Candidate Evaluations: Donald Trump

Donald Trump is running for president. A few people have told me I shouldn’t do an evaluation for Trump, that to write one for him treats him with a level of seriousness he’s not entitled to. But here’s the deal folks–as of late May and early June, Donald Trump polls at 4% among republican primary voters. That may not sound like a lot, but he has roughly twice as many supporters as George Pataki, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, or Rick Santorum. In some polls, he also tops Rick Perry. And as we’ve seen over the course of this series, there are a great many serious candidates for president who have said outlandish things or taken reactionary positions. So I’m going to do an evaluation for Trump, because he really isn’t that much crazier or that much less popular than many of the republican candidates I’ve already done. Before we begin, here’s a quick reminder of what we’re doing. I’ll be evaluating Trump’s background, policy history, and explicit statements to determine whether or not he would make a good president. I won’t be paying attention to electability or likeability, as is often common elsewhere on the web. Read the rest of this entry »