Poll: Only half of voters would be embarrassed if Trump were president

Oddly, the news accounts I’ve seen leave out the “only.” Yet to me, the fact that no more than half would feel such mortification is the startling, and alarming, news in this report.

Meanwhile, a quarter say they’d be “proud.” To quote from the wisdom of Dave Barry, I am not making this up…

23 thoughts on “Poll: Only half of voters would be embarrassed if Trump were president

  1. Otto

    Did anyone else watch George Stephanopoulos’s interview with Trump on Sunday? This is the interview reporters dread because he got his ass handed to him.

    1. Assistant

      Thanks for the link, I missed the show. Folks need to keep in mind that Stephanopoulos is a partisan and a Clintonite. He should have to wear or a nametag indicating such.

      That said, Trump’s stated ignorance of reports regarding Putin’s murderous ways is disturbing: he turns legalistic, arguing that because no court of law has convicted Putin, Putin is innocent. Perhaps as innocent as Stalin, but I’m a pretty judgmental guy.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        What sort of nametag would communicate that more clearly than simply the name, “Stephanopoulos?” It’s not like there are a lot of people named that, and he’s the only famous one.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        I’ve still got a bone to pick with the guy because I was at the paper late one Saturday night — like, past midnight — with a camera crew shooting B roll of me for a segment on his show, and my segment got cut…

  2. Assistant

    Rex Murphy, writing in Canuckistan’s National Post writes this:

    The number one name in American politics today is Donald Trump. All that might derail him right now from his front-ranking position, and his takeover of American presidential politics, is a declaration that Krusty the Clown has a release agreement from The Simpsons and will throw his nose into the campaign.

    His campaign is, by all wise people, deplored. Serious people weep in the public streets at the thought of it. Mature Americans are appalled by what it means for their country, and how the rest of the world must be looking on — awed and horrified — at how deep American politics has sunk. But all those who deplore it, and all those sobbing in public, might want to ask how the Trump inflammation came to be. Why he is getting the response he is.
    I agree Trump is ridiculous — but he is an illustration of a problem and not its cause. Trump is not the swamp: he is the creature emerging from it. For however ridiculous and appalling his candidacy may be, it is no worse and no more ridiculous and appalling than the whole pattern of American politics at this time.

    Is his candidacy more lunatic than the idea of a third President Bush or a second President Clinton? More despairing than the idea of an America so bereft of political talent that two families supply the major pool?

    Is he more manipulative than President “you can keep you doctor, you can keep you plan” Obama? Is he less venal or arrogant than Hillary “it’s my server and it’s my State Department” Clinton?

    Is his candidacy less perplexing than parts of the Democratic party’s fixations? Is it less lunatic that the spectacle of a former governor, Martin O’Malley — one of the few Democrats wandering the no-man’s land of opposition to the Hillary machine — apologizing, more than once, for asserting out loud that “all lives matter”? The Democrats have drilled so deep into the factionalism and demagoguery of identity politics — sexual and ethnic — that any appeal to universalism, any echo of the greatest phrase in the Declaration of Independence — “all men are created equal” — is now toxic? Donald Trump may be annoying, but he has said or done nothing that equals the fatuousness of a system in which the claim that all lives matter is seen as a troubling deviancy?

    There’s more, read the whole thing from a guy who’s country has just installed a premier more narcissistic and, shall we say, even less capable than the guy we pay to golf to his heart’s content, even while six servicemen are killed in Afghanistan.

  3. Lynn Teague

    This raises the question that has come up when nations have gone badly off the rails in the past – how could civilized people fall into this? As an anthropologist, I am inclined to wonder if reports of our having evolved are overstated.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Mike, people say things like that too easily.

        Neither Barack Obama nor George W. Bush nor anyone who has been president in my lifetime — including Richard Nixon — can fairly be put into the same category as Donald Trump.

        I was pretty upset when Reagan was elected, and felt like the country’s standards had been lowered considerably (I was a huge Jimmy Carter fan), but Reagan was like Marcus Aurelius compared to Trump…

      2. bud

        Mike, lets stick with facts not ad hominem attacks:

        Unemployment rate 1/1/09 – 7.8% Unemployment rate now 5%. The U6 rate is down as well.
        The price of gasoline today lowest after adjusting for inflation in 3 decades
        Percentage of Americans uninsured is down from 16% to under 12% since Obama took office
        There has been no 9/11 scale event under Obama
        Annual budget deficit is down from 1.8 trillion to around 400 billion.
        Inflation and interest rates remain low.
        The homicide rate continues to fall from 5.4 per 100k to 4.5 now.
        There is now hope for meaningful engagement with both Cuba and Iran.
        ISIS is on the run without putting large numbers of troops on the ground.
        Both Osama Bin Laden and Mohmar Ghadafi are gone.

        The world is a messy place and things don’t always go smoothly. But it’s clear that Barack Obama has performed a remarkable turnaround from the complete and utter failure of his predecessor, the worst president by a wide margin since WW II. I doubt anyone could have done better.

  4. Doug Ross

    I am not totally frightened by the very unlikely occurrence of a Trump presidency. Just like all the Presidents before him that I recall (and especially Obama), President Trump would be a different person than Candidate Trump. He can bluster and pontificate about anything but the reality is that nothing can be done in Washington unless a majority of the bought-and-paid-for Congress wants it. Trump may want a wall but what he might end up with is stronger border security. He might want to ban all Muslims from entering the country but end up with an enhanced screening process that makes it difficult for CERTAIN Muslims to enter.

    Remember, Obama was going to be a transformative President who ended all wars, gave free healthcare to everyone, close Guantanamo, fixed the female wage gap, restored income equality, ended global warming. How’d that work out for him? He got a crappy Obamacare bill through, continues to battle terrorism, saw an economy improve BECAUSE Congress couldn’t do anything… Trump would be the same.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Doug, first — thanks for lunch today!

      Second, you’re ignoring the considerable leeway the commander-in-chief has to act internationally. A president can get the country into a whole lot of trouble fast on the global scene, without Congress either helping or hindering him.

      And I’m not talking about such overt things as deploying troops, which he has considerable power to do. The fact is, that every word a POTUS says can have an effect for good or ill globally. The things Trump says already cause negative ripples internationally. If he were in the White House, we’d have a very bad situation.

      Being a foreign-policy guy (at least, that’s what I am when we’re talking about the presidency), that’s the first thing I think about, and the first thing I worry about

      1. bud

        A president can get the country into a whole lot of trouble fast on the global scene, without Congress either helping or hindering him.

        Yup, we found that out in 2003. I guess Congress did authorize the Iraq invasion. But it was based on a pack of lies. Anyway, probably best not to go down that path again but it is certainly true that a president can make a huge difference. Let’s not suggest otherwise.

  5. Bryan Caskey

    Can I sorta disagree with the premise of the entire question? An elected official doesn’t really factor in to my self-worth. The only person who directly reflects on me is myself. Sure, my close family and close associates also indirectly reflect on me, but that’s about it.

    An elected magistrate at any level does not reflect on me.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      The degradation of the United States of America is a thing that matters to me. I may not care how the Gamecocks are doing (beyond the fact that I want my neighbors to be happy, and the local economy to be healthy, which, absurdly, that affects) or about a lot of other things that other folks allow to affect their moods, but the state of the nation matters to me.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        But “the degradation of the United States of America” and the “state of the nation” as you put it are an entirely different question from: “Is Brad Warthen embarrassed?”

        To be specific: Trump says all sorts of dumb things. I’m not embarrassed by dumb things he says. I didn’t say [insert dumb thing], Trump said it. I wasn’t embarrassed when Gov. Sanford had his whole Appalachian Trail episode. That was him, not me.

        But sure, to your point about Trump degrading the United States of America, he certainly would. A Trump Administration would be a bad thing for the country, and since I am a part of the USA (albeit a very small part), it would be bad for me.

        I guess it’s like with M&M Enterprises, everyone has a share.

  6. Doug Ross

    There’s one reason why Trump will eventually drop out or lose on purpose: his wealth. If elected, he would have to put his company under the control of a blind trust, I believe. There’s no way he would give up control for four years.


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