The Scare Index
How scared should you be of the people or policies of the Trump Administration?
Look, nobody knows how Trump is going to govern. Anyone who pretends otherwise is completely full of shit. The guy has held nearly every position on nearly every policy at any given point in his life. As an adult, he’s flipped from being a Republican to Democrat and back to Republican. He was a fan of Hillary Clinton in 2008 and called her the devil in 2016. I have absolutely no idea what he’s going to do as President, and neither do you.
Now let’s ignore all that and make some uneducated guesses as to how scared everyone should be! We’re going to list out some people or things that are associated with the new Trumpministration, talk about why or why not they are scary, then assign a scare rating out of 10 (10 being the worst). Let’s do this.
Reasons to be scared: The whole shock-therapy-for-gays thing, defending Trump at every turn, the discriminatory bills he passed as Governor, the typical-Republican beliefs regarding gun control, Planned Parenthood, climate change. The fact that he’s supportive of the coal industry shows how completely out of touch he is with the supply/demand of the modern world.
Reason to not be scared: At least he’s a former Governor and establishment politician, so we know he respects the institutions. Yup, that’s where the bar is set these days.
Verdict: 6/10. In normal times, this would be a 9/10, but these aren’t normal times.
Reasons to be scared: US participation in the Paris Agreement is in jeopardy, renewable energy investments might be killed altogether, national parks and other protected lands may be in danger of losing their status, the EPA will see it’s funding sliced and diced.
Reasons to not be scared: Maybe Trump is too lazy to roll back the work Obama already started? Also, if you want to bring back manufacturing jobs, renewable energy sources is where the global demand is at these days.
Verdict: 8/10. This is one area where I don’t think he’ll change things all that much (by think I mean hope). The whole world is trending in one direction and it seems like he can be easily convinced/manipulated by pretty much anyone, including other political leaders.
Reasons to be scared: The following was an actual quote from Bannon the other day:
“Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing."
In the same interview he said that today’s economic nationalist movement (i.e. the white supremacist movement) will be as exciting as the 1930’s. Yeah because the Great Depression and the rise of Hitler was a thrilling time for everyone.
Reasons to not be scared: New chief of staff Reince Preibus, a true establishment politician, maybe convinces Trump to fire him. That’s all I got.
Verdict: 10/10. Don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a racist, full stop. And Trump’s guy.
Reasons to be scared: The Attorney General holds a lot of power, and like Bannon he’s also a xenophobic monster.
Reasons to not be scared: The AG appointment requires Senate confirmation. Let’s hope GOP Senators grow some balls and reject him.
Verdict: 10/10. GOP Senators have no balls, despite almost all of them being men.
Reasons to be scared: TPP looks like it’s dead on arrival, at least from a U.S. perspective, which may or may not be a bad thing. NAFTA will go through a round of re-negotiations where Trump will get mad when things inevidably don’t go his way.
Reasons to not be scared: Trump sucks at negotiating and there’s a good chance nothing changes. TPP isn’t actually a real thing yet.
Verdict: 2/10. There are more important things to worry about.
Reasons to be scared: It sends a terrifying message to millions of Latinos living in the US, and millions more hoping to live there one day. It’ll cost a fortune. The symbolism it represents clashes with the very essence of the American Dream.
Reasons to not be scared: They’ll likely tighten border security in some ways, but the wall won’t get built.
Verdict: 5/10. It’s not being built. Maybe an easily broken-through fence at most.
Reasons to be scared: Roe v. Wade and other rulings protecting women and/or minorities are less secure. Justice Ginsberg might retire within four years, leaving another spot open for Trump to fill.
Reasons to not be scared: SCOTUS is still evenly balanced for now, as long as Ginsberg and the other liberals can ride out four more years.
Verdict: 4/10. Jumps to 9/10 if one of the liberal judges retires.
Reasons to be scared: Trump relies so heavily on his calls into Fox News to spread his message that Fox News will become a form of state-run TV. MSM will continue to shrug its shoulders at all the xenophobia, labelling it “same old Trump.” Fake news will eventually lead to an entire segment of America believing that Trump is the second coming.
Reasons to not be scared: The media seems closer and closer to hitting a breaking point in terms of an identity crisis. Fox News may moderate their tone in a post-Roger Ailes world. Maybe MSM decides to hold President Trump to a different standard than they did Candidate Trump.
Verdict: 7/10. It is what it is, which is pretty crappy.
Reasons to be scared: Seems shady AF. Appears to have Trump’s ear to the point where he’s probably the guy who kicked Chris Christie to the curb for what he did to his dad.
Reasons to not be scared: Hasn’t shown any real signs of being a racist so far. Hey, we’ll take any positive signs we can get!
Verdict: 6/10. He seems poised to be the central figure in the inevidable congressional hearing on Trump’s ongoing ties to his business during his Presidency.
All other Trump surrogates
Reasons to be scared: Christie, Guliani, Carson, Lewandowski and Gingrich are all clowns who’ll do and say anything for attention. KellyAnne Conway will continue to be the most annoying person on your TV.
Reasons to not be scared: Most seem to be slowly fading from the spotlight as the establishment slowly moves back into the fold. I never thought I’d ever say this, but let’s hope Mitt Romney snags that Sec. State gig.
Verdict: 3/10. These guys were irrelevant before Trump. And will be irrelevant again soon enough. Except of course KellyAnne, who’s officially America’s biggest troll.
Reasons to be scared: They successfully hacked the DNC. They got the guy they wanted elected. They have Vladimir Putin. Their enemy has Donald Trump. Their enemy probably can’t locate Crimea on a map. Their enemy probably doesn’t know who the Kurds are. Their enemy is now a clueless imbocile who won’t mind or care if their own citizens are spied on by a foreign government.
Reasons to not be scared: Putin and Trump might just become best buds and usher in a new, positive, and transparent era of Russian-American relations.
Verdict: 9/10. I don’t believe anything in that last sentence.
Reasons to be scared: ISIS is still around. So is Al Qaeda. And Trump isn’t exactly one to build bridges for enemies if you know what I mean.
Reasons to not be scared: The terrorists win if you’re scared.
Verdict: 1/10. The terrorists win if you’re scared.
(but really this one’s an 11/10).
Reasons to be scared: The GOP will systematically tear apart everything Obama has accomplished. Ryan will push his budget through unchallenged. They might just turn a blind eye to Trump. The electoral map for the 2018 midterms is not kind for Democrats.
Reasons to not be scared: Moving things through Congress is still slow and tedious. Dems will be feistier than ever.
Verdict: 8/10. Republican controlled everything can’t be good for American democracy.
Reasons to be scared: Families will be torn apart at a never-before-seen rate in the US under Trump’s plan. It won’t solve anything and will make millions angry. The Muslim registry sounds like an idea inspired from a reading of Mein Kampf.
Reasons to not be scared: Maybe the immediate backlash is strong enough to stop reform from continuing?
Verdict: 10/10. No Trump policy is scarier than mass deportation.
Stop and frisk
Reasons to be scared: It‘s blatently racist. It’s illegal. It would further damage the already broken police/citizen relationship.
Reasons to not be scared: Trump suggested implementing this in Chicago, where former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is mayor. Something tells me Rahm won’t go for it.
Verdict: 2/10. There’s just no way major US cities let the federal government enforce this.
Reasons to be scared: 22 million people are about to lose their health care coverage.
Reasons to not be scared: Trump might miraculously come up with something better than the ACA.
Verdict: 9/10. People’s lives are at stake.
Reasons to be scared: Dodd-Frank will likely be repealed, along with pretty much every other restraint on Wall Street. Taxes on high-income earners are about to drop substantially. Basically everything that’s been done to prevent another market crash since 2008 will be undone.
Reasons to not be scared: Perhaps Trump ignores this for a little while and focuses on other policies. It’s not like he pays taxes anyways, so these regulations make no difference to him.
Verdict: 7/10. He risks major backlash from his base support if he cozies up too much to Wall Street.
Reasons to be scared: Nobody has any clue what he’s thinking.
Reasons to not be scared: Nobody has any clue what he’s thinking.
Verdict: 10/10. Seriously, nobody has a clue.