Michael_S comments on A Third Take on Trump - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Michael_S 01 April 2017 01:21:38PM 5 points [-]

I agree that the modal outcome of a Trump presidency is that he changes little and the Democrats come out stronger at the end of his presidency than they entered. However, I still think it would have been better that Clinton had won (even if we assume the same congress).

The most important reason is tail risk. As others have commented, the risk of nuclear war may be greater under Trump than it would have been under Clinton. So far, he seems to be pursuing a more conventional foreign policy than I feared, but I still believe the risk is higher than with Clinton. Additionally, I'm worried that the Trump presidency is increasing the salience of Russian hostility among Democrats and could increase the chance of conflict in the future even when a Democrat takes office.

Another are of concern is pandemics. Trump has expressed anti-Vaccine sentiments and submitted budgets which cut pandemic preparedness. Furthermore, the overall level of incompetence in his administration and many of his appointees leaves me worried that the response of the US to a major pandemic could be diminished.

None of the above is likely to happen, but I'd much rather play it safe with a Clinton presidency. Additionally, even the modal outcome of a presidency isn't all good for the liberals. Most notably, he'll almost certainly be able to move at least one conservative into the supreme court and has a high chance of moving at least one more. If Trump replaces a liberal with a conservative on the court, the court will move to the right and it will likely be quite a while until Democrats retake it. With a Clinton presidency, liberals would have been able to achieve a majority on the court that would likely have lasted a long time itself.