr. Wonderful. But he’s gone to great lengths in his public career to build himself up as a force to recon with, and a business power broker. This matters to me when trying to establish our nation as an international leader. . having said that, just because you might look and act presidential doesn’t mean you can follow through… and the inverse could also be true. But in Trump’s case, not for me.
- He’s proven his inability to extract popular compromise by the fact that he’s alienated his own party. He’s not been able to forge the necessary republican relationships to create a party able to meet the Democratic Party head-on. The immediate result? A totally embarrassing Republican National Convention that relished presenting our nation as “in bad shape” domestically and internationally. Sorry… I won’t buy into that image. Hell, the Democrats sounded more Republican! To me Trump had his first test at diplomacy in failing to unite the republicans, and he’s failed. Here’s another side to this coin. For the most part, no president can do a damn thing in office without Congress. If Trump wins he will need a republican Congress. Without a cohesive party platform and grass roots organization (and money) it’s going to be a lot more difficult getting a republican majority in either house.
- In the end he will likely do nothing but scare the status quo. I know, you are thinking that the status quo needs some scaring. Well, most folks are not even sure what status quo means. The presumption is that it means rich people in control or our lives or people with power to pursue their self-absorbed agendas. Actually it’s the Latin for “existing state of affairs”. The idea of preserving the status quo is good if the “existing state of affairs” favors you at the moment. Changing the status quo is appropriate if the “existing state of affairs” is crapping all over you in some way. The trick is trying to determine what part of the status quo is good versus not good then apply change as determined by the people. Humans don’t generally enjoy change; we find a measure of daily security in the routine of a status quo. A fellow like Trump loudly proclaiming that he has the answer to all the country’s ills (and will let us know after he’s elected how he will do that exactly) will likely scare a lot of folks of voting age. Going to work Monday morning after the election might mean a whole new country in the eyes of some people. Trump is scaring a lot of folks.. and not just those unfair lobbyists and political power brokers that are allegedly getting rich over your economic suffering realizing their cushy jobs are in jeopardy. He’s scaring the Ma & Pa Kettles, John & Jane Does, and other average folks.
The silent majority dominates the polling place. It seems the average Trump supporter tends to be vocal about it. Even around the water cooler. Trump advocates are louder, more passionate than those who have followed other candidates. Bernie Sanders supporters are a close second. Radical political views have generally encouraged more outspoken supporters. This is neither bad nor good, just a recognized part of the process. As I am writing this CNN has reported that a few more million people tuned in to watch Trump’s acceptance speech at the RNC than watched Hillary’s speech at the DNC. The suggested presumption is that “Trump won over Hillary” on some measure of TV ratings and somehow that equates to advancing in the popularity process. I’m rather thinking this way… whenever Trump opens his mouth it’s entertainment. You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to want to watch him speak. He’s controversial in his remarks, totally unpredictable and spontaneous, and doesn’t clear his remarks with political strategists. Then as people begin to digest his current diatribe, humor transcends into fear. “Jeez… I wonder if this guy will actually win.” Less viewers watched Hillary’s speech likely because of two reasons… A) they already know her position, and B) they’ve already made their decision to vote for her.
I suppose I could add another one or two more reasons for Trump not to be elected to my list here but likely this will be enough to assure his loss in November. But having said all this, I do actually appreciate and recognize the historical context and far reaching effect to future elections (presidential or otherwise) that his candidacy has provided the nation. In what way? Glad you asked! Here’s another list…
- He’s proven wrong to the world that myth that anyone with enough money can buy the presidency (assuming he doesn’t win). That has been an underlying populist tone during election years my whole life. From the Roosevelt’s, to the Kennedy’s, and lately to the Bush’s, people are always complaining about the rich families having the power and influence in Washington to push their own kind into office. Influence, yep.. of course. Is it because of their personal wealth or is it from respect gained from actual achievement?
- Trump has shown that billionaire or not, any American with a message that rings true to a large segment of the population, will get the attention if they have command of the media… and skill to utilize the instant media. It also illustrates that someone outside of the traditional political spectrum can reset the rules of electioneering. The decades old elitist, stuffed shirt politician conducting their campaigning to the public according to traditional rules and formalities can be side-stepped by someone willing to approach outside the box. In Trump’s case, his TV branding and personal persona, added to his no-nonsense verbal, seemingly reckless, public admonitions can appeal to many who find political correctness has gotten in the way of getting things done. To me this is a refreshing and politically stimulating change in the election process, in spite of the candidate himself being a bit too much maverick for me to trust in the White House.
- This election is also a social heads up to future elections of any sort. We voters are a finicky bunch as our vote largely depends on how life in America is going for us personally. If I am unemployed, or watching night after night of doom & gloom being reported on the news, terrorism the world over, and seemingly chaos becoming a rule rather than exception… of course we are likely to give license to someone proclaiming that he can make a better place to live for me and my family without telling me how he will specifically do it. “Look.. just get me there; I don’t care how you do it!” That’s scary. Once we surrender that part of our common sense to a Pied Piper that promises us things they cannot possibly deliver… well, watch your freedoms carefully.
Now you may agree, or very likely you will disagree with all or part of my post here. But it’s food for thought. We all have one vote (well, unless you live in Chicago). Use it wisely.. but USE it.
[In the unlikely event Trump does win… well… just when you thought you’ve lived to see and witness it all!]