He’s awful. There’s really no way around it.
This guy needs to stick with reality TV, real estate, and the entertainment industry; because that’s what he is — an entertainer. … although I’m not entertained by him.
… I prefer someone with taste in comedy, like Charlie Chaplain, or Mel Brooks.
Regardless, let me address why he’s not a good fit:
He isn’t familiar with politics.
Is it a problem he isn’t a career politician? No. I’m all for somebody going commando, grassroots and becoming a populist representative.
But Donald Trump is not that kind of person, or candidate. He is far from grassroots (unlike the Bernie guy running for president, who seems to be decent at grassroots fundraising. I don’t think he’ll get a nomination, but he seems to be leading a grassroots campaign nonetheless).
First, he comes from a ridiculous amount of money. This isn’t all bad, because lots of politicians come from money. The difference is that those people at least have some credible political experience before entering a presidential race.
I’ve heard some people say “Ya, but he kept it, and got wealthier. Lots of people lose that wealth, so he’s obviously smart enough to keep it, and grow his money!” To which my response would be: OF COURSE he kept his money. Honestly, all you need is a solid financial planner/accountant and tax preparer to keep your money growing! Any monkey who was born into money can keep it, granted they don’t do ridiculous things with it.
Also, lest we forget, he’s had four separate bankruptcies (during ’91, ’92, ’04, and ’09). … Maybe his family money has grown, and so has his real estate, but, honestly, his corporate businesses have in fact failed before. So, he has a mixed business background. I suppose that’s what you get for having SO much money that you can afford a multitude of failed ventures.
This also touches on those hardliners who say he’s a “good business man.” (as if somehow this translates into a good politician?) … I would call him less of a good businessman, and more of an entertainer and entrepreneur (only because he can afford high risks while most can’t). I mean, this guy got paid to yell at people for being bad business people on reality TV, and the working class ate it up! His show was like a C-executive-level Jerry Springer.
Does the guy have a lot of money? Of course. But his method of growing his money started in real estate, then branched off into television, and moved into retail. Do you notice anything here? NONE OF IT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH POLICY OR POLITICS. Like, at all. Instead, his entire career is build on people paying rent, watching him yell, and selling shirts and ties. Nothing political about that. In fact, it’s all profit-driven, and nothing more. His policy rants are of the same caliber you’d get at the local bar.
Contrast that with a “career” politician:
Generally, in the United States, we have politicians who stay within politics for a lifetime (which is obviously far from ideal).
Buy why is this? Because people are too lazy to vote the politician out. Once a politician has a seat for a term or two, people just naturally vote for him (that is, those who vote, which is like 10% at the representative level). Also, a political scientist recently found that most middle- to lower-class people have basically ZERO say in policy. And why? Because super-rich people and donations rule.
… And Trump is telling me (a super-rich billionaire himself) that he is going to fix my (or anybody else’s) problems? You mean, he’s really looking out for my best interests?
…. I would like to hear more about that logic … as if he’s a disinterested billionaire. In fact, he has PLENTY of interests, like real estate, retail, and media!
Anyway, these “career” politicians stay in office, and maybe start with a local position, or a state representative seat. Then they wait for some old white dude at the federal House level to leave (or die), and then capitalize on their name-hood to become a federal representative (or get a position in Washington). Because people are lazy, and the voting numbers are low, that person will inevitably stay in office — unless they do something stupid like get caught with prostitutes and cocaine, or text nude pictures of themselves to an intern (both occur).
However, this isn’t ALL bad. A (decent) career politician that moves through the ranks is able to see the various challenges that each representative faces, and is better able to understand the demands at different levels of representation (sometimes from a city level, to a federal level).
The professionalized political system has strengths and weaknesses, but the point is that these representatives are at least conditioned to understand that when you propose policy, you have to know how to negotiate pieces of what you want, and be able to know what to concede, and when you can spend political capital. After all, you can’t get everything you want from policy — that’s the point of politics; to compromise.
I have serious doubts that a dude who refers to himself as “The Donald” has any interest in compromising.
In short, he would be a totally ineffective president.
Trump’s “plain talk”
Here’s what really appeals to working class voters. The way he “tells it like it is.”
But no. He doesn’t tell it like it is. He actually avoids any substantial facts in any capacity. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve heard him say anything that contained any factual elements.
I’ll just sample a few quotes (and I won’t even pick the obviously outrageous ones):
“Their leaders [China’s] are much smarter than our leaders, and we can’t sustain yourself with that. It’s like – take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That’s the difference between China’s leaders and our leaders.”
… I really don’t even understand the point of this. How are they “better?” Shouldn’t this outrage the voting demographic he’s targeting? He just said communist leaders are superior. … confused. Are they like physically stronger? Or are they better because they don’t allow full internet access to people? I don’t know … you tell me, Trump supporters.
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
… I really don’t even know what to say here. Build a wall. Like the Great Wall of China? That’s the most unimaginative thing I’ve ever heard, not to mention he wants to build a cheap wall. As if people couldn’t simply climb over a wall. For it to be effective you’d need guards (like the Berlin Wall: MUCH smaller than the US/Mexico border). And wouldn’t those guards cost TAX dollars!?
In fact, The Coneheads (A SATIRE) movie from the ’90s had a hilariously similar “fence” idea:
Talking about the Affordable Care Act: “You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It’s virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?… I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3.”
… I don’t even know what he’s talking about here with the tractor.
First of all, Bloomburg estimated the website cost to be $2.1 billion, all in. Second, the overall cost of the Affordable Care act is around $73 billion total (probably an underestimate). So, if anything, I’m not sure why he just didn’t bring up the overall cost of the program.
Also, did he just say he could implement an entire, nationwide website (including virtual memory, processors, contractors, contract fees, workers, additional IT support, and a multitude of other costs) for $3? From what I understand about computers, websites, coding, and all sorts of other stuff, there is absolutely no way. The one website project I interned on was estimated at $90k+ for a small research database.
As far as deductibles, my plan seems comparable to others (although I know very little about health insurance). Overall, this is a stupid statement.
… I won’t touch on the obviously stupid stuff like the immigration or McCain thing (generalizing literally THOUSANDS, if not MILLIONS, of people as drug dealers and rapists). I could also go through way more quotes from this dude, but, really, it’s tiring.
The gist of this section is that his “plain talk” strategy is nothing more than riling people up — and it’s working. His rhetoric is masking itself as “tell it like it is,” when really it’s a just a method of getting a rise out of people. It’s nothing more than taking working-class, Republican fears, exaggerating them, and hoping these people all go out to vote. I can guarantee you that’s what his campaign manager wants.
As Hitler once said: “Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” I’m not comparing Hitler to Trump, because people who use Hitler in a debate most likely lost the debate, but the quote holds some weight. If you tell a big lie over and over again, it becomes true.
For example: Trump saying he “has more of a track record than anyone in the Republican presidential field when it comes to dealing with foreign leaders and dignitaries.” If nobody disputes it, then it’s true.
Trump wants to “stick to his guns,” and make himself look like an American patriot for the working class; when really he’s a billionaire businessman! What do those two classes have in common!? NOTHING.
… Regardless, he’s trying to mobilize extremists within those two classes.
The main reason why Trump is an awful candidate:
OK, I obviously don’t like the guy as a candidate. Also, I am obviously engaged in anti-Trump activities (look at the photo I chose — it’s an example of propaganda). Also, I’ll do this, from time to time, and write an “opinion” article. It’s an opinion because, rather that just explaining what stuff is, I take a preference, or side, on a particular issue.
In this case: Trump as an entertainer, businessman, or whatever … go ahead. As a politician, never.
The American political system has a pretty big problem. The problem is polarization, where extreme elements (right vs. left) are fighting over policy. This results in a stalemate, and therefore no (or not very substantial) policy. There isn’t enough of a moderate political base to force compromise.
This guy contributes to this problem.
His inflamed rhetoric (meant to get a rise out of people) is pretty bad for polarization. Even Republicans are trying to distance themselves from this guy. The problem is, once he gets people worked up, he forces the Republicans to answer his insanity, because if they don’t, the working class voters think those candidates are “soft.” This, in turn, ensures that extremism persists within the conservative faction of American politics.
American political extremism, by the way, is what a lot of people vest faith in. As long as people are fighting, they’re not compromising; and if they’re not compromising, then things stay the same; and lots of people want things to stay the same (like corporations and wealthy people).
I don’t really think this guy has a chance of being a contender anyway.
Campaigns cost LOTS of money, like a lot (you have to hire staff, buy commercial time (make commercials), get billboards, buy plane tickets (or a plane), buses, rent venues, hire managers … lots of stuff).
Trump has personally “donated” himself $1.8 million so far (which isn’t a realistic figure at all for a campaign; hence his publicity tactic). He said he wouldn’t take donations, but so far has been given about $96,000 (WAY behind some other candidates).
… This isn’t anywhere near realistic for a presidential contender. These days, you need sponsors and hundreds of millions of dollars. I doubt he’s going to spend that much of his personal money, and I’m really hoping there aren’t enough extreme elements in America to propel this guy into being a legitimate candidate.
The reality is that presidential hopefuls need big interests (with lots of votes behind them) to actually be legitimate candidates. Honestly, only a portion of the presidential choice is up to “the people” anyway. Even if he did run, get the nomination, AND get the party nomination — I’m not 100% he would get the electoral vote, which is the only thing that matters.
Overall, this guy is a smart investor, a business man with a mixed record, and a reality-TV and retail guru. What he isn’t, however, is a saavy politician.
… Even IF he won, Washington would eat this guy alive.