Trump presidency?


How can I be looking on the rosy side of what would be an absolute disaster for the country? For the world?

Actually, I’m not the only person from the progressive school of thought—not the only “rational” to whom this thought has occurred. I’ve heard it expressed by other people who’ve given this some consideration.

This idea arises out of the frustration—maybe desperation is more accurate—of conscious Americans who recognize the lunacy in our political system is a symptom, not a cause of this country’s disease. Not all conscious Americans, but a few us are entertaining the idea that this might be the time
to let the serious ailment run its course.

We can’t cure the disease as long as money plays such a  critical role in shaping our values, not as long as the festering infection of racism distracts and confuses us and saps our strength. We can’t treat the illness as long as so many Americans suffer in indolent poverty and limited access to effective education. Or while so many fellow citizens are so busy gobbling up the mind candy extruded by the media that we can’t distinguish between fact and fantasy.

And we can’t put America back on the path that our founding fathers envisioned as long as a sizable portion of our citizenry confuses “the Donald” with a character in an action movie who saves the world from impending destruction right before the closing credits.

If enough of us step into the voting booth, our lizard brains engaged, and comforted by the hopeful feeling that Trump’s magic thinking will cure all that ails us, we may soon get a much-needed education about the importance of what is referred to as “critical thinking.” Perhaps that’s the only way we’ll learn first hand, why dealing with our complex problems using logic and careful analysis is preferable to mindlessly choosing simple solutions because they’re easy to understand and they…well, just “feel right.”   Some of us who wonder what issues should really concern us, and what’s the best way to address them, might realize that those “egghead intellectuals” with their more complicated and nuanced approaches, may actually have a better idea.

But as of right now, many of us listen attentively to a speaker telling us what we want to hear, and because we have absolutely no understanding of the issues, and don’t know what we don’t know, the words seem to articulate our poorly formed opinions. We digest the oratory and applaud “telling it like it is.”

Many of us may learn, under Trump leadership, that someone who tells you what you want to hear, rather than what you need to understand, should not be believed and cannot be trusted. Many of us may come to realize that the problems we face as a nation will not be solved by solutions explained in the form of slogans. It might occur to some of us that simple sounding problem solving is only appreciated by a simple minded audience.

The benefit of a Trump presidency is that many of us will discover we were fooled. And having learned that lesson, we will be careful not to get fooled next time.

If there is a next time.


  1. Hi Bill ,
    Since I grew up in a communist country I have that historical experience of having been fooled
    and I fully agree with that your article

  2. Bill –

    While I partially agree with your sentiments; namely to paraphrase Clint Eastwood ‘Go ahead, vote for “The Donald” and make my day’, or perhaps as Dr. Phil would say it, ‘Hows voting for the Donald working for ya?’, I no longer believe that it works.

    I was hoping for the same thing after Reagan. What happened instead is a 40 year, and still going, conservative era that legitimized the ‘stupid conservatives’ that Reagan represented. Reagan, the John Bircher who supported segregated housing, who rated on his fellow actors was the pleasant face that made his brand of thought acceptable.

    Reagan had many disasters in his presidency. The tanking of the Stock Market due to the junk bond era – an era that Republicans embraced as part of less government regulation. This had its echo in Bush’s nearly causing another great depression. We can add the bankruptcy of the savings and loans for the same reason. The ballooning of the debt to $300 to $400 million per year as a result of tax cuts for the wealthy and taking our total national debt from $500 billion to 3 trillion which Bush senior then expanded to 7 trillion. The arming of the Contras (a terrorist group) which turned into the arms for hostages Iran/Contra scandal. The intervention in Lebanon which effectively ended with the truck bombing of the Marine Barracks. How about proposed visit of the Bitburg cemetery where SS members who committed atrocities are buried? Only the firestorm of protest stopped that.

    I think all of the above can objectively be called disasters no matter what your political affiliation is. But did that make the supporters of Reagan adapt critical thinking skills and denounce these actions? No. They blamed the deficit and the debt on the Congress, not their hero Reagan. They blamed the collapse of the Savings and Loans on individuals but not due to their hero’s policies. Iran/Contra was due to Oliver North – not to their man Reagan. Bitburg was bad advice. And the bombings of Libya and the invasion of Granada distracted the country away from the disastrous intervention in Lebanon.

    No, I have come to the conclusion that ‘stupid conservatives’ (not just an American phenomenon; say Brexit 3 times fast or how about the Marie Le Pen in France or the right wing candidate in Austria) are never going to gain critical thinking skills on the whole.

    I believe that in a democracy, one has to focus on 50% + 1 and hope for the best. A Trump presidency will not change the dynamic of stupid conservatism unfortunately.

  3. Interesting article. Not a great choice between Hillary and The Donald. But a Trump presidency would bring to life so many horrors that I don’t believe it would be worth the risk as sort of an intellectual exercise brought to life. Potential outcomes could include a depression based on idiotic economic policies, a world war due to failure of diplomacy and foolish threats, and worst of all, extremist nominations to the Supreme Court. The latter alone would impact this country for at least a generation, with a majority of justices excreting decisions that would be terrible for women, minorities, LGBTQ, poor and middle-class people, etc. Your article did get me thinking. So with regard to the fascist blowhard Trump: I think not.

  4. The political process in the United States has descended to a frightful place! By way of one example, the Democratic Party very correctly supports the importance of one person one vote and that elections must be fairly conducted to achieve this crucial objective. However, the Democratic National Committee then undermines this process by using a combination of super delegates and backroom blackballing of Bernie Sanders and his supporters! Do we have a democracy by the people or a plutocracy in which money, power, and cronyism has more votes than the one cast by the honorable voter?

    Power to the People and not Power to the Dollar, Crony, or Lobbyist!

    If either party had a mentally stable, honest, open-minded Presidential candidate who discussed the issues fairly and supported righteous and sound policies, that candidate would, could, and should win the election – provided the electorate were so inclined to vote. (However, I recently discovered an old newspaper article about me from the year 1971 that bore the Headline: “Attorney seen as Pollyanna” and I was the attorney referred to in the article!)

  5. In the same way the right sees Obamas presidency as a failure, a trump presidency will only be a success in their eyes. Regardless of what happens….after all….we need America to be great again!…

    We’ve all suffered horribly for the last 8 years. I’m hoping we can go back to 30 million less people with health care, resurrect Osama bin Laden, bring the Dow jones back to 6000, have 200k troops on the ground in two Middle East hornets nests, pay 100% more for gas again, put unemployment back to 16%, cause major US cities to go bankrupt, raise interest rates to at least triple what they are now, furlow a majority of government workers, cripple pension plans, bring the world economies to its knees, let Wall Street run more wild and free than it already is, blame the Mexicans for it all, remove LGBT rights and marriage, etc, etc.

    I mean come on! This country has been horrible for the past 8 years. The Donald will surely bring us back to the greatness we once had. And when we get there, we can all lock ourselves in gated communities, sip single malt scotch, and chuckle while Rome burns….

  6. [on the secret to a happy, content life]

    “Do you want to know what my secret is? I don’t mind what happens.”
    – Jiddu Krishnamurti
    … We are all just passing through and doing what we can, can’t make everyone happy you are not a jar of Nutella, stop trying. Don’t avoid suffering, live through suffering, look in the eye of the monster, observe, enjoy, and make it your friend

  7. I often have thought along the same lines as you Bill: Let them have at it! Damn logical thinking and the intellect; let those lizards crawl out and see where we are. Maybe if we just show them how bad their choice was. Unfortunately, so much damage could occur if we just let the “other side” have their way that it makes my head spin: besides the loss of the Supreme Court for decades, it would mean a whole lot of ruin that we might never recover from (think NATO, lack of focus in foreign policy; the weakening of health care and social security). I am not as optimistic; I believe the our union (loose as it appears now) could totally collapse. And, yes, I do agree with Forest Rouse: the conservatives will never learn, so why give them a teaching moment? Frankly, I agree with Tony Kushner, the playwright, who believes we are on an upward trajectory, but that it is messy everywhere.

  8. Hi Bill,

    I don’t know…I still think there’s going to be a third candidate that comes forward….I just don’t see how any Republican with a conscience can continue with this game….

  9. Bill, I have to confess I was one rooting for Trump to win the Republican nomination. A cynic might say I just wanted the weakest opponent for the Democrats in the general, but I don’t play that way. See comments about Reagan above. I generally root for the Republican who would be the least harmful, just in case he wins.

    Yes, Trump is a crazy egomaniac who’s unfit to be president, but I’m reasonably confident that his supreme court nominations would be better than those of Cruz, Rubio, or even Bush. I’d much rather have one of his crazy cronies–or even his sister–than another Clarence Thomas. Ditto for his cabinet appointments. As we’ve seen, he’s not an idealogue on abortion or other conservative hot-button issues and he bears no particular allegiance to the Republican hierarchy, or Fox News. He at least recognizes the role of money in politic–mostly because he’s been part of the problem as a donor, but at least he doesn’t perpetuate the Republican lie that money doesn’t buy elections. And he was the only Republican to put W and the neocons in their place for their disastrous decisions in Iraq. Oh, and he agrees with Obama (though none of his followers will admit it) that we need to end the ridiculous tax policies that reward corporations for shipping jobs overseas.

    That said, the main reason I wanted Trump to win the nomination is to finally force the Republican party to come to terms with the real problem facing their party and the entire country. And that is the ignorance of the Republican base–the voters who don’t want to know the truth about climate change, or evolution, or “sanctity of marriage”, or Obama’s birthplace for that matter. I saw a poll that showed that two thirds of Trump voters in South Carolina believed that blacks were an inferior race.

    For years, Republican candidates and party leaders, most of whom know the truth about climate change, evolution, Obama’s birthplace, etc., nonetheless played to the ignorance of the Republican base so they could win elections. Why bother educating the voters, when you can just exploit their ignorance?

    What’s worse than a racist? A politician who knows racism is wrong but wants the votes of the racists more than he wants to change their minds. I prefer my racists wear their hoods and gowns so we know where they are. Trump does that well and that’s why he rankles the party establishment so much. He doesn’t bother playing their game with dog whistle politics. He prefers the foghorn.

    So at the risk of four years of a crazy man in the white house, I’m glad to see the Republican hierarchy have to struggle with how to deal with a candidate at the top of their ticket who exposes their own hypocrisy and cynicism. Or if I can cite my favorite mixed metaphor, “You buttered your bread, now sleep in it.”

  10. I’m pleased to see some strong ideas about the thought expressed in the blog. This will be the most interesting presidential election since the first one in which I voted. That’s when the Dems kept running a TV commercial showing a little girl in a field picking daisies. Once that scene was set, a huge white plume appeared behind her. When the votes were counted the total added up to a crushing defeat for the Republican’s man, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

  11. Bill, while your sentiment is logical, it relies on two elements that are not necessarily ubuitous: irony and self-awareness. In order for the *us* you refer to (Americans as a group?) to realize how far we’ve strayed from what you interpret as the founding fathers’ ideas for the country, we’d have to have a sense of irony, and a bit of self-awareness. Neither of those two things reside in the majority, and they certainly don’t reside in the Trump following. You want a poetic moment of epiphany. Better write a screenplay about it. Because it ain’t gonna happen. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it will. That only imperils us all.

  12. I get your point Jim, that Trump might be the lesser of other Republican evil candidates, maybe he will be less erratically right wing-nut than Cruz or Rubio might have been. But aren’t you worried about Trump’s erratic, narcissistic personality? He’s capable of doing some unreasonably stupid things just to prove he can, and the consequences could be devastating.

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