What if Trump had run as a democrat? That isn’t a difficult thing to imagine. He’s held many liberal positions over the years. I think he even came out in favor of gay marriage during his speech at the republican convention, to roaring applause. If that was the case, I personally believe the outcome of the election would have been the same. I’m more interested in what my own reaction would have been.
I loathe Trump with a feeling that I have a hard time expressing. I can’t stand to hear him talk, and just his picture is enough for me to switch away from whatever media he’s currently plastered across. However, I can’t help but acknowledge that he gets roaring crowds wherever he goes. Clearly, not everyone shares my disgust. So what if he had run as a democrat? I’m assuming everything else is the same. He kept the same platforms, he called for Obama’s birth certificate for years, even after the president released it, he called for Clinton’s imprisonment, even the wall. If I’m truly being honest with myself, I would probably be a fan of his. Not all his platforms, of course, but it’s a pipe dream to expect to find a politician who supports everything that I do. I might even have voted for him. So if I really want to be honest with myself, I have to assume that my visceral distaste for him has a significant irrational component.
That gives me some hope. Knowing that I’m being irrational means that my predictions for his presidency are at least partially off-base. But only a little hope. In the 2000 elections I had much the same reaction to president Bush. To this day I feel a sense of disgust with the man charitably described as over the top. His presidency was a failure, and real people died as a result. The Iraq war was a huge mistake which cost the lives and livliehoods of significant portion of both the US and Middle East. We will be dealing with the aftermath of that catastrophe for the rest of my life. Probably longer. His absurd tax cuts crippled the federal budget in ways no amount of budget magic can resolve.
If Trump had been a democrat in four years I would probably be trying to justify a complete disaster of a presidency as a success. And it would probably set the stage for years of republican rule. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A Trump presidency will be a disaster. But I don’t think it’s the worst disaster that could have happened.