Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Two schools of thought about what a Trump presidency will be

There seems to be two schools of thought about what a Trump Presidency will look like among the people I work with. One school views Trump as just another Republican. Sure, he may have said crazy stuff during the campaign and openly pandered to the bigoted fringe, but, this first school claims, when it gets to governing either Trump will reveal that that campaign stuff was just a shtick and he is really just a regular Republican or he has no real core values and will let the regular Republicans around him call all the policy shots. The second school takes that crazy campaign stuff more at face value and views Trump as something different, and a lot more dangerous and ugly, than a regular Republican.

People in the first school keep trying to reassure me that the Trump presidency will be a lot like the W Bush presidency, albeit with a clownish reality star as the office's chief spokesperson. The W Bush years sucked. They are the reason this blog exists. In those years we had the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, two wars, and an economic collapse at the end. But we survived, and that mess paved the way for Obama. I know I can survive another 1 or 2 terms of W Bush because I already have.

But the second school says this is something much darker. Trump is something more like a 1930s-era fascist, or a modern authoritarian like Berlusconi or Erdogan. He isn't going to just govern conservatively and make a lot of bad (IMHO) policy decisions, this school claims that Trump will break the norms that have held this country together since the mid-20th century and unleash hateful and undemocratic forces on the country.

I'm scare shitless that the second school is right, but I am open to the possibility that school number one is actually correct. Please tell me that school number one is correct.