Suppose Trump was not an spoiled and immature doofus

Would he be significantly more successful at politics than he is?

Meaning, suppose you had a guy with the same brash and glib salesman personality, the same policy positions, but also a guy educated about policy matters and how government runs, and with the same amount of self control and emotional equilibrium as an average politician. Would this guy be much more successful at politics than Trump?

There are obviously many people who support Trump despite his manifest personal shortcomings, but there has to also be some segment which is OK with his policies but are repelled by his character and personality issues. So I would think there’s room for an upside. Question is how much.

This could have ramifications for people who despise both him and his policies, and tend to conflate them. Because it would suggest that another person could come along with identical policies and be a much more formidable adversary than Trump himself.

Myself, I think Trump might be a trailblazer of a sorts. I remember as a kid reading in one of the Wizard of Oz (IIRC) books about a tribe who were so stupid that they never appreciated that they were losing a battle and kept on fighting in all circumstances - this was said to give them a big leg up on their adversaries who sometimes panicked and fled. So too, I think a more educated person would be disinclined to say the things that Trump said and do the things that Trump did, simply based on the strength of the conventional wisdom that they were a recipe for losing. So even someone with more extreme views would tend to modify them when they had a realistic chance of actually winning. (Even David Duke tried to tone down his line when he got the Republican nomination for Senate.) Not so Trump, who - much like that mythical tribe - was full of brash overconfidence, and didn’t know enough to appreciate that you can’t win by doing and acting as he did. But having won anyway, I think that expands the range of the possible for other, more capable candidates.

You may have to define “significantly more successful” than being elected President on one’s first bid for elective office.

He means successful at the job, not at getting the job. You are not a successful businessman just by getting hired.

What are his core beliefs and agenda, stripped of his spoiledness and immaturity?

If he were a different person, he’d be a different person. So what?

My immediate tendency was to say, “Yes”, but as I thought about it, I have to change it to “maybe”. On the “yes” side, a Trump with self-control, who was educated on government and policy, would theoretically be more effective in setting an agenda for his government. A president who worked in tandem with the other branches of government should be more effective.

On the other hand, he promised a lot of things on the campaign trail. Some of it was contradictory and some of it was not in alignment with Republican party practice. Assuming he stuck to healthcare for everyone (the best), and no cuts to medicare or medicaid, among other things, I could see some gridlock.

Trump was, imho, a reaction to Political Correctness run amok by those who feel that they have been ignored by the major political operators.

Basically, a lot of Trump voters feel a) that they have been ignored and b) cannot say anything about it without breaking PC norms. Note, there are two parts of this and the Rs own one piece while the Ds own the other.

The Rs own the ‘feel ignored’ piece. While both parties claim that they work for the ‘little guy’, in practice both work for special interests. The special interests are different for each party. The Rs special interests tend to be the wealthy and the religious. This is why Trump got the nomination. Trump said he would look out for the ‘little guy’ and was more believable on this piece for the ‘little guy’ voters than the rest of the R field.

The Ds had a laundry list of special interests this cycle that mainly fell under the mantel of ‘social justice’. That didn’t help those who fall into the ‘little guy’ category. They couldn’t speak out about Clintons focus on social justice causes without being called bigots or whatever. The ‘little guy’ voter wanted to hear about jobs, not transgender bathrooms and felt not only ignored but that they were silenced by the PC norms which wouldn’t let them vent their frustrations.

Linkto study about the norms.

Trump was a right guy/right time kind of candidate. If he wasn’t an ass, he wouldn’t have won the nomination, much less the election, this cycle. If he ran at any other time, he wouldn’t have won the nomination or the election.


Does this not count?

I think Trump would have been more successful with a Democrat controlled House and Senate. Trump may have been able to deal with them and get them to give them some of what he wants. Trump is a narcissist and so all he wants is be loved which means keeping his campaign promises sufficiently that he can crow about keeping his campaign promises and about he’s the best president ever. It wouldn’t matter if he was “losing” in the deals from a practical matter. He could go on TV and talk about how unlike prior presidents he’s able to negotiate with the other side and he’s gotten more done in 10 days than most presidents get done in 10 terms! I’m the bestest president ever. So oddly, if the midterms go badly for Trump and the GOP abd the House and Senate flip in 2018 AND Trump survives impeachment I think 2018-2020 will go much more smoothly for him, although it is probably far too late to salvage any legacy for him. History will not be kind to the Trump presidency.

How can one be just as brash, but with more self-control? Brashness is largely about a lack of self control.

I live in fear that the next President with Trump’s (apparent) agenda will be an intelligent smooth talker.

– Chomsky

It also helps that a lot of them are dead eyed psychos, like Cruz or Zuckerberg. If Trump is the model for the American strong man, I think for a woman she’d be like a folksy PTA mom – a coherent Palin.

The board is in error, 2017 is being listed as 2000 on your join date.
And having Trump’s agenda precludes intelligence; of any description.
ETA: Welcome to the Dope!

I’m not a Trump supporter, but I can definitely relate. Have you tried driving anywhere lately? Everywhere you go, it’s stop here, go there, merge, don’t turn, yield to pedestrians… and all the while, you have to limit your speed to some arbitrary number that changes every few miles. Madness! They’ve made it so you can’t even operate a vehicle anymore. I’m in constant fear that I’ll run someone over, broadside a school bus, or appear in an old stock film clip driving off a cliff over the Pacific and exploding.

Enough is enough. Just last year, I abandoned my Mazda in a drainage ditch and bought a cardboard flying machine. The nice man in the pin-striped jacket and straw boater said it would take me anywhere I wanted to go. Normally I’d be wary of giving all my savings to a man with a traveling medicine wagon, but he had such a healthy tan, and the way he said “wait and see” and “believe me,” all I could think was: now *here’s *a guy I can trust!

Like Mike Pence, for instance? Could happen pretty soon.

Not hard. This thread is not about Trump himself, but rather about his political positions and the amount of support they could/would garner in if espoused by a candidate without his personal flaws.

Trump did well for himself in winning the election. But he won a minority of the popular vote and it was pretty close electoral side. So suppose someone had been running on his platform but without any of his personal baggage. Is it likely that guy would have won a landslide with close to 60% of the vote? And Trump’s support has sagged considerably since the election and his party is, but suppose a politician kept the policies but skipped the tweets etc., might that person be much more popular?

Relevance, of course, is that Trump’s election having showed that “outrageous” positions don’t kill election chances, this raises the likelihood that other more skilled and disciplined politicians who tend to extreme views might feel less compunction to tone those down in order to win - and might be right.

I may have just been genuinely whooshed, but he has 2 posts from 10/2000, 1 post from 2001, and then this post yesterday. Not a new member, but rather a hardcore lurker.

“I know he can GET the job but can he DO the job?”

</Joe Versus the Volcano>

More like a prodigal son, back to reap the collective wisdom. :slight_smile:

I view Trump as a reincarnated despotic conquerer king of old times or so. Some hybrid demonic creature that enslaved people under his rule. God has released this demon for a time to see if we are smart enough not to follow him into the same situation.