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Friday
Jul082016

Imagining in POTUS-land

The presidential race (assuming that nothing weird happens and both presumptive nominees become actual nominees) has been referred to lately as a “dumpster fire.” As a simile it doesn’t make a lot of sense but it got me thinking. So, my little head-game for the day: to imagine what a Clinton or Trump presidency might look like.

Hillary first:

a. A continuation of Obama’s foreign policy. Now that’s sort of okay. He got put in a very bad place in the Middle East by the disaster that was Bush/Cheney and he’s tried to extricate us from it. She’d likely follow the same course which means more money, more fighting, battling terrorists and difficult liaisons with friends and foes alike. I’m not crazy about this but don’t see any obvious options.

b. An expansion of social issues including increasing support for minorities, the LGBT community, women, children, the elderly and the disadvantaged. Efforts to improve the ACA and a renewed interest in boosting the reach of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

c. A shift in the tax code to make it more progressive and a gradual increase in the minimum wage. I suspect we’d see a dangling of the possibility of taxing all Wall Street trades as a way of generating revenue. I know folks think she’s in the bankers’ pockets. I don’t. I suspect there’s a Keynesian lurking inside her. And I think Sanders’ success taught her some important things.

d. Support for science, research and development, a focus on the environment and climate change and offers to work cooperatively with businesses and corporate interests.

e. Efforts to deal with student debt and a gradual move to convince states to provide more funds for public colleges and universities.

f. Liberal appointees to Federal benches including more women and minorities.

g. Ambiguity on TPP. Frankly, I have no idea where she will end up on this issue. Trade is a complex issue and every move we make has wide-spread implications. Globalization is real. Care and tact are called for.

In short, I expect her to be very much like Obama, pragmatic and thoughtful, moderate on matters of the economy and liberal on social issues, temperate in foreign affairs and expansive on issues of culture, science and education. I also hear coherent and balanced language in speeches, pronouncements and dealings with the media.

Now some in the GOP may see this as a disaster approximating a dumpster fire but not me. Is she “likeable?” I don’t know. I don’t care. Bush was likeable.

Now Trump:

Sigh… I’m thinking… I am. I can’t come up with anything coherent. I don’t know where he stands on any of this. Virtually every position he’s ever taken he’s reversed. Almost every program he’s ever supported he’s rejected. The few constants are bizarre like that idiotic wall, an immigration policy that is unconstitutional and an anti-trade stance that is astonishingly naive.

What would he actually do (or try to do) on the economy? taxes? Social Security? education? the Middle East? the environment? the military? judicial appointments? health care? minority rights? abortion? anything? anyfuckingthing at all?

I have no idea. He has no ideas, just slogans and posturing.

But imagining this thin-skinned, puffed-up narcissist who cannot find his way out of a sentence without committing some linguistic, social or cognitive gaff giving major addresses, handling the varied opinions of advisors, dealing with criticism, holding press conferences, working with world leaders, making decisions that must fall within the rule of law and not the fantasies that bounce about in his head actually sitting in the Oval Office produces (at least in my head) a crazy mix of worry, fear and trembling.

Seriously folks, play the game, try to imagine what it would be like to have as POTUS someone who revokes the press credentials of a respected newspaper because they published articles that criticized him, insults reporters who ask him embarrassing questions, who uses racial slurs against a Federal judge because he didn’t like a ruling, who calls for violence against protesters, says he’d murder civilians to defeat ISIS, advocates religious discrimination, accepts endorsements from racists, approves of torture and would ignore the Geneva Conventions, admires dictators, claims he’ll tear up approved international treaties and who wants Korea and Japan to have nuclear weapons.

Just try. Form this image. Let it sit there for a time, festering.

Yet close to half of the electorate seems poised to check the box next to his name. Defenders say he won’t really do what he says he will, that he won’t really act that way, that it’s only for the election, to fire up his base.

Why would they believe that? What do they think he will do?

What if they’re wrong?

Reader Comments (2)

You look lonely, Arthur, so I shall be the first to comment. RE : hrc analysis was not bad so you get a C+ (sorry, no grade creep here). RE: Your Mr. Trump section was quite lacking pertaining to your crystal ball so I have decided an F + is appropriate. I am sure you do not agree, so I will consent to reassessing your F+ in twelve months which I believe is sufficient time for me to reconsider.

July 9, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjerry

You look lonely, Arthur, so I shall be the first to comment. RE : hrc analysis was not bad so you get a C+ (sorry, no grade creep here). RE: Your Mr. Trump section was quite lacking pertaining to your crystal ball so I have decided an F + is appropriate. I am sure you do not agree, so I will consent to reassessing your F+ in twelve months which I believe is sufficient time for me to reconsider.

July 9, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjerry

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