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Old 07-06-2019, 11:42 AM
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Trump vs Regular Joe


Inspired by Bone’s thread. Imagine if you could choose the next US President, but your only choices were:

1). Donald Trump.
2). An eligible US citizen picked entirely at random.

Which would you go for? To make it easier, you’re allowed to assume that the random citizen isn’t mentally ill, or really old, or suffering from any debilitating disease which would make it hard to serve the full term. Apart from that, you can’t make any assumptions. The random could be a college professor, or he could be a Klansman.

So which do you pick?
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:52 AM
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There was meant to be a poll attached to this thread but the server farted and the thread posted before I could set it up.

FTR: I’d go with Trump, purely because I just think better the devil you know. Another Trump term would be terrible, but the random citizen could be so much worse that I can’t justify the risk.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:18 PM
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Honestly? The average Joe has an excellent shot with me.

The President is much more than one person; he has people to advise, assist, and facilitate his leadership. If average Joe beat Trump, there’d be a lot of capable people raising their hands to help him/her.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
Honestly? The average Joe has an excellent shot with me.

The President is much more than one person; he has people to advise, assist, and facilitate his leadership. If average Joe beat Trump, there’d be a lot of capable people raising their hands to help him/her.
Also. the average Joe would not be so massively ignorant nor as egotistically certain of his own omnipotence.
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
Inspired by Bone’s thread. Imagine if you could choose the next US President, but your only choices were:

1). Donald Trump.
2). An eligible US citizen picked entirely at random.

Which would you go for? To make it easier, you’re allowed to assume that the random citizen isn’t mentally ill, or really old, or suffering from any debilitating disease which would make it hard to serve the full term. Apart from that, you can’t make any assumptions. The random could be a college professor, or he could be a Klansman.

So which do you pick?
Definitely an eligible US citizen picked at random.

I'd pick a randomly selected convicted felon with a psychiatric track record over Donald Trump, too.

I'd pick a randomly selected convicted felon Republican politician who has a high approval rate from Republican registered voters over Donald Trump, even.

Any elaboration needed?
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:45 PM
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Tough choice, but I'd go with Trump. The average Joe American has some pretty shockingly naive or ignorant views. I've heard average Joes say that America ought to save money by abolishing its military and keeping only a few hundred nukes and use those nukes when a conflict arises. I've heard average Joes say that the population of the U.S. is 1 billion people. There are average Joes who think that school teachers and NFL players ought to be paid the same amount. Go read the average comment section of a CNN or Fox News story on Facebook. Sift through those hundreds of comments and ask if you would be confident in the fate of the United States being decided by one of those commenters selected at random.

At least, at this point, Trump has 2.5 years of experience as a president, has knowledge of world affairs, and so forth.
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:53 PM
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Bear in mind also that there's a roughly 1 in 3 chance that the average American you pick from the lottery draw will be a Trump supporter, and if you think Trump is too divergent from your views for your taste, you haven't seen what many of his supporters are like.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:42 PM
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Tough choice, but I'd go with Trump. The average Joe American has some pretty shockingly naive or ignorant views.
Trump has some pretty shockingly naive or ignorant views.
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:57 PM
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Trump has some pretty shockingly naive or ignorant views.
Also, we should remember that the average person usually has only some faults. Trump has an extensive list of them, which makes him unusually unfit:
  • Purely self-serving
  • Thoroughly dishonest
  • Thieving
  • Spoiled
  • Unteachable
  • Ignorant
  • Mentally lazy
  • Physically lazy
  • Incapable of empathy
  • Loud-mouthed
  • Racist
  • Ethno-nationalist
  • Sexist
  • Lacking in taste
  • Verbally repetitive
  • Insecure
  • Narcissist
  • Unimaginative
  • Incompetent
The average person rarely achieves all of these.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:13 PM
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. . . There are average Joes who think that school teachers and NFL players ought to be paid the same amount. . . .
You're right. Teachers should make more.

Last edited by jaycat; 07-06-2019 at 08:13 PM.
  #11  
Old 07-06-2019, 08:15 PM
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By definition the average Joe (and include Josie in all that follows) is average. Average would be several heads and shoulders above Trump.

The average Joe is usually pretty honest and well intended. They return wallets with money in them, for example. They are not the sort of people who would grab someone else's private parts without permission, let alone brag about it.

The average Joe would have good odds of NOT being a Far Rightist as more Americans are D and D leaning than R and R leaning, not even counting that of Rs and R leaning adults not all are as far into crazy batshit range even when they lean rightward.

The average Joe would be less into the partisan game as into seeing that some actual work gets done.

The average Joe put into that circumstance would know they are an average Joe, more or less, and would build a team of centrist expert advisors and actually fairly commonly take their advice.

No contest - average Joe.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:13 PM
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AVERAGE JOE!
Way to Go!


I actually said this to a friend during the 2016 election.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DSeid
The average Joe put into that circumstance would know they are an average Joe, more or less, and would build a team of centrist expert advisors and actually fairly commonly take their advice.

No contest - average Joe.
Maybe I confused things by saying ‘Regular Joe’ instead of ‘Random citizen’. You could end up with President Richard Spencer or President Wannabe Jihadi. It’s very unlikely, but if you roll the dice you could get someone who makes Trump look like Abraham Lincoln.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:11 AM
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This is a tough one. Because, Repubs aren't going to get behind RJ like they do for Trump.

So if he's MAGA, he would be a lame duck president.

OTOH, how much damage could a lame duck President do?
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:25 AM
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No contest. The average Joe. Yes, we could get another moron, but the odds are against that. And if we did get another asshole like Trump, I don't see him having the support that Trump does.

There would also be a plus to the average Joe. I think that most would have the smarts to accept advice when they find themselves completely and totally in over their head.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
Maybe I confused things by saying ‘Regular Joe’ instead of ‘Random citizen’. You could end up with President Richard Spencer or President Wannabe Jihadi. It’s very unlikely, but if you roll the dice you could get someone who makes Trump look like Abraham Lincoln.
The odds of getting someone worse than Trump don’t come up on a roll of the dice or even one card out of a deck. Odds are way overwhelming that random Joe/Josephine would be better and just as good that they be the best ever as being worse than what we’ve got. Worse than Trump is a very small population in this country.

Would even an overt neo-Nazi or a Jihadist be functionally worse than Trump?

I don’t think so. Really. Checks and balances would work there. They fail us to a significant degree now because Trump is not quite that overt and due to partisanship that would not apply in a random selection. As mentioned by enipla, they wouldn’t have the support that makes Trump of such harm.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:59 AM
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I swear I've been meaning to ask this question for like a year. I'd take average Joe in a heartbeat, mainly because they'd be more willing to listen to (and be able to be controlled by) his/her advisors.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post

At least, at this point, Trump has 2.5 years of experience as a president, has knowledge of world affairs, and so forth.
The dude literally never heard of Nepal (or Bhutan, but that's slightly more forgivable). In a briefing he pointed to Nepal on a map, giggled and said "What's the hell is "nipple?". He also pronounced Bhutan "button.". And his lack of understanding on trade and complete inability to be taught it, yet still go against almost every advisor makes a random person a much better choice. Most people know they don't know something. Trump thinks he knows everything but knows almost nothing.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:29 AM
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Electing an average joe would be the equivalent of handing over the government to the most conniving bureaucrats and operatives, so there is no surprise the authoritarian statists of the SDMB would choose this option. Even Trump’s hard-headedness is no match for his advisors who have basically convinced him to do a 180 on things like defunding NATO, furthering detente with Russia, and withdrawing from the wars.

The average joe would need to be strong-willed, knowledgeable, and moral. Unfortunately the only moral option for a person like this is to turn down the presidency. The problem is the presidency itself, not so much who is president.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 07-07-2019 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:42 AM
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No contest. The average Joe. Yes, we could get another moron, but the odds are against that. And if we did get another asshole like Trump, I don't see him having the support that Trump does.
That last bit is key. Trump isn't very good at much, but he's a motherfucker for whipping up a mob. If we got some other racist dumbass in the White House, they'd almost certainly not have Trump's singular mobwhipping talent. As a result, Republicans wouldn't be so terrified of gainsaying him, and the executive branch could be put back in control.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:53 PM
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Moderating


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillFarnaby View Post
Electing an average joe would be the equivalent of handing over the government to the most conniving bureaucrats and operatives, so there is no surprise the authoritarian statists of the SDMB would choose this option. Even Trump’s hard-headedness is no match for his advisors who have basically convinced him to do a 180 on things like defunding NATO, furthering detente with Russia, and withdrawing from the wars.
This is fair notice to you. I'm done with you interjecting your pet topic of statism or authoritarianism or the combination in unrelated threads, as well as passive aggressive denigrating the board. This goes for this thread, and all other threads in GD and Elections. I am bookmarking this post and If you do this again, you will be warned.

I have also sent you this via PM.

[/moderating]

Last edited by Bone; 07-07-2019 at 05:00 PM.
  #22  
Old 07-07-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
... if you roll the dice you could get someone who makes Trump look like Abraham Lincoln.
I'm skeptical that there's anyone on the planet who would, by comparison, make Donald Trump look like Abraham Lincoln.

And, yes, I'm including those residing in prisons and in mental hospitals.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:31 PM
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Roll the dice.

I doubt we'd get anyone as despicable as Trump.
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:53 PM
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Random Joe. We might get someone worse, but the odds are against it, and they couldn't be much worse. And even if they were just as bad as Trump, there's a good chance that they'd at least realize how bad they are, and thus make some effort to pick and listen to good advisors.
  #25  
Old 07-16-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Bear in mind also that there's a roughly 1 in 3 chance that the average American you pick from the lottery draw will be a Trump supporter...
So what? Per the OP we still get to choose. If we manage to beat the odds and end up with someone worse on the ballot we can still do rolleyes choose Trump. OTOH there's a 66% chance we could do a zillion times better than the subhuman motherfucker currently occupying The White House.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
At least, at this point, Trump has 2.5 years of experience as a president, has knowledge of world affairs, and so forth.
Not to pick on you, but are you fucking high? Can you point to anything to suggest Trump is able to convert exposure to experience, let alone harness experience to guide him toward wiser choices? At best he's just been a corrosive placeholder while the USA takes its time deciding what it wants to be when it grows up.

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 07-16-2019 at 11:38 AM.
  #26  
Old 07-16-2019, 11:47 AM
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In light of recent tweets, I’m changing my answer. We might as well have Richard fucking Spencer at this point.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
Maybe I confused things by saying ‘Regular Joe’ instead of ‘Random citizen’. You could end up with President Richard Spencer or President Wannabe Jihadi. It’s very unlikely, but if you roll the dice you could get someone who makes Trump look like Abraham Lincoln.
I'm on Team Anyone. With no political party support and no loyalists stocked in government, Congress would shed its reluctance to use the full measure of its checks and balances to hold the president accountable.

The most likely scenario is that we wind up with someone better than Trump. Another likely scenario is that we wind up with a right-wing Trump supporter who is no smarter or better on policy than Trump but who lacks even Trump's limited ability to accomplish his objectives, which is a form of a win. We may wind up with someone so demonstrably bad and unsupportable that Democrats and Republicans are united in the need to hold him or her accountable. Greater unity would be a plus. Odds are, we won't pick someone like Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, or Lyndsey Graham who manages to be both a horrifying human being and have greater political ability than Trump to effect destructive public policy.

ETA: Turns out DSeid said much the same thing, so I agree with him.

Last edited by Tired and Cranky; 07-17-2019 at 04:59 PM. Reason: I didn't bother to read the other posts.
  #28  
Old 07-17-2019, 05:18 PM
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I would go with random Joe / Josephine as well. I think the odds are pretty low that we would get someone worse than Trump.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
The odds of getting someone worse than Trump don’t come up on a roll of the dice or even one card out of a deck. Odds are way overwhelming that random Joe/Josephine would be better and just as good that they be the best ever as being worse than what we’ve got. Worse than Trump is a very small population in this country.
This may be true, but I'm not as sure about it as you seem to be.

I still think I'd pick the random US citizen over Trump, but I'd be damn nervous about it.

Question for the OP: Would everyone know the president had been chosen completely at random?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:19 PM
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That's how the Athenians did it. Every magistrate, judge or general was an average Joe picked at random. Well, not really - more like "random aristocratic Joseph". But it worked for them. Until they stopped doing it, put one of the random aristocrats in power forever because he was so good you guys, established a tyrannical & greedily oppressive regime over their every neighbouring allies, which pissed everyone off. As you do.
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