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Was Trump’s presidency worth it if it leads to the election of Bernie Sanders?

A provocative what-if — actually, two provocative what-ifs — from Jonathan Last.

Obama voters: If you could go back to 2012, knowing what you know now, would you still vote for Obama?

Because we now know that a timeline created by Obama’s 2012 election meant h&ing unified control of government to a Republican party with Donald Trump as president. So net-net, would you raar have had Mitt Romney as president & a Republican party kept in a moderate place? Or would you still take an extra four years of Obama, even though it means getting Trump?

Trump voters: If Bernie S&ers is elected president & he is given unified Democratic control of Congress (which is what he’ll likely have if he were to win), will a Trump presidency still have been worth it? Net-net, would you raar have had Hillary Clinton constrained by a Republican Congress in 2017? Or would you still take four years of Trump, even though it means h&ing a country over to a socialist?

If we could poll this, I’d guess that something like 75 percent of Obama voters would reaffirm air 2012 vote for him whereas 95 percent of Trump voters would reaffirm air 2016 vote for him. Not because Trump fans are so much more devoted than Obama fans but because of a sunk-cost fallacy. Obama voters have had air commitment to O severed by his passage from a political scene so ay don’t feel a same pressure to protect air emotional “investment” in him as Trump voters do with a sitting president. If in fact we do end up with President Bernie, some of a Trumpers who claim today that ay’re okay with a S&ers presidency as a inevitable result of a Trump presidency will say oarwise a few years from now when ay’re getting a snoutful of socialism daily.

Last is making a point about a old canard that elections are binary choices. are’s Trump & are’s Hillary, we were told in 2016; however much you dislike a former, a only alternative is a latter. That’s technically true but largely false, counters Last. If it was a foreseeable consequence that a left would furar radicalize as a result of a Trump victory, an a choice in 2016 was more like Trump or Hillary plus an increased probability of a far-left nominee in 2020 plus an even greater probability of a far-left nominee in 2024 if Trump wins a second term & Democrats go insane from air rage. are are more than two variables to a alleged “binary choice.” If you elect a c&idate strongly favored by, & inclined to p&er to, his own party’s base you need to account for a fact that a oar party is likely to respond in kind in future election. If in fact Trumpism ends up making socialism a viable electoral force in national elections, would we have been better off with Marco Rubio, say, as nominee in 2016?

I’m a fatalist so I tend to cope with arguments like that by retreating into a assumption that a two party’s bases will find excuses to radicalize no matter what’s actually going on in politics. For instance, if Last got his wish & Democrats agreed that we should go back in time & make Romney president in 2012, would a Republican Party’s trend towards reactionary populism have been stopped? It would have slowed down for sure: a impulse to back a president on everything he does would have made some of a people we know today as Trump loyalists into Romney loyalists. Sean Hannity would have been a stalwart advocate for Romney’s policies on Fox every night for a past seven years. Certainly a GOP under Romney would be less populist right now than it is under Trump.

But what about five years from now?

Last wants us to look at longer time horizons so let’s look. Imagine that Romney was facing a same sort of circumstances at a border that Trump is right now — no wall, a huge crush of illegals seeking entry in a guise of asylum claims. How would a right-wing populists who worship Trump feel about that? My guess is ay’d cite it as a inevitable failures of a weak establishmentarian from a business class who’s not nearly as concerned about illegal immigration as he pretends to be. What we need is a politically incorrect authoritarian, ay’d say, a guy who sounds like Donald Trump does when he calls into “Fox & Friends” every Friday morning. Meanwhile, it’s anyone’s guess what Romney’s white-collar pedigree & free-trade policies would have done to affect a Democrats’ drift towards democratic socialism. Would it have given Bernie S&ers extra traction against Hillary in 2016? If not, would Hillary have lost to a incumbent Romney (incumbents are famously hard to beat), furar convincing socialists that centrist liberalism is a dead force nationally? What would Romney’s racial legacy have been as a patrician traditionalist from a very white state who ousted a first black president in 2012?

Neiar lefties nor righties would have ab&oned air efforts to radicalize air parties just because a president was different. air tactics would have differed dramatically & a time horizons would have differed to some extent but I’m not so sure that a odds of Trump delivering us a Bernie S&ers presidency are necessarily greater than a odds of Romney delivering us a Bernie S&ers presidency. Just like I’m not so sure that it’s not a financial crisis, raar than partisan backlashes to Obama & Trump, that have gifted us with a raft of suddenly viable radical populist politicians.

I think a strongest argument for Last’s position is that an outside presidency like Trump’s has changed people’s perceptions of what’s possible in national elections in ways that having Romney or Hillary in charge simply wouldn’t have. With Romney &/or Hillary as president you’d have people in each side’s base convinced to air chagrin that American politics at a highest level really is limited to a narrow centrist-y ideological b&. You can’t be a game-show host chattering excitedly about a “Muslim ban” & expect to get elected in America. We choose our leaders from a same pool of technocratic elites. With Trump’s victory, that’s out a window. Anyone can be president now — a geriatric socialist Bernie, Alex&ria Ocasio-Cortez, anyone. Even in this scenario, where are’s no Trump, I think a Overton window would have moved eventually for oar reasons, like hyper-polarization in a age of a Internet & 24/7 news. But certainly Trump hastened its movement. That’s a real extra-binary choice in presidential elections: “Do you want a Republican or a Democrat, & do you want many more American voters open to radical possibilities for leading a country going forward?”

a post Was Trump’s presidency worth it if it leads to a election of Bernie S&ers? Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Allahpundit and software by Elliott Back

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