Painful Truth: On hoping for incompetence

Sometimes all you can do is root for your opponents to be really, really stupid.

I’m not a fan of president-elect Donald Trump.

Let’s set aside his personal boorishness – the rudeness, the open greed, the desire to cover everything in gold leaf. We could ignore those, in a sensible politician.

It’s his racism and misogyny that are really scary, combined with the fact that his policy plans, sketchy and vague as they are, seem terrifying.

Giant walls, bans on Muslims entering the country, a view of African Americans that is wildly at odds with reality…

None of those seem like they’ll lead to any good outcomes.

But Trump won. People voted for him, whether because they want manufacturing jobs back, or because they agree with his xenophobia, or because they are convinced Hillary Clinton is in league with the devil.

So my hope now is that he is an utter failure at implementing his policies.

There’s some evidence to suggest that will be the case. Trump managed to win election in spite of himself. He spent most of the campaign as his own worst enemy. He didn’t actually win the popular vote!

Then there’s his business record. He’s made a career out of succeeding through failure, ripping off investors, contractors, and customers as business after business collapsed around him.

He is a man who famously managed to drive casinos into bankruptcy. He’s tanked an airline, and attached his name to shady schemes like Trump University. Yet he constantly touts his success, his understanding, his (allegedly) vast wealth. He seems to be the classic example of a man born on third base who believes he’s hit a triple.

Almost everything he wants to do I believe is either wrong (Mexican border wall, mass deportations, fights with NATO, etc.) or extremely unlikely to succeed (somehow making manufacturing jobs reappear).

I hope that Trump fails during his presidency, but I hope that he fails in a very specific way.

I want him to fail largely through inaction. I want him to flail about, making as much noise as he likes, while accomplishing almost nothing.

I want to see as little harm done over the next four years as possible. But I think there’s a good chance his natural incompetence will blunt some of the harm he could do.

Here’s hoping.


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