Trump’s successor may be a ‘giant’
Has President Trump been in office for only seven months? It’s been enough drama for seven years — with no letup in sight. So, as beach vacations wind to a close and Congress prepares to return to Washington, let’s get a jump on contemplating the qualities Americans will want in their 46th president.
For starters, most voters are not presidential scholars. Instead of assessing which of the two major party nominees might someday join the exalted company of Lincoln, Roosevelt or Reagan, Americans weigh more immediate concerns every four years. It’s true that partisanship is foremost among them: Is the candidate a Republican or a Democrat? That criterion alone determines the ballot box behavior of 80 to 90 percent of the electorate.
The rest of us — the much-pursued swing voters who determine election outcomes — weigh a mishmash of questions: Which party platform do I think will improve the economy? Which presidential candidate will keep us out of war — or win wars already being waged? Will my taxes be raised (or cut)? Or sometimes, it’s simply: which candidate do I like the best?
Independent-minded voters also search for qualities in the nominees they find lacking in the current White House occupant. Jimmy Carter’s dour realism begets Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism. Bill Clinton’s libertine lifestyle helps produce monogamous teetotaler George W. Bush; Dubya’s impulsive cowboy qualities, in turn, set the table for cool and cerebral Barack Obama. And so on.
Considering the shock to the system our current president has been, it’s not difficult to imagine areas of improvement discerning voters might seek in Trump’s replacement. For some, it would be character traits, including Trump’s coarseness, obsession with wealth, habit of bending the truth, and unnerving admiration for Vladimir Putin. It must be noted that many swing voters who opted for Trump last […]