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?