Ann Althouse & her commenters contemplate the key issues of our unappealing electoral choices.
I sort of like Trump’s lack of polish (though not really his nastiness â€” there’s a cruelty there that’s troubling) and if I thought he was trustworthy and demonstrated some capability in governing I’d be all for him. Though of course in a president, you do have to be careful with your words â€” not just in avoiding setting off financial panics (look at how closely investors consider Janet Yellen’s statements) but in diplomatic affairs as well (see Dean Acheson’s statements about our zone of interest that made Stalin and Kim think invading South Korea wouldn’t provoke major U.S. involvement). A more ‘earthy’ speaking style, with consideration of the phrasing used, is my ideal.”
Said Brando, in the comments to yesterday’s post about the preference many people seem to have for Pence’s style, the style of a career politician. I’d said: “A man with a style honed outside of politics will seem too rough, too unfinished, too strange.” I didn’t come right out and say it, but, like Brando, I sort of like Trump’s style â€” with the same reservations.
Here’s another helpful perspective from the comments, from Clyde:
I want someone who:
1. Is honest
2. Is savvy enough to deal with our adversaries in the world without beclowning him/herself (Clinton’s political experience did not give her such help in dealing with the Russian Reset, Benghazi, etc.)
3. Will pursue policies that will benefit the people of our country, rather than enriching him/herself, and will give the American people more freedom rather than less.
Hillary Clinton is 0-for-3. This election is a binary choice. Donald Trump might not be good, but Hillary would certainly be very, very bad, probably even worse than Obama. It doesn’t come down to whether someone is a polished politician or not. Clinton is more polished, but our adversaries would eat her lunch, just as they have with Obama. Trump? He’s used to negotiating and wheeling and dealing.
But he’s used to negotiating and wheeling and dealing where he can walk away from what he doesn’t like without worrying about the fate the other parties and where he can fold up the parts of his operations that are not profitable.
What happens when you transfer that skill to government â€” suddenly and at the presidential level â€” and when you are bursting with exuberant confidence? It seems like an insane risk.