A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Donald Trump

The inevitable personnel losses of the Trump administration have started. Vincent Viola, nominee for Secretary of the Army, withdrew before any hearings or press coverage. On Monday, Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor, resigned amidst a scandal involving Russia. On Wednesday, Andy Puzder, nominee for Secretary of Labor, was forced to withdraw after Senate Republicans informed him that he would not pass any confirmation vote.

The liberal “conventional wisdom” was that Flynn was the second-most-dangerous man in the Trump administration, behind Stephen Bannon. Some pundits thought him the most dangerous. Puzder, the CEO of Carl’s Jr., was always an outrageous nominee for Labor, and faced several disqualifying scandals, including spousal abuse and hiring an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper.

The general absence of comments involving Mr. Trump’s catch-phrase from his television career is a very good sign. The fact that Trump doesn’t seem to particularly mind this state of affairs is also a very good sign.

A Prediction

Here is my official prediction on Donald Trump’s presidency:

I don’t see Donald Trump doing anything too terrible. From a policy perspective, I don’t expect his administration to make any significant changes, outside of the two critical issues of Immigration and Abortion. I don’t expect any particular coups / separation of power crises. I don’t expect any world wars, at least on Trump’s hands; if Marine Le Pen or the German AfD wins in elections this year I make no guarantees for world peace.

By any objective measure, Trump will be a disappointment to his supporters; but like a true con man, Trump will have them so worked up they don’t even notice. Presumably, the 2018 election will be fought on the meme that “the Democrats in Congress are blocking Trump’s agenda”. I don’t quite know what that means yet. The results of the 2018 election will become more clear as Trump’s agenda becomes more clear.

On the whole, for quite some time, I’ve felt the best historical comparison for Donald Trump is John F Kennedy. I still believe that, today. Remember the Bay of Pigs.

There are two important things that may happen if “normal politics” does not hold for the next 2 years:

  1. There remains a historically large probability that Trump is impeached or otherwise resigns. This leaves us with President Mike Pence.
  2. The possibility of a serious #CalExit movement is a guard against Trump doing anything too petty or against the current world order. Excessive travel bans or attacks on sanctuary cities, as well as more unlikely events such as the US leaving the UN, would cause a serious increase in #CalExit fervor.
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