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Likeability factor, in politics

bisleybisley Senior MemberPosts: 10,804 Senior Member
In my opinion, the likeability factor has gone way down in the order of importance for a presidential candidate, since 2016. The choice for president was no longer a 'beauty contest,' for ordinary folks, like me, when offered a choice between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. Even a personality evaluation, or a character evaluation, pretty much went out the window, once the nominations were cast in stone.

For the first time ever, I had to choose between two candidates that had no redeeming qualities that appealed to me, personally. Of course, it wasn't that hard for me, because no Democrat had impressed me at all, since at least the early '70's, when I was young and impressionable. Still, I had great difficulty defending my choice, even to myself, and finally just let it rest on likely Supreme Court nominations, and even less confidently upon Trump's stated stances on 2A issues. I was sure then, that both candidates were simply saying whatever they thought would help them win. I figured that even if Trump was impeached, and he was replaced by a dullard like Mike Pence, it would still be better than Hilary Clinton.

What has transpired since the 2016 election has been nothing short of astonishing, to me. I still cringe when Donald Trump is in his 'bloviating' mode, and I still avoid listening to his campaign speeches. But, I cannot deny that he has delivered on some of his promises, and fought hard on others that he has not accomplished in two-plus years, and he has done it in the face of the most concentrated personal and political attacks I have ever seen. I cannot explain it, and I would still not be surprised if he 'shoots himself in the foot' (politically speaking), but he keeps rocking along on a roller coaster ride. He looks terrible one day, and great the next day, absorbing every heavy punch that is thrown at him, but never going down for the count.

I can't speak for anybody else, but I have to say that I have learned a lot about how to choose between two choices that are unattractive to me. Pragmatism has always been below character, in my evaluation scale of how to select a leader, and deep down, I guess, maybe, it still is. But, when you can't find anything you like about either candidate, you have to move pragmatism up the ladder, and just suffer through the behaviors you don't approve of. What else can you do? Quit?


  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,313 Senior Member
    I've made no secret that I like Trump - he's the best thing that has happened to the GOP in my lifetime. That doesn't mean I agree with everything he says/does (exhibit one: Bumpstock ban), but I agree with the most of it and FAR more than any other president or even presidential candidate. His choice of Pence was very unfortunate, but he plays the MSM and the Democrats like a fiddle and they're too stupid to even realize it. In a day of rampant PC-ness, Trump tells it as he sees it. I'm sick and tired of mealy mouthed politicians, and whatever else Trump is, he isn't that. We still have people droning on about "professional politicians" and how Trump isn't one: I for one am SICK AND TIRED of "professional politicians" - that's what got us in this mess in the 1st place.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,804 Senior Member
    No, it didn't really answer the question, because you like Trump. So, you aren't 'offended' by the candidate that, logically, you had to vote for. You actually like him, because he is a radical, at least among Republicans, and you are used to radicalism. You are able to say yes to him, easily, because you can appreciate his straight-forward approach, and are more willing than I am to overlook his errors. The conservative in me still wants to 'keep it clean,' but the pragmatist in me wants to neutralize a dangerous threat to the well-being of the country.

    I have grudgingly admitted that when your opponent is waging total war (political-wise), you have no choice but to admit that you have been losing, and then find anybody you can get that is tough enough to get down in the gutter with them and match them blow for blow, just to stay even. It took me a long time to get it through my thick head that this is the battle for what is left of our traditions, and a lot of other less sentimental essential things that I have enjoyed for my whole life, that will mostly disappear during my grandchildren's lifetimes, if we continue to let the Democrats redefine the language and set all of the rules.

    The Democrats recognized the danger of a Donald Trump type fighter, immediately, and have pulled out all of the stops to destroy him before he destroys them. They have been waging total war, for years, against a party that has hardly noticed all of the things they have given up. But Trump knows their playbook and does not react to their baiting in the same way as the dumb-ass Republican establishment, who are still 'fussing' at the same leisurely pace as they were, when it was all just a polite disagreement among friends.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,313 Senior Member
    edited April 2019 #4
    That's right. The objective to any "war" is to WIN. Restrictive ROE just causes you to lose - as we've failed to learn post WW II.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Abandoning pragmatism in pursuit of perfection is a fool's mission- - - -always has been, always will be.  Trump knows the democrats' strategy and he exploits their weaknesses.  They're dumb enough to allow him to play them like a fiddle- - - - -good for him!  Now, let's see if we can give a few RINO's like Romney and the rest of the career politicians like him the boot and get down to the business of creating veto-proof majorities in both houses of government in the next election.  Pence might be a poor substitute for another Trump as a choice for 2024, but he's head and shoulders above anyone the communists can offer.   
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,458 Senior Member
    Likeability is a falsehood created, manipulated, and/or destroyed by television madia specifically, as the power of visual perception is dominant.

    The genie can't be rebottled. Only applied intellect can over come the prism of caricature to see deeper. People, regardless of class, position, prestige, or power are both good and bad.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,313 Senior Member
    I'll let Trump do his thing in 2020, but I'm counting on all y'all's votes in 2024! ;)
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,562 Senior Member
    edited April 2019 #8
    Yeah. . .likeability.  My response to that is usually something along the lines of "AWWWW!  He wants to LIKE the candidate he's voting for!  Isn't that cute??"

    I'm pretty Libertarian in a lot of my thinking - hard pro gun, very pro choice, and an atheist who operates on the "freedom of = freedom from" creedo, so no, I don't pigeonhole along the usual party lines very well.  I typically go to the polls voting AGAINST the candidate that is going to screw me the most.

    I don't think we've had a president that I'd consider inviting into my home or having a social drink with since T.R., and though I'd have to do a little researching, I think I'd probably have to go back to Jefferson to find the next one.  I'm operating on the assumption that they're seeking the job for either nefarious purposes, or that their ego is so massive, they either think they know better than the rest of us or that they can actually fix things.  I'm willing to hold out hope that they'll prove me wrong, but I do not enter into this contract thinking that "LIKE" is even going to be on the table.  A snake that keeps plague-bearing rodents out of your garden is still a snake.


    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,313 Senior Member
    edited April 2019 #9
    BS, I think there are more of us than we think - I don't pigeonhole with either of the main parties either for much the same reasons you don't, and am Libertarian too.
    Haven't seen the politician I like yet - I just try to find the one who is most Libertarian and least a slaver. As I talk with people, there are a LOT who feel the same way - so why doesn't Libertarianism go farther, or at least ONE of the major two parties see things a bit closer to "our way"? Too many in love with their brand of Slavery, I guess... *shrug*
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • ShannonHayesShannonHayes Posts: 211 Member
    I actually like Trump, and have liked him since he was first nominated. And I think he is the best President we have had since the great Teddy Roosevelt! I think Trump has done great things for our country and will continue to do so. I am pretty Libertarian, but I think one MAJOR issue most pro choices defend, abortion, should NOT be choice,, bcuz it is murder, plain and simple!!!
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,313 Senior Member
    And that is YOUR opinion - and frankly, in many situations, I even agree. But it is still opinion and shouldn't be the law of the land.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,804 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    A snake that keeps plague-bearing rodents out of your garden is still a snake.

    Your metaphors are always good, but this one may be the best, yet.

    Life is definitely 'nicer' if you don't have to identify everyone you meet as either a friend or an enemy. But, it hasn't really been that way since the fifties or early sixties. Maybe it never was, and I just took 'Leave it to Beaver' too literally, when I was a kid. My life as a kid was not 'sheltered,' but I had a good family and good neighbors, so I guess I thought it was that way, everywhere. Anyone with really bad manners stuck out like a turd in the punch bowl, back then, and there was a minimum measure of 'decorum' that could be expected from everyone, regardless of their station in life.

    I suppose politics has probably always been 'dog eat dog,' but at least there didn't seem to be as many idiots running for office, and it was not a total disaster if you did elect some dud - you just voted him out next time, and individual freedom was still intact. I suppose it is true that the more you learn about anything, the more cynical you will become, if human beings are involved.

    It would be nice if courage, brains, and personality really did come in neat little packages, so that you could make a candidate selection without having to cancel out every little act of nastiness between the two. But I reckon that has all gone the way of the flat head engine and AM radio. I was slow to let it all go, but I'm over it, now, out of pure necessity.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I don't have to like the guy I hire to mow my grass, fix my plumbing, paint my house, or remove my appendix- - - - -I just want him to be the best at what he does, and maybe he won't take advantage of the situation and overcharge me for the service he provides.  Why should politicians be any different?  We choose to elect the ones we think will do their jobs most effectively, without trampling on our rights excessively in the process.  The problem we face now is that too many of them are corrupt beyond redemption, and the usual remedy of voting them out of office doesn't seem to be working because they keep finding gullible fools to vote for them- - - -even if they have to import them and bend the rules so they can cast votes the way they're told to do.    
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,804 Senior Member
    It seems like the trick, these days, for a thoughtful voter, is to determine which of about twenty major life-changing issues has the most immediate importance. Understanding this, and then trying to sort through all of the media horseshiite that they use to manipulate public opinion, is almost a full time job.

    At the moment, cleaning up the Justice Department has my full attention, but one cannot ignore the fact that we are gearing up for major punitive action against Iran, while juggling carrier groups in the South China Sea, and negotiating trade deals with China and de-nuclearization of North Korea. At the same time, our southern border is being invaded, with 100,000 unvetted immigrants per month, that has so completely overwhelmed our border personnel with caring for women and children that the bad actors can just walk across with impunity.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats are more allied with our foreign enemies than with our own elected President, presently using Obama judges to strike down every effort to ease some of the worst problems, threatening impeachment, and praying to their gods for the booming economy to crash. The Democrats seem to be coordinating with our foreign enemies to keep the President engaged on every front, with demands on the military that have to be almost overwhelming. Trump has to counter heavy blows from every direction, knowing that one missed step will bring a concentrated and coordinated attack from all the forces that have been lined up against him for more than two years.

    With all of my reservations about Donald Trump, I have to admit that I deeply admire his courage in taking on the continuous full-scale political assaults from so many powerful entities. I doubt that any president in modern history has had to face such massive external threats, without the support of Congress and half of the American people. The danger to democracy has never been greater, in my opinion.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,804 Senior Member
    edited May 2019 #15
    Who is surprised?

    Actually, I'm kind of glad that the Democrats have chosen this president to exact their revenge upon, for the Clinton impeachment. They have gone so far, now, that they have to get him, before he blows up all of their politicized bureaucracies and investigative agencies. If they impeach him, they are screwed for 2020, and if they don't, their own Russian collusion and abuses of power will be exposed. If the media tries to ignore it, they will be damaged for years to come, if they still have any credibility with mainstream Democrats. Their best bet, at this point, is to count on the Republican establishment to chicken out and undermine the Justice Department purge that is about to come due.

    My only worry, at this point, is how far China, Russia, Iran, NK, and some of our weak sister allies will go to destroy Trump. The Democrats are not likely to get it done, by themselves, with only their 'usual suspects' supplying all of the brains.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,458 Senior Member
    Any thing that happens can be spun in any way the soap box directors of theater wish to spin it. I don't see any land slide revelations in the future. Just the same continuing power struggle.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,804 Senior Member
    True, but the normal ebb and flow of political theater gets disrupted when one side can actually prove some of what they have been saying. Even good liars need a little bit of truth to mingle with their BS, and the Democrats have had a major shortage in that department, lately.
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