January 26, 2016

Trump, you're losing my interest

So far I've been willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. He doesn't know things, but he's going to hire the smartest people.  That's believable. He's not long on specifics - that's just campaigning.  He's rude - that's appealing to voters who are sick of Washington BAU (business as usual) and political correctness.  He says outrageous things that are not plausible - that's going to appeal to a lot of low information voters. He might not really turn out to be a conservative and at best deliver or push a moderate agenda.  That's a small price to pay for restoring fiscal sanity and using common sense in trade deals. No doubt budget and trade deals will play into his wheelhouse.  He might not appoint conservative justices. Hey, Neither Bush did a great job at that either.

BUT...

I'm overlooking so many things, I'm starting to feel like a Hillary or an Obama supporter.  It's starting to become unpalatable.

Don't get me wrong - I was never actually a Trump supporter, I was just more open to having a conversation about his pros and cons, and waiting to see what he did and said, and how he handled himself than a lot of people who just jumped straight to 'NO'.  Quick to judge is not my style, I prefer to analyze - and the more data there is the better.  But the data coming in is pointing out two things - his growing popularity and his declining sense of invincibility.  Other candidates don't seem willing to take a proper run at him and whoever the Democrat nominee ends up being, they will not be so skittish. He has not been tested in any major way as far as political combat.  It's been like spring training.

In addition, the Trump persona is wearing thin.  It's getting harder and hard to overlook the negatives associated with it, in addition to all of the other justifications I listed above.  And they are becoming more and more justifications rather than counterpoints.

I'm not dismissing him entirely, but my tolerance is wearing thin.  What he needs to be doing is getting more serious, not more outlandish.  I'm not suggesting he ditch all the trappings, but he needs to seem more presidential now - not as he suggested recently, after he's elected.

He's not the worst candidate, but he's not the best.  He would not make the worst president (that'd be Hillary or Bernie) but he wouldn't be the best either.  A Chris Christie, or a Marco Rubio, both accused of being RINOs, merit a second look.  After all, a RINO is often a compromise specialist, and if the GOP hold the Congress and Senate, who would they have to compromise with? Republicans. That's not such a bad thing for conservatives.  Let's hope that's not what Jeb Bush is banking on to refill his sails. Of course a more conservative candidate would be nice, but we also have to consider electability, and as much as I like so many positions of Ted Cruz, I don't think he's ultimately electable. 

Ultimately not much is new, I was undecided before and I still am.  But as we get closer I'm using a much more critical lens for every candidate.  I'm sure I'm not alone on that. A Trump travelling roadshow/carnival is simply not enough.  Attacking rivals is not enough.  We need a platform.  If you want to win - hire those smartest people now.
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