Okay, we all know the grim reality of Donald Trump. The guy has been, to use his language, a total disaster – our nation’s worst impulses made manifest. He’s craven and thin skinned…a man baby with the keys to the kingdom. His tenure as leader of the free world has been a tragedy unfolding in painfully slow motion. But for a moment, let’s play make believe. What if we removed all his negative aspects…Russia, the xenophobia, the bullying, the pandering to his congenitally confused supporters and the paranoia? Did Trump ever possess any qualities that might have made him a good President?
Growing up in New York City, Trump was a ubiquitous presence in the local media. Whether he was erecting some garish new substitute to his micro peen, attending some gala function, hosting a boxing match or getting married to or divorced from the blonde of the moment, he always managed to find away onto the front page of our daily rags. He was a showman…a braggart and loud mouth. Still, there was something a bit endearing about him. Maybe it was his ability, back then, to be in on the joke…to laugh at himself and let others laugh at him. Moreover, he was open and unpretentious and gave an entertaining interview. He was a New Yorker – he was one of us. Yes, there were the putrescent elements of his personality that were always there…mainly the racism and narcissism. But, for the sake of this fantasy – let’s remove them. With the negative stripped away, what’s the positive?
Total lack of political correctness – If there’s one quality of the progressive left I find untenable, it’s their ‘stick-up-the ass’ attitude and policing mentality. There’s no topic they can’t shroud in their wet blanket of identity politics and moral superiority. Trump is not afraid to say what’s on his mind — that much is painfully obvious. But if he was less prone to paranoia, it might have been a great attribute. This country has been stifled too long by the left’s schoolmarm scolding. Progressives have taken it upon themselves to be the cultural arbiters of our society and they’ve done it with a bull dozing lack of grace and empathy. Donald was a dyed in the wool Democrat. He might have been a welcome combination of liberal and loudmouth, a middle-ground between the scolding left and the lunkheaded right.
Sense of humor – This is a guy who was a regular guest on Howard Stern. His willingness to speak openly about his conquests and the celebrities he knew was oftentimes pretty hilarious. Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and of course there was always that omnipresent misogyny, but even still, maybe the White House could have used some of that. At least he wasn’t hypocritical about it like Bill Clinton was. Trump knew he was a womanizer, hell, he prided himself on it. It might have been a breath of fresh air to have a president who was honest about himself – and funny, in that sort of New York ‘fuck it if they can’t take a joke’ sort of way.
Speaks directly to his audience — Whether it’s on Twitter, in the press or at his rallies, Donald Trump lives to connect with his fans. Truth be told, he’s an expert communicator. Unfortunately, what he communicates is divisiveness, fear and blather. However, his skills could have been used to great effect. After eight years of Obama and his professorial distance, it would have been nice to have a president that came down from his pedestal and engaged with the nation on a personal level.
He’s a builder – If he wasn’t so beholden to Russia or so craven in his attempt to score political wins with sham legislation and policy, he might have concentrated on what he actually knew how to do – build things. If he had made repairing America’s failing infrastructure his main goal, he could have done something no president has done since Eisenhower helped build the interstate highway system.
A Republican president with liberal ideology – Before he ran for president, Trump was a liberal… he believed in abortion, a single payer health care system, was a huge supporter of the Clintons, was against the war and wanted the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. Imagine a guy who could command the respect of the right and still be true to his liberal principles? It would have been great for this country.
Now, all of this being said, we can’t ignore the fact that Donald Trump just doesn’t have the experience to run a nation. Still, if he had surrounded himself with qualified people that he actually listened to, maybe he could have learned on the job? Unfortunately, we’ll never know. The sad reality is whatever qualities that may have made him a successful president have long been subsumed by the demons in his head and his inexorable and nefarious connections with Russia.