Trump’s problems will really begin if and when he becomes president


It is clear that Donald Trump is having a blast right now. For someone with a massive ego who loves to be in the limelight, has a gut instinct for what a sizable fraction of the country finds appealing, and does not mind whom he offends, running for president without having to beg people for money is an ideal occupation, especially since he can say whatever he wants and the media will cover him.

But what if he does get elected? Will it be as much fun governing as campaigning? I think not. For one thing, unlike most candidates who make promises that allow for some weasel room, his have been clear and unambiguous and he has assured his supporters that his business background guarantees that he can get all the things done. They will expect him to quickly build a massive wall on the southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. They will expect him to deport every undocumented immigrant in the country and to stop all Muslims and refugees from entering the US.

It is unlikely that he will be able to do any of these things. How will he deal with the howls of rage of his frustrated rabid supporters?

And that will not be the least of his problems. It is clear that Sarah Palin expects to have a high-profile position in his administration. But Trump is no fool and would know that she would be a disaster if she were to be given any responsible position. So what can he offer Palin that will satisfy her ego but her inevitable messing up would not cause serious damage?

That rules out any cabinet position. She has said that she wants to be the Energy Secretary so that she can abolish the department entirely, which would be consistent with her practice of not doing any single thing for long. Trump has said that he would ‘love’ to have her in his administration but I doubt that he will go along with that idea. My bet is that he will offer her an ambassadorship to a country that has high visibility but little strategic value, is used to eccentric politicians with chaotic and scandal-ridden personal lives, and is so friendly with the US that they will not be too offended by being chosen to serve as the dumping ground for her.

So, folks, I present to you the Trump administration’s next ambassador to Italy.

Do readers have any ideas for other possible positions?

Meanwhile one thing we can be sure of is that as long as Sarah Palin is around, Tina Fey will have no lack of opportunities for comedy gigs and this sketch captures the real relationship between Trump and Palin pretty accurately.

Comments

  1. polishsalami says

    Palin is a reminder of the complete disaster the 2008 Presidential campaign was for the GOP. This won’t bother Trump supporters, but it will affect his standing with undecided voters.

  2. StevoR says

    He won’t! Surely to flippin’ goodness and pity’s sake Trump won’t. I do have more faith in the folks of the USA than that.

    But then I must admit I thought he’d never get as far as his “joke” campaign – that long since stopped being funny ever has got so far. Yeah, that sacres an d disturbs me and yeah , I got it wrong. (I know, I know, I can hear the chorus of folks here saying typical & that I’ve got a lot of other things wrong too and yes I know that. As if they’re flawless and didn’t often share most opinions with mine and have never once made the odd mistake or said the odd wrong thing themselves.)

    I’m still not 100% sure Trump ain’t one massive Poe, one massive Dame Edna /Les Patterson / Barry Humphries style character performance artwork. The idea that he’s anything else is , flippin’ scary. Klown of klowns except too many take him serious. And so, so full of hate and bile and flatulant racist farting. I know too many good Americans from FTB and elsewhere to think this douche could really win. But, all the same, yeah, I’m scared. Coz this affects the pale blue dot that is our whole fliippin’ globe and especially here where when America says “jump!” we don’t even ask “how high?”‘
    ‘fore leaping in the air high as we can. I hope this shitful rise soon deflates with the noise that slang says Trump means. Can’t happen soon enough really.

  3. doublereed says

    Trump has shown that he doesn’t need to be consistent for his support. He could easily say “you know what, we don’t need a wall!” And everyone would cheer. He’s all bluster and that’s how he appeals to people. He doesn’t need to govern at all.

  4. doublereed says

    As long as he keeps up his alpha male bully behavior, along with racism and othering, he will continue to get support. That’s his big appeal imo. He can freely distract one scapegoating tactic for another.

    The people he represents want to be told what to do. Authoritarians of the most petty and pathetic. They’re angry and they want to be told where to direct that anger. Toward minorities.

  5. Dunc says

    How will he deal with the howls of rage of his frustrated rabid supporters?

    Easy: blame somebody else – liberals, elitists, beltway insiders, the GOP establishment… Given that even his own party is going to be trying to kneecap him, his supporters will find it entirely believable.

  6. flex says

    Trump supporters will not howl with rage if he doesn’t deliver on any of his campaign promises.

    They don’t expect it. They are already convinced that all politicians promise things they can’t/won’t deliver and don’t expect the government to do anything. So, should Trump be elected he can, and will, just ignore that promise and none of his supporters will think any less of him for it.

    I really don’t fear a Trump presidency as much as some of the progressive prognosticators apparently do. Trump has no ideological commitments to anything other than his ego. He doesn’t appear to really have the drive to be a dictator, but simply wants to bask in the lime-light and let other people do the work. While he appeals to the most authoritarian members of society, it looks largely like a show to distract attention from the people who actually run the world. He might well offer some progressive policies, as recommended by the experts he hires, and be able to get mass approval for them simply because he is an demagogue.

    Douglas Adams clearly modeled Zaphod Beeblebrox on Trump using Obama’s time machine.

  7. Mano Singham says

    flex,

    But Trump’s appeal is that he is seen as not being just another politician and thus I think they do expect him to deliver on his promises.

    I do agree with you that he is not as dangerous as an ideologue like Ted Cruz.

  8. moarscienceplz says

    It is unlikely that he will be able to do any of these things.

    It is unlikely that I could scale Mt. Everest next month solo and without oxygen.
    It is a snowball’s chance in a blast furnace that Trump will be able to do any of these things.

  9. machintelligence says

    Make her vice president, obviously. She is at least as qualified for the job as Dan Quayle was; plus she makes Trump seem more reasonable on the campaign trail by comparison. She even has experience at running for the office.

  10. tbrandt says

    moarscienceplz, Trump’s blast furnaces are so classy, so luxurious, that they have refrigerators and freezers to keep top-shelf drinks (and snowballs) cold.

  11. flex says

    Mano,

    I think maybe we disagree on where Trump’s appeal comes from. I don’t believe his appeal is because he is seen as an outsider. I believe his appeal is based on not caring what other people think about what he says.

    His appeal is that he is not obsequiously deferring to professional campaign managers who warn candidates to not antagonize any potential voters.

    There are a lot of people who hold obnoxious views who are told they should feel bad for holding them. They would rather be left alone rather than be told their views are prejudiced and discriminatory. It doesn’t matter to them that the views they hold have helped to shape society in a way that structurally demeans, denigrates, and despises whole swaths of the population. What matters to them that they have been made to feel that they aren’t good people.

    I believe Trump taps into that dislike of being told their prejudices are wrong. His message, distilled, is, “If you want to be an asshole, go ahead, don’t feel bad about it”. I think that this message is precisely what his supporters want to hear. They are told they are assholes, and should be more inclusive and accepting of others. Trump says that being an asshole is okay, and it’s the the fault of the person who is insulted to not have a thicker skin.

    Then Trump demonstrates this by saying some of the most obnoxious things possible, and being unrepentant once someone calls him on it. Trump, “says it like it is”, even if the listener knows that what Trump said was incorrect. Trump tells his supporters that they don’t need to learn anything they don’t already believe. Trump tells his supporters that they know everything they need to about politics, economics, religion, racism, and even government. He appeals to each person’s belief that they are intelligent, rational, and good human beings and don’t need to change.

    In my opinion, his appeal is not from being an outsider. His appeal is because he validates the beliefs of any of his supporters by unabashedly sharing his own beliefs with everyone. I think Trump is tapping into the resentment of people being told that what they are doing and what they are thinking is wrong.

  12. Trebuchet says

    I’ve predicted Palin will be Secretary of the Interior, so she can turn over the Malheur reserve to Bundystan and open Yellowstone to mining and logging.

  13. doublereed says

    I think mano is correct that much of his appeal is that he is an outsider. But I don’t see why that means he has to deliver on his policies.

    We can see already how he’s encouraging the roughing up of minorities and protestors. Realistically I think that’s what he’d get people to focus their anger on. Mob justice.

    I don’t think trump supporters care if he succeeds in building a wall if they get to jeer and hate on people openly. The wall is a symbol.

  14. mnb0 says

    “How will he deal with the howls of rage of his frustrated rabid supporters?”
    As long as he can maintain his image of an outsider and fixer it doesn’t matter which promises he breaks.
    It all happened before.
    In 1933, in Germany.
    That’s how strong the bonds of charismatic leadership are.

  15. File Thirteen says

    It looks like people are finally coming around to realising that Trump will be the Republican contender. Good! The sooner it’s accepted the sooner people can prepare for it. I’ve said it before, it won’t be an easy fight.

    It’s not all doom and gloom though, I think he’ll be defeated. This time. Who knows what will happen next election!

    And if by some miracle Chump does become president, I’ll be hysterical with laughter!! I know it’s wrong, but the thought makes me laugh even now. 😀

  16. lorn says

    It occurs to me that perhaps, just perhaps, the most useful way to look at the Te Party and Trump is to frame it as performance art. It is like in the movie where the guy leans out the window and screams that he is “mad as hell and not going to take it any more”.

    Right after high school I went through a series of shit jobs. The boss was always grossly incompetent, a dick, or both. The pay was so low that they didn’t bother to make the work serve any purpose. We would work and see out work undone simply because nobody bothered to coordinate tasks.

    One day a guy I worked with lost it, stormed into the office, pissed all over the assignment board and took a dump on our supervisors desk. The big boss had such a low opinion of the supervisor and the division that he wasn’t even going to fire him for it. The guy stormed off. The supervisor walked off the next day.

    Selecting Sarah Palin was John McCain taking a dump on the US political system. It was a self-indulgent move of outrage and contempt. The Tea Party movement, complete with grown men in diapers, is an extended performance art piece expressing their blustering, egotistical, self-indulgent, outrage and contempt.

  17. File Thirteen says

    It occurs to me that perhaps, just perhaps, the most useful way to look at the Te Party and Trump is to frame it as performance art

    That’s the best argument in favour of the existence of a god I’ve heard!

  18. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, you couldn’t be more wrong; first, you haven’t heard it, rather you’ve read it, and second, it’s in no way an argument in favour of the existence of a god.

    (I can tell you are into performance art, but all you perform is stupidity)

  19. Silentbob says

    @ 19 John Morales

    How do you know they don’t use a text-to-speech screen reader, Mr Pedanty-Pants?

    🙂

  20. John Morales says

    Silentbob, I feel like a fisherman who tried to hook a trout but instead caught a carp.

    (I don’t know that; I don’t even know whether they read out loud)

    On-topic, what I think is that the USA will have the bigger problem, does Trump get elected — but then, it will deserve it.

  21. Silentbob says

    (off topic)

    @ 21 John Morales

    From what I have heard read most trout fishermen prefer fly fishing to trolling.

    (/off topic)

  22. John Morales says

    Silentbob, carp is a verb, too.

    (You’ve repeatedly claimed I troll, oblivious to the fact that were that the case, it’s you who bites)

    On topic, it does bemuse me how Sarah Palin is still a political force in the USA.

    Truly remarkable.

  23. Nick Gotts says

    I disagree with flex@6 and Mano@7 about the relative dangers of Trump and Cruz. Vile as Cruz undoubtedly is (whether he’s quite the ideologue he presents himself as is more doubtful I think – he was recorded telling a bunch of oligarchs that he wouldn’t really prioritise persecuting gays and making abortion impossible), his appears to be a cold, calculating kind of vileness. Trump is not only a malignant narcissist, he appears to be emotionally labile and personally extremely vindictive – anyone who insults him, or gets in his way, has to be punished and humiliated. The documentary You’ve Been Trumped, which concerns the way he treated local residents who obstructed his plans for a golf course in Aberdeenshire (by refusing to sell him their homes), is very revealing in this regard. I can envisage him launching a nuclear first strike because he thinks Putin, or Xi, has insulted him.

  24. Holms says

    #21 John Morales
    As well as that, that the entire world would have a problem on the grounds that Trump would command the world’s largest military.

  25. brucegee1962 says

    With Trump as pres, the fact that our military equals that of the next eight countries combined might finally be useful, as all eight might end up allied against us.

  26. lorn says

    I dread Cruz far more than Trump.

    Trump is an egotist, and he is, in many ways simpleminded. He is also perfectly wiling to participate in his deception as long as the deception is flattering. Surround him with buxom bimbos, spray paint Airforce One and his limo gold, and when he tells the military to nuke a country we show him a Hollywood mock-up of the event. I expect him to tear up at the cheesy finale when the name TRUMP is spelled out in mushroom clouds. As long as the presented events make him feel good and make him look good he will go along. An endless parade of gold painted tanks and troops circling the Whitehouse will do it for him.

    Cruz is a religious fanatic in addition to thinking he is literally God’s gift to America. Whereas Trump can be deceived because he is alone, Cruz is much harder because he will surround himself with true-believers. He wants to change the world. He wants to bring down the wrath of God on the unbelievers. He is a believer in Dominionism and purifying with fire and the blood of Christ. With the decade old trend of the Christian right of stuffing the military with true believers he may be able to make it happen.

    Trump can be isolated. Cruz is poisonous.

  27. File Thirteen says

    #19 John Morales
    it’s in no way an argument in favour of the existence of a god

    Think about it and it might come to you eventually

  28. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, you’re wrong… and that you don’t dare even to attempt to justify your claim is indicative that you know that.

  29. File Thirteen says

    Or it might not. A god that’s performance art project is the human race, get it? Hence Trump & Palin? Ah, never mind.

  30. Holms says

    ^ Trump and Palin’s ridiculousness was likened to performance art by a commenter. You apparently think that if it is performance art (which it isn’t), the the performance is being run by god.

    A contentnious leap of logic to say the least.

  31. File Thirteen says

    ^ ffs… does nobody here recognise irony when they read it? Do you really think I advocated the existence of a god? Let me spell it out for you… NO. (Geez, tough crowd!)

  32. Holms says

    I guess we are in agreement then, that “That’s the best argument in favour of the existence of a god I’ve heard!” being a ridiculous comment.

  33. File Thirteen says

    We may be in agreement, but not in the way you think. I’m glad you agree that it’s a ridiculous argument for the existence of a god. It’s still the best argument I’ve heard, and (I hate to have to spell this out, but you’ve shown what happens when I don’t) the point is what it says about all the other arguments.

    It’s also rather less ridiculous than your comments about it.

  34. Holms says

    If only because it is funny to see such defensiveness upon being called on a sophomoric comment… suuuure, if you say so.

  35. File Thirteen says

    I get it, it has to be sophomoric because you can’t admit you didn’t understand it on first reading. Sorry I created such a problem for you.

  36. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, just give it up already. Your bluster is feeble.

    Your flight of fancy remains nothing like an argument (what, people run simulations, so humanity might be a godly simulation; people dream, so humanity might be a godly dream etc), and your point that there are no good arguments for a deity is long known, based on work by such as Kant, Hume and Darwin.

    See, actual arguments (vitiated as they now may be) are still arguments, unlike your conceit.

    (That’s leaving Epicurus and other ancients aside)

    On topic, looks like Trump’s problems are beginning to manifest…

  37. File Thirteen says

    Ah, I wondered if you would think of something to add John – it took a while. The lesson here is that letting your knee-jerk reactions guide you to replying to a comment before understanding it only leads you to looking foolish. By all means keep up the flaming, you’re just digging yourself deeper.

    As for your latest nonsense, trying to render a comment irrelevant by pretending you’re more knowledgeable on the subject is just as foolish as trying to brand it “sophomoric”. And you still(!) miss the point: clearly my original remark wasn’t literal enough for you. But it’s nice to know you’ve heard of the names of some philosophers you can quote. What will you do now, it’s a real dilemma: keep up your “feeble bluster” or attempt to bail with another move to put this (now well abandoned) thread “on topic”?

  38. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, what will I do? Behold:

    Further amuse myself with you for the nonce, not least by noting your purported dilemma is nothing of the sort.

    My original response stands; your original (intendedly) drollish supposition was in no way an argument towards the existence of some deity.

    (And, again: actual arguments — premises and inferences and conclusion — have been proposed, which the worthies which I cited neatly dismantled)

  39. File Thirteen says

    What a pity that you’re unable to demolish an argument yourself John. Keep fighting that straw man, that there was no irony in my remark whatsoever.

    It’s also interesting how your replies are becoming steadily more pretentious; it’s like you’re taking me on a trip back to Shakespearean times! Pray continue with your drollish behaviour, for the nonce.

  40. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, there’s no argument to demolish, as I noted.

    (Some more examples of your fancy: people dream, so humanity might be a godly dream; people play games, so humanity might be a god playing games, etc. None are arguments for the existence of a god)

  41. File Thirteen says

    Keep fighting that straw man, that there was no irony in my remark whatsoever.

    Pray continue with your drollish behaviour, for the nonce.

  42. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, as I’ve already written above, “your point that there are no good arguments for a deity is long known”, but to persist in your original claim that something which is not an argument is the best argument remains stupid, whether or not you intended it ironically. What you invoked was a supposition (and you know where a suppository belongs).

    You do realise you’ve long conceded my own point by your dogged evasiveness of it, right?

  43. File Thirteen says

    So you now admit it was ironic, and a hypothesis. And you continue to scoff at the argument because it’s hypothetical, ignorant of the fact that arguments are often hypothetical. Most laughable is the fact that you name-drop philosophers that have debunked other hypotheses in order to attempt an argument by authority, and yet for all your waffling, fail to present even a single counter-example of an argument for a deity that is less hypothetical and, by your nonsensical standards, of more weight. That’s because we both know you’re making a stupid assertion that is easily disproved.

    You are aware that this vindicates my original remark, right?

    Oh, and you may be surprised to learn that suppositions and suppositories have no relation whatsoever, although having confused them may well explain your stiff manner.

  44. John Morales says

    File Thirteen, you are an amusing chew-toy.

    So you now admit it was ironic, and a hypothesis.

    Not now to the former (cf. #37, a number of exchanges back), and not in the logical sense to the second — a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for some observation, not just a supposition about something not observed (any more than an argument, in the same sense, is not just people insulting each other!).

    And you continue to scoff at the argument because it’s hypothetical, ignorant of the fact that arguments are often hypothetical.

    Leaving aside the tension between your claim that it was ironic (you didn’t actually mean it, you claim) and that it’s actually an argument (you also claim you actually meant it), I’m not scoffing at the argument, I’m still telling you it’s not an argument at all, as I have done since my very first response.

    Most laughable is the fact that you name-drop philosophers that have debunked other hypotheses in order to attempt an argument by authority, and yet for all your waffling, fail to present even a single counter-example of an argument for a deity that is less hypothetical and, by your nonsensical standards, of more weight.

    What you imagine is your laughter is as the braying of an ass; the actual arguments which were long ago vitiated were the classical ones: the cosmological, the ontological, the ontological and the moral arguments.
    Obviously, since they were actual arguments, each of them was perforce better as an argument than any non-argument, such as the one you imagine you made.

    That’s because we both know you’re making a stupid assertion that is easily disproved.

    Heh.

    You are aware that this vindicates my original remark, right?

    Sure; I can hardly gainsay your assertion that, in your mind, that is the best argument (cough) for the existence of a god you’ve come across.

    (But it’s still a very stupid claim, regardless of your belief of its truth)

    Oh, and you may be surprised to learn that suppositions and suppositories have no relation whatsoever, although having confused them may well explain your stiff manner.

    Heh. I’m not surprised you imagine I might be surprised, but not for the reason you imagine.

    (Isn’t this fun?)

  45. John Morales says

    [erratum]

    Above, it should read “[…] the cosmological, the ontological, the teleological and the moral arguments”.

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