To pull this back toward the topic of this thread - does character matter? I believe it does. Trump's character is clearly questionable - but it is action that we judge upon. At the moment there has not been much to judge Trump on in terms of actions that have direct effects on people's lives.
- Sci Ken
Well, I would disagree about "not much to judge," but I don't think any media really focused sufficiently on Trump's past actions, as businessman and real estate mogul, that did quite directly effect people. Just ask the thousands of people swindled by Trump University, or the thousands of U.S. citizens that Trump refused to employ in casinos and other holdings so that he could hire cheaper foreign labor, or the creditors that got pennies on the dollar from Trump debts that went through bankruptcy court, or black residents of NY in the 70s who were turned away from Trump rentals. Plenty of evidence, plenty of paper trail, but the public was too caught up in the flashier and more lurid stories, and all the mudslinging between candidates.
But I see what you're saying. In terms of being a POTUS, he does have the clean slate to draw on. No matter who he was before, no matter how he got into office, the only extrapolation we can make is based so far on his cabinet appointees and such. Could he end up like the Phillippine's Duterte (as Badger exampled) and actually do some kind of cleaning up that benefits the country? Well, sure. No president in our history has been completely void of good works - except William Henry Harrison, who spent his one month in office mostly unconscious and dying. (And perhaps that was a contribution to the general welfare, given that he was apparently too stupid to wear an overcoat while being inaugurated during a storm.) Nixon reached out to China, successfully, and started the EPA. Huey Long, famous demagogue of Louisiana, built good roads, distributed free school textbooks to children, created public works projects that helped the poor, improved voting access....heck, why am I even remotely comparing him to Trump? Long actually cared about his constituents, even as he transformed into a tyrant and megalomaniac. He was similar to Trump in that all his faults were highly visible. Which can be a useful thing, as Paul A. points out. Too bad his tax returns weren't as visible as his character flaws. Heh.