Friday, August 21, 2015

Why Donald Trump Won't Be President

This is part one of an examination of why Donald Trump will not be elected President.

When it comes to voters, PT Barnum's adage rings true:  you can fool some of the voters all of the time; you can fool all of the voters some of the time; but you can't fool all of the voters all of the time.

For now, Trump has some of the voters fooled.  Pretty much, he has the voters who (a) tend not to vote; (b) are angry white male bigots and misogynysts; and (c) fall for anyone who is "not a politician".  That is not an insignificant portion of the population, but it is far from an electoral majority.  It is more or less the George Wallace faction of American politics.

As we will see in a later part, however, Trump illustrates why we SHOULD have politicians who are "politicians."  Non-politicians make terrible political leaders and public servants.  Trump has never served in any elective office, and he won't serve as President.

Let's start with Part 1 of why Trump won't be elected:  he is a spoiled brat bully.  Most voters don't know Trump's personal history--YET.  At some point, at least one of his Republican opponents, or a super-PAC aligned with one, or the press, will start to get this out.

Trump is no friend of the "working man."  He was born into a very wealthy family and given everything as a result.  He never had to work his way up from nothing.  And he hasn't required HIS kids to do real work either--instead, he has continued with a family dynasty typical of the Old European feudal days, where his children--Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Baron--are given key positions in his various enterprises regardless of their qualifications.

Trump is also a thin-skinned bully.  If anyone crosses him, he either fires them or sues them.  He uses a phalanx of lawyers to intimidate his foes, and if the lawyers get out of line, he sues them too!  Except for his family members, no one who works for Trump is safe--they can be and regularly are fired for the most trivial reasons.

Someone who is thin-skinned is not going to make a good President.  The President has to get along with Congress if he or she wants to get anything done.  Trump is used to working without any checks or balances--the most he has to deal with are Boards of Directors, which in his case are mostly his own children or very loyal subordinates.

He also has to get along with other world leaders.  They don't owe him anything, and they don't need to defer to him.  Pissing off the rest of the world really isn't going to do anything to "make America great again."  It's a new world, Donald--America can't just go around invading everyone.  Indeed, our failed invasion of Iraq, while also pursuing a legitimate war in Afghanistan (both with ALLIES) showed the limits of our military power.  We have no real economic or military leverage over China, and we aren't going to go to war against Mexico, which happens to be a very important trade partner.

Trump would also need to appoint a cabinet--serious people to lead important executive agencies of the federal government.  What, is he going to appoint Ivanka to State, Donald Jr. to Defense, Eric to Treasury, Tiffany (who is in college) to Labor, and Barron (who is 9) to Education?  Is he going to continuously hire and fire cabinet members who disagree with him or cross him in any way?  He has to get along with these people too.

Bottom line:  being a thin-skinned bully does not a good President make.

Next:  why being a billionaire and not "beholden" to people making donations is a bad thing.