In Response to: The Trump Era: Lesson of 2016 [6]

Speaking as someone who felt the harsh split between my largely urban, liberal friends and my relatively spread-out, conservative family, I found the March 1 essay by Tom Bevan ’91 to be an interesting takedown of overconfidence in our own assumptions and in our “experts.” 

That said, I think his statement that some of the same experts who believed Trump would not be nominated or elected “are declaring with absolute certainty that he will be a failure as president and a one-termer” confuses two very different things: winning an election versus governing.

I appreciate Bevan’s point that these pundits are making the same mistake in misunderstanding all the forces at work in an election. But it’s false equivalence to equate that mistake with the validity of any prediction around success or failure in the presidency. That, in fact, is a prediction on Trump’s ability to govern. Whatever metrics or criteria you use to rate his success or failure, they’re very different than those of winning an election. Especially in our environment of constant campaigning/posturing/brand-building, we could all do well to remember that.