I’ll just add a few things, Ron, because you and I appear to be of the same generation, roughly. (My Medicare date is 2020). We have the benefit of perspective of having several presidents in our adulthood, which is a benefit over a lot of folks who only have seen one or two.
Trump is unlikeable. We haven’t elected an UNlikeable president since Nixon. LBJ of course was also a soneofabitch.
In other words, it’s been awhile. A good half of the voting population has never seen a president who is NOT likeable. So, having one that is not likeable is a new experience for them.
Likability, of course, is different than popularity. Ford and Carter were likeable but not popular. The Bushes as well.
The fact that the politicians have ignored the desolation that outsourcing and automation have left in the former midwest and rust belt manufacturing towns is disgraceful. Arguably, it is the most pressing issue in the nation that requires the attention of government. Adding millions of low-wage jobs (which we’ve done since the meltdown) does not solve the problem of millions of middle-class-wage jobs that were lost during the meltdown. If you’re republican, it’s a failure because you’re supposed to be the job creator. If you’re a democrat, it’s a failure because you’re supposed to be looking out for income inequality. It’s a failure all around.
To me, out of the 20-odd that ran, only two candidates deserved consideration to be President, because they were the only ones who spotted this disgrace: Trump and Sanders.
Neither are likable.
So, we’ll see how this turns out. From experience, I can say categorically that neither likability nor popularity has anything to do with effectiveness in leadership.
Nor do future predictions about “what will happen” have any bearing on what DOES happen. Reagan and both Bushes, during their campaigns, were (a) going to get us all killed in a nuclear war, (b) destroy Social Security and Medicare, and © get Roe v Wade overturned.
And both Clinton and Obama were going to turn us into socialist states, taking state ownership of large corporations, and create a cradle-to-grave welfare structure a la Denmark.
Both US foreign policy and the US economy are like enormous oil tankers. If you want to stop one going 25 knots, you need to plan a day in advance; slowing them down doesn’t just happen in a moment in time. A president can only do so much damage.
Lots of hyperbolic raving right now going on because of Trump. Right now, as I see it, it’s all based on (a) his lack of likability, and (b) what COULD happen, rather than what HAS happened. (And being a Muslim myself, people tell me I should be very negative about him. I’m not. Perspective of history and all that.)
Time will tell. My prediction is that this ends up being a relatively unremarkable presidency, with Trump ending up being rated as mediocre by the historians, a few notches below Obama (who appears to be settling in at the higher end of “mediocre”), and above Bush (who after a poor ratings start, has seen his numbers rise over the last few years, and will seemingly settle in at the lower end of “mediocre”).