What to say when told that Donald Trump "gets things done"

I was playing poker the other day and table chatter turned to politics in spite of my fervent desire to have that not happen. When it did, someone claimed of Donald Trump that they were happy to see someone who got things done and how they felt it was a shame that “his personality” was what people complained about.

Essentially they were taking the position that people who complained about Donald Trump were missing the point that he was the “get things done” president.

The fact is I had no desire to respond, not wanting to be involved in or even hear a political discussion, so I didn’t. But I wondered what I would have responded had I been inclined to participate in that discussion.

My first instinct would have been to say something like “how’s that wall coming? Has Mexico sent their first check to cover it?” Because of course there’s a lot that Trump wanted to do that hasn’t got done.

My second instinct is that what he’s done is terrible and not to be celebrated as accomplishments. Of course a long bullet-pointed list doesn’t go over well in these kinds of discussions.

My third instinct was to point out that the way Trump acts is not irrelevant to the position of President. The only way to really point this out would have been to say if Obama acted the same way would that have been okay had he got things done. Which would open up the floor to the things he did get done - that could be addressed about how he had to have got things done or else what was Trump undoing since he got into office. And if they said “I didn’t like what he got done” that would allow me to say “then that’s why you actually like Trump so why make things up?”

The setting wasn’t the only reason I didn’t get into it, it’s also the futility of it all. Which isn’t to say I don’t get into futile arguments, but that when I do it’s not with any illusion that I might change anyone’s mind. But sometimes I think intellectual integrity means making sure hubris doesn’t go unchallenged. Just not at that exact moment.

How do people here handle this kind of thing?

“Can you give me some examples?”

The kind of things he gets done are not good, and they like it. It’s a code. If you argue with it you become someone who they will want trump to “get things done” about.

Here are some of the many things Trump promised to do which he didn’t do. Trump is a big mouth with little do-nothing hands:

Make Mexico pay for a wall
Rebuild infrastructure
Stop companies from moving manufacturing out of the country
Stop AT&T – Time Warner merger
Increase GDP to 4 % in his first year
Protect Social Security and Medicare
Ban foreign lobbyist from raising money in American elections
Achieve complete energy independence
Eliminate corruption in the administration (“drain the swamp”)
Kick ISIS off the internet
Guarantee a six-week paid maternity leave
Repeal “Obamacare”
Allow insurance companies to cross state lines
Allow deduction of health care premium from taxes
Allow free access to the drug market
Use U.S. steel for infrastructure projects
Declare China a currency manipulator
Lower federal debt
Take no vacations
Release tax returns after “audit”
Create child care tax credits
Cut the number of tax brackets
Repeal the alternative minimum tax
Eliminate the carried interest loophole
Balance the federal budget
Save the coal industry

I mean…Hitler got a lot of stuff done too.

I either ignore it or find new friends to hang out with. It’s not up to me to make everyone sane.

People who support Trump do so because he fits some narrative in their head about how things should be. Any evidence to the contrary is the product of “fake news”, “snowflake PC liberals” and pretty much whatever else they need to reconcile and inconvenient facts.

Short of the economy collapsing and WWIII (which can still be blamed on other people), Trump supporters will think he is doing a great job making America great again.

You could always flip over the card table and point out that you got that done.

I don’t see a way you can win this one.

If you point out things he didn’t do, they can still point out many things he did get done.

And if you disagree with the things Trump supports, then you’re talking past each other. They can say “Trump cut taxes, pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, got Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, and moved the US embassy to Jerusalem,” but if those are things you oppose, then it’s an irreconcilable difference.

How about “these are things which are objectively terrible”? It’s not REALLY a matter of opinion.

I was actually going to suggest taking a shit on the floor and point out that you got that done, but your idea is slightly less likely to get you banned for life from the casino.

Are you implying by omission that he has drained the swamp?

Item 9

Thanks, missed it. Maybe the joke would have worked for MAGA, but Trump voters will probably say they do feel great.

That would stop them in their tracks IF they were, er, ‘members of the reality-based community.’

But if they’re Trump fans, they will just say things that aren’t true and dare you to call them liars.

As others have said, trying to introduce facts when someone claims “Trump gets things done” is a no-win situation. Good-faith discussion is simply not on the table.

In the bitching-about-health-insurance-premiums thread, it occurred to me that a lot of people will find out their 2019 healthcare costs just before the election, with similar timing for all future elections. I realize that a lot of people who bought Trump’s bullshit in the first place will continue to buy the propaganda that it’s all Obama’s fault, but I think it’s a mistake to assume that people are in one of two binary states, believing what’s true or believing everything he says. Healthcare is something where he has delivered absolutely nothing other than undermining what was there. And healthcare is a huge issue for poor working class people, many of whom got decent insurance for the first time through the ACA. At the margin, I hope healthcare may swing some people toward a more realistic assessment of Trump.

He seems to get things partially done on his own with out any plan and left the rest for others either to complete or let it fall apart. Sort of like building a road, he jumps in the bulldozer and plows level ground over the river for the road. Then blames people for the flooding as they didn’t complete the road project which would include drainage.

I just deny that he got anything done. If facts don’t matter to them, I don’t see why they should to me when I’m dealing with them.

  1. Where is the wall?

  2. Where is my great, affordable health care that would cover everybody?

I guess the question is whether Trump has done anything that any any random person following the compan line couldn’t have done. When I hear from members of his base, it seems that the main thing that they point to is his supreme court nominees. But those were all handed to him. Picking a conservative nominee took as much insight and effort as ordering from a take-out menu. Most of the other things he did were just looking through the list of executive orders that Obama made and putting the word “not” in next to one verb in each sentence.

The only things that have been really truly his own have tended to be exceedingly bad ideas such as the tariffs and the family separation policy. Everything else is just being a rubber stamp for Congress.

Well, he didn’t " lock her up’.