IF Trump Gets Elected... What Happens When He Can't Deliver?

Let’s think the unthinkable. Let’s imagine that Donald Trump actually manages to eke out a victory in November.

If that happens, it will mean I’ve been ridiculously wrong about him for months, but you can remind me of that later.

Could he actually implement the agenda he’s been promising his most ardent followers? I doubt it. So, a scary thought is… what happens THEN?

If there’s no wall across the border by 2019, how will his followers react? If Chinese and Indian programmers are still being hired at Apple and Dell in 2019, what then?

Up to now, Trump’s most ardent followers have shown a repulsive willingness to change their own stances on numerous issues to match Trump’s. But if Trump doesn’t deliver any of what they want (and I don’t think he can), will they continue to make excuses for him? Or are they going to explode?

The same thing that happened when all the other presidents were elected and couldn’t deliver.

“There is a wall. Let me tell you, it’s a terrific wall, believe me. What you’re talking about, that’s – I’m TALKING! I’m TALKING, here! – what you’re talking about, that was months ago. There’s a wall now, and you better watch your mouth, I’ll sue, I’ll sue you for slander, I love to go to court, I never lose in court, I just win, I win all the time, and the wall, it was completed on time, and under budget, and it’s yuuuuge.”

I imagine we’ll hear a boatload of excuses concerning how his terrific plans were thwarted by combination of a jealous Congress unwilling to grant him the power to get things done, and a media full of PC losers.

His followers may look for someone even more extreme to represent their interests, or may give up on the whole system in despair. Flip a coin.

If Trump can make the United States feel good about itself, then he will have succeeded.

The reaction to what Trump said about the illegal immigrants from Mexico says a lot about the insecurity of Mexicans in general. They know they are a troubled country and that El Norte is far superior. Rather than fix Mexico, it’s easier to lash out at its critics. They need their own Donald Trump or better yet Reagan.

My model is that there are increasing numbers of Americans who (correctly) believe that American politics is fundamentally broken. It can no longer fix medium-sized problems, much less big problems.

There are competing diagnoses for this dysfunction (with a lot of overlap, but different emphasis). One camp diagnoses it as a principally a problem of corporate power preventing needed changes. Another camp diagnoses it as principally a problem concerning the culture of the politician class–which is too comfortable, politically correct, ensconced in power, and greedy for re-election to make real change. A third camp diagnoses it as the breakdown of customary governing norms accompanying the rise of further polarizing parties. Sanders, and to a lesser extent, Trump, is effectively capturing the anti-corporate sentiment. Trump gets a little of that, and also a lot of the resentment toward the political class.

If Trump is elected and fails (which is inevitable), I suspect that the diagnosis involving the corruption of the politician class will become less popular, and the anti-corporate sentiment will pick up steam. Especially if Silicon Valley and other business interests fight off radical immigration shutdowns, the people following Trump because he is an outsider will start to shift to the view that the corporations have too much political influence.

It may be that we have to elect a candidate like Sanders and watch him fail in order for people to come around to the truth that the third camp has it right. Another scenario is that Trump blows apart the GOP, and the party that is built in its place is less ideologically polarizing and some of the customary norms of governing return.

So, just more affirmations along the lines of telling ourselves how great we are? That seems to be setting the bar pretty low.

The reason a lot of Americans don’t “feel good” about the current state of the US is that there are a lot of things in it that aren’t working very well. Even if Trump could manage to distract the electorate from all the actual problems by initiating a national epidemic of Trumpian self-adulation, that wouldn’t count as a meaningful “success” on the part of a Chief Executive.

If this is a sample of the proposed approach to “make the United States feel good about itself”—i.e., changing the subject to the shortcomings of our neighbors and sneering that they’re just complaining about us because they’re insecure and not as good as us and they need to be more like us—then I don’t have very high hopes for it as an effective governing strategy.

Yet another thread slanted to make one party look worse than the other.

What happens with Clinton can’t get campaign finance reform?

What happens when Clinton can’t get expanded disability rights?

What happens when Sanders can’t get a free education for all?

What happens when Sanders can’t get free health care?

What happened with Clinton didn’t allow gays to freely serve in the military?

What happened with Clinton didn’t get health care reform?
Surprise, surprise, the world continued to turn, and civil war was narrowly averted. Hard to believe that the populace didn’t revolt when the Presidential candidate over promised. Hope that doesn’t happen again

Same thing that happens if Obama runs promising to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and it is still there 4 years later. The ones who like him still like him, the ones who don’t still don’t, and (depending on myriad factors) they may re-elect him like they did with Obama.

Nailed it. Presidents promise all kinds of shit when running, and people sop it up as if we were electing The Dictator instead of the president.

7 years later.

Trump has an advantage with unemployment. He’s been telling his followers that it’s as high as forty-two percent. If he gets elected, he can just start telling the truth - that it’s five percent - and claim credit for the drop.

The thing is, though, Presidential candidates typically have records of policy positions and political allegiances, as well as some detail in policy proposals, that allow informed voters to estimate how realistically feasible their promises are. Nobody expects that a President will enact all their campaign promises.

In Trump’s case, though, he’s offering nothing realistic. That’s the whole point. His entire campaign is built on wallowing in delusion about way-out fantasies like a border wall, mass deportations, ethnic cleansing of Muslims, forcing corporations to restore millions of US manufacturing jobs, etc. He’s popular precisely because he’s being massively unrealistic and assuring his followers that his billionaire businessman wizardry will somehow make it all possible.

That’s a different level of blowing smoke from the ordinary politician’s campaign promises. It’s not unreasonable to wonder what would happen once that mindset finally collided with reality.

The complication here is that the Trump followers that are supporting him do not understand that there is a myriad of factors.

Finding that there are indeed limits for their dear leader is something that I would not like to see tested with that crowd, because there are a lot of nativists that will not take the inaction, or heaven forbid, immigration reform that Trump could “shovel down their throats”.

I agree with kimstu.

I also think American politics is genuinely entering a time of crisis. This isn’t just about Trump. If Trump wins and fails, it will affect the direction of that crisis.

Trump has been backtracking and flip-flopping on his positions so fast that I don’t think people can even keep up. If he deports as many people as Obama did but brags about it instead of keeping it not he down-low, he’ll probably be seen as a success. Trump is all about marketing, and I don’t see that he’ll have a a problem marketing his failures as somehow successes.

I think he’ll just keep running his mouth. Because it’s what he does. So well he needn’t even speak in full sentences to sway people!

So, not unlike at the debate, when caught talking out of both sides of him mouth, he shrugged and noted that all successful presidents have had to be flexible! That’s the whole spiel, get used to hearing it and seeing the shrug.

He has clearly displayed he is not in the least concerned about saying conflicting things. Causes him not the slightest discomfort when caught and called on it. Because he’s just that oily.

I can’t believe people actually take this guy serious, even now. He strikes me as the ultimate “say anything”, just to make the deal, salesman. Like a charactiture of a slimy used car salesmen. “I am very successful, I sell the most cars, you can believe me!”

This guy will say anything----to make the deal! Because nothing he says means anything to him, beyond, did I make the sale? And once the sale is made? Who cares? I made the deal hapoen right? So it couldn’t matter less to him.

That’s why he’s always saying, “I don’t remember saying that!”, when someone tries to pin him down. Because he’s just spewing bullshit that people want to hear, he’s no remembering it because it doesn’t mean anything! Even to him!

It will never be his fault when/if things don’t get done. It’ll always be someone else’s fault, and his followers will lap it up.

We are, remember, talking mainly about “low information voters”. They are not going to suddenly be turned into geniuses after the election.

No president has ever delivered on all their promises. Not sure why you think this election year is different.

You need to add to those “low information voters” people that can not take “no” for an answer. Remember that many who are concerned about Trump do so because regarding a lot of his supporters, “That is not company I wish to keep” as Trump did say when leaving the independent party.

Trump is giving a voice, and now the chance to give positions of power to people that are bound to cause more harm than good.

Of course, not at the levels many would fear because of the limits that are on the system, but then again Trump has already said that he would like to change the laws to allow his future minions to do Torture, for example.