There’s a talking point that I hear a lot from Trump supporters- not the ones on TV, but people I encounter in real life or online.
The argument goes like this: There’s something going on that the speaker doesn’t like. Maybe it’s urban riots, maybe it’s terrorist attacks, maybe it’s crime. It might even be liberal media bias or NFL players’ national anthem protests or “safe space” culture or “the wussification of America.” Or perhaps even something even broader, like kids today being lazy and entitled and not respecting their elders. #Donald Trump, the story goes, will “put a stop” to all of these terrible things.
Trump for his part has encouraged these sorts of attitudes, stating in his RNC acceptance speech that “I alone can fix it” and promising that “the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end.” Those voting for Trump for this reason are in for a rude awakening, because Trump is in no position to “stop” any of these things. Half of them are things the president has no power to affect, and other half are things Trump has no plan to affect.
Trump can’t stop anything
Americans have a tendency to overestimate the powers of the presidency, no matter who is president at the time. But Trump, and his fans, are overpromising to an obscure degree. Trump, of course, doesn’t have a plan to stop crime or terrorism or defeat ISIS and no, “get tougher” doesn’t count as a plan. Really, no president can completely defeat crime or terrorism. But the other things are just wish-casting. Even if you hate “safe space” stuff on campuses, there’s nothing the president can do about it. He can’t make Colin Kaepernick stand up or chance the overall attitude of the entire Millennial generation.
Presidents aren’t kings or messiahs
Trump certainly has more authoritarian tendencies than just about any presidential candidate in memory. But that doesn’t mean he can actually follow through on any of this stuff, even if he were to assume dictatorial powers. There’s a certain degree of messiah complex for any popular presidential candidate- remember that viral video of the woman who thought Obama’s election meant she wouldn’t have to pay her bills anymore? But the presidential candidate you vote for, even if he or she enacts all the policies you want, isn’t going to give you everything you want.
There are many reasons to be disappointed with politics this these that are perfectly fair; but the failure of politicians to solve your specific pet peeves shouldn’t be one of them. #Millennials