Wednesday, September 11, 2019

How Good Will Trump Turn Out To Be?

Is the Trump presidency?
  • A bad aberration
  • A good aberration
  • An extreme version of the norm
  • Just the norm
Be careful how you answer. The is no individually complete and correct answer, and all of the answers have their own negative implications for the U.S. presidency.

Consider the list below an incomplete treatment of the effective progress report. By this I mean what is the practical result rather than how should Trump (and presidency) be rated.
  • His best accomplishments are greatly overshadowed by his bad policies leaving them largely unblemished by the Trump stain. Namely: deregulation (he might be the best deregulator since Carter), tax reform, criminal-justice reform, and court appointments (SCOTUS et al.; these various appointees will soon enough stand on their own records, and I believe they are largely good to very good). 
  • He is moving the Overton Window on questioning those in power while demystifying and deglorifying public office and the presidency in particular. 
  • He is tarnishing if not absolutely destroying the political positions of protectionism, strict immigration restriction, and general intolerance for others. Perhaps once he is done, the mere appearance of being against free trade, immigration, etc. will be political poison for fear of being branded another Trump. Obviously, this is an optimistic take.
  • He has been only as bad if not better than Obama and certainly better than Bush Jr. on war and conflict. 
  • On the other hand . . .
    • He is morally ugly, hateful, and gross.
    • His behavior is embarrassing and insulting.
    • He seems to inspire our lesser selves.
    • He is dangerous in different ways than the recent and possible alternatives--understand this to be far-left tail risk very much including war along many dimensions.
    • He risks giving free-market capitalism and traditional American (aspirational) values a lasting, negative connotation. 
Thinking about The Big Five, here is how I would rate the Trump presidency:
  1. Drug Prohibition - 1.75 out of 4 stars (this improves to 2.75 stars if he legalizes marijuana)
  2. Education - 2.5 out of 4 stars
  3. Immigration - 0 out of 4 stars
  4. Taxation - 3 out of 4 stars
  5. War - 2.25 out of 4 stars 
For a very good related post, check out Fake Nous.

No comments:

Post a Comment