Of all the worries expressed over a Trump presidency (e.g., We'll lose the respect of the world, He'll deport the Mexicans, He'll prohibit Muslims from entering the U.S., He'll repeal Roe v. Wade, He likes Putin too much, He couldn't find Estonia or Cambodia on a world map if his life depended on it, etc.), the silliest one is this: "As U.S. president, Trump would have his finger on the button, and that is terrifying."
Really? People are actually afraid that this narcissistic, non-religious, uber-pragmatic Manhattan real estate tycoon would launch a thermonuclear war? That is even more absurd than the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) inviting Hillary Clinton to speak to their group, given that this woman was on the board of directors of Wal-Mart, the most breathtakingly anti-union corporation in America.
Trump may be a pompous, clownish ass, but Hillary Clinton is a world-class dissembler whose most prominent personality trait happens to be pure, old-fashioned, unbridled Ambition. While Trump's reason for wanting to be president remains a mystery, Hillary's reason for wanting the job can be expressed in four words: It's my turn, goddamnit.
Of course, I would never vote for Trump, not on my worst day, not in my wildest dreams, not even if I found out I had three months to live. But I don't "fear" Trump the way some do. The following are four reasons why.
1. He has no center, which is bad. Although he's a nominal Republican, he is far too malleable to be trusted. He has given money to Democrats, endorsed single-payer health coverage, criticized the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling, advocated raising taxes on the wealthy, and been as critical of U.S. trade agreements as Bernie Sanders.
But is it all talk? Of course it is. Does he mean any of it? Does he believe in anything? Who the hell knows? When he campaigned in West Virginia wearing a miner's hard hat, and promised to "bring back coal," did that mean that if he's elected president he will oppose the environmentalists? Or was it simply to gain votes in an economically blighted area that has always depended on coal?
2. He has no center, which is good. Beware of "highly principled" people. As ex-congressman Barney Frank pointed out, if it's principled people you respect--if it's the company of principled people you seek--then look no further than the Tea Party, the "most principled" faction on the political landscape.
The Tea Party knows everything. They know what's right and wrong, what's true and false, what's good and evil. Because they know everything, and are morally committed to their principles, they are unwilling to compromise. And wouldn't we all agree that that's exactly what this country needs? More people on both sides of the spectrum who are unwilling to compromise?
3. He has no center, which is bad. Without a clear agenda, without any discernible set of deep-seated "beliefs" to fall back upon, Congress will be able to push him around, get him to do their bidding, get him to appoint substandard cabinet members, nominate dangerous Supreme Court justices, and send unpopular ambassadors to countries all over the world.
When he said he wanted single-pay health insurance, and disapproved of "Citizens United," was he serious or was he bullshitting us? In the absence of any "philosophical position," will his staff and the Party leadership be able to point him in any direction they wish--more or less reduce this strong-willed ego-maniac to their puppet?
4. He has no center, which is good. Anyone who thinks Trump would insist that Ivanka not get an abortion if she desired one, is out of their ever-loving mind. Despite his rhetoric, Trump doesn't give one, infinitesimal shit about abortion. He's not a Christian evangelical like Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum, both of whom deny evolution and believe that life begins AFTER we die (You want to be scared? Picture Santorum's finger on that button!).
Despite the hoopla and alarmism, a Trump presidency could easily turn out to be this century's most profound anti-climax. It could be marked by boring stuff like indecision, gridlock, contradictions and frustration. A "liberal" Trump is boxed in by a conservative Congress, and a weird, "impulsive" Trump is de-fanged by the Democrats. Go, Bernie!