listen to the lawyers

​Cass Sunstein has some useful advice for Trump.  1) follow the rule of law – which he himself is bound by 2) listen to what the experts have to say (because they know a few things) and 3) respect our nation’s institutions. 

I would also like to tack on an additional piece of my own advice, and then make some predictions about our future president.  In terms of my advice, I would tell trump the following (to his face if I could):  sleep on it before you post your tweets.  Unlike the average person (such as myself), actual, real life things happen when you say stuff.  And the more controversial your statements, the more extreme and consequential those real life actual things are. 

In terms of my prediction, I normally don’t like to say much at all about the future because it’s unpredictable and I don’t know everything.  But I think it’s reasonable to look at Trump’s behavior and antics leading up to his nomination and safely say that this presidency is going to be nothing short of a disaster.  I’m happy to go on record with this and will eat my words when it’s not.  However, I’m pretty confident in my forecast of a disaster for the following reasons:  

First, he’s impulsive and seems very willing to do (or say) just about anything to get his way.  For example, right now he’s in the process of quoting Julian Assange on Twitter.  Say what you will about Assange and his cause, but it’s definitely pretty weird that a future US President is so carelessly aligning himself with a man who has dedicated his entire life to leaking American national security secrets.  I mean, generally speaking, that would be a career limiting move within the confines of the US federal government, so one would expect a new president to at least show some level of restraint there.     

Second, he routinely demonstrates that he is not open to criticism or correction.  He makes statements like “I’m actually a smart guy, I don’t need intelligence briefings”, which indicates to me he lacks a healthy respect for the depths of his own ignorance (which appear to be pretty deep).  

And this brings me to my third point, he’s not the type of person who is likely to admit when he is wrong.  A decent president will at least acknowledge when they made a mistake.  Trump’s attitude and behavior indicate to me that he is much more likely to dig his heels in the sand, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that he should pivot or “do otherwise”.  When one is steering a ship this large, avoiding icebergs happens well before you set sail.  A president who is unwilling to change sets us on a course for the murky bottom.      

Certainly, there will be a few things that Trump does that will somehow work out, maybe even surprisingly so.  He appears to think he’s personally responsible for every corporate board decision at the moment, and perhaps he will save a few jobs from overseas displacement (even though he’s also strong arming private enterprises into doing his bidding, which flies in the face of everything Republicans supposedly stand for). However, I believe that when things go his way, they will generally do so as a result of the random walk of life, where even a drunkard may stumble upon fortune from time to time.  Sadly though, I think more often than not it will be the other way around, because the fundamentals are not right.  It doesn’t matter how much of a “movement” you have, or how right you are, if your fundamentals are off, you’re in for a very tough time.  

In short, I do not see how Trump can be all of these things: impulsive, pigheaded, and inflexible AND also be a successful president.  I am very pessimistic about the next 4 years.