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WTF: Not What You Think (But Close)

What came to mind when you heard that acronym? The common usage, “What the F***?!” Did you relate it to our beloved country’s political affairs for the past four years?




You’re justified in thinking that. These four years have seemed like a combination roller-coaster ride, three-ring circus, demolition derby, and haunted house.


One d*** thing after another, as the saying goes. Some Americans apparently find that entertaining, but Moderates find it inexplicable, ineffective, and inappropriate.

So TMM suggests a new definition:

WTF: Why Trump Fails

(the Moderate Leadership Test)

TMM has chronicled America’s political freakshow since our launch, two years ago; but the insanity began two years before that – with the introduction of “alternative facts” and “the truth is not the truth” concepts.






Many observers (including TMM) created theories, trying to make sense of it:

  • Trump, former reality-TV performer, created controversy to attract attention, garnering high ratings (his measure of success).
  • Trump stirred up controversy to distract citizens from what he was really doing (like dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency and 100 environmental protections).
  • Trump and his appointees were inept, and caused controversy unintentionally with their incompetent approach to governing.
  • Trump’s highest priorities were empowering (and enriching) himself, his family and cronies, and that required controversial actions.
  • Trump sees politics as blood sport, with winners and losers (not as collaborative efforts seeking win-win solutions); so he viciously attacked opponents, generating controversy.
  • The media, aware that “bad news sells papers”, granted Trump’s controversies outsized attention – rewarding him with priceless free publicity.
  • All of the above?

We Moderates, preferring functional government (where both sides negotiate in good faith and compromise to reach viable solutions), are tired of the crazy train and want to get off it. Trying to honor our civic duty and remain informed citizens, we’re exhausted from the highly-partisan dogfights, staged by drama-queens and -kings in this administration.

Besides chronicling our political demise, TMM objectively evaluated this sideshow by quantifying Trump (and VP Biden) on some of Moderates’ Vital Values and Basic Beliefs, using our Moderate Leadership Test (MLT).

Here’s a recap of those Values, Beliefs, and scores from recent posts (with titles and links, so readers can easily access them).




Just the Facts, Ma’am (& Mr) – PLEASE

SCORES: Biden B-; Trump F



R-E-S-P-E-C-T, What That Word Means to Me

SCORES: Biden A; Trump F



God’ll Get You for That…

SCORES: Biden A; Trump D-



Now Cut That Out!

SCORES: Biden B+; Trump F




America has been great because Americans of good will, from different parties, backgrounds, and faiths, worked TOGETHER to make her great.

Sock It to Me: Scoring Candidates

SCORES: Biden A-; Trump C-


Solutions to political challenges… will be found in the MIDDLE, not the extremes of Left or Right…

Stuck in the Middle with You

SCORES: Biden A; Trump D


Science is based on provable, logical knowledge. As such, science (and scientists) should be respected and accepted.

What You See Is What You Get! Like… Science!

SCORES: Biden A; Trump F


TMM didn’t evaluate candidates on other Moderate Vital Values and Basic Beliefs, but let’s quickly compare them on some. Here are our observations. Moderates, please determine your own scores and post them in Comments section.




Biden: Re-elected to U.S. Senate six times (1973 – 2009), known for reaching compromise deals with Republicans after seeking moderate solutions.

Trump: Pushed extreme positions on several issues, including Immigration (diverted military funding for border wall, no promised funding from Mexico; separated immigrant children from parents and locked them in cages) and Environment/Climate (overturned 100+ environmental protections; withdrew U.S. from Paris Climate Accord, designed to combat climate change).



Biden: Known for self-deprecating humor, shares credit for successes with others.

Trump: Constantly boasts he has “created the greatest economy ever” (which isn’t true); “done more for ____________ (blacks, Hispanics, suburban women, etc.) than any other president”; “had the largest inauguration crowds ever”; and supposedly achieved many historical accomplishments.



Biden: Remarried only after first wife was killed; married second wife, Jill, four years later, in 1977. Accused of sexual harassment by several women (for making them “uncomfortable”); eventually dismissed as Biden being old-fashioned, “tactile” politician. Biden apologized for “not understanding how people would react”. Even Trump has not attacked Biden on this issue.

Trump: First marriage ended when he divorced wife Ivana and married mistress, Marla Maples, after birth of their daughter. Divorced Maples and married current wife Melania. Many allegations of extra-marital affairs over many years (and payments of hush-money to porn star and Playboy magazine model); accused of sexual harassment (and assaults) by nineteen different women.




Fellow Americans holding different beliefs should NOT be demonized or attacked.

Biden: Known for respectful behavior toward opponents as Senator and VP, enabling him to negotiate and compromise with them.

Trump: History of opponent name-calling (“Sleepy Joe”, “Crooked Hillary”, “Lyin’ Ted”, many others) and leading threatening chants at rallies (“Lock Her Up”).

The media is NOT “the enemy of the people”. Threat of violence or intimidation aimed at our free press is unacceptable.

Biden: The Atlantic reported while Biden isn’t always as transparent or forthcoming as reporters might like, he’s nowhere near Trump’s record of over 20,000 documented falsehoods (according to nonpartisan Washington Post fact-checkers) and generally maintains cordial relationship with media.

Trump: Constantly attacks media as “fake news” and reporters as “disgraceful”. Encourages rally crowds to threaten or intimidate reporters.


Following laws, rules and regulations are necessary concessions we agree to make in a civilized society, justified by our collective desire to be safe, healthy, and fair.

Biden: Proposes enacting laws and regulations to (among other things) “ensure no future president can ever again use the office for personal gain”; “reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics and make it easier for candidates of all backgrounds to run for office”; and “hold the lobbied and lobbyists to a higher standard of accountability”.

Trump: The Cato Institute reported “The Trump administration sees regulation as an intrusion on the freedoms of private citizens and enterprises” and “has underway 514 deregulatory rulemakings on a wide range of issues”. However, that report continued, “an unintended consequence of federal deregulation under Trump has been growth in state and local regulations” (indicating those states and communities see regulations as beneficial).


Moderates, please consider whether a candidates’ CHARACTER, including Vital Values (like Honesty, Respect, Compassion, Nonviolence, Moderation, Modesty, and Fidelity) and Basic Beliefs (regard for Bipartisanship, Compromise, Science, Media, even opponents), is as important – if not more so – than their positions on issues.

If you agree, TMM suggests America simply CANNOT entrust Donald Trump with another four years as president. The damage already done would be magnified in a second term – when he wouldn’t have to worry about facing voters again.

The best option, we believe, is to vote for Joe Biden – since he consistently scores much higher than Trump on all Moderate Vital Values and Basic Beliefs.

If you agree CHARACTER is paramount, but cannot allow yourself to vote for Biden, or any Democrat, so be it. There are other options: vote for a third-party candidate or write in your choice.

But please, DO NOT vote for Trump; otherwise, we’ll all be saying “WTF” (the old meaning) for another four years. Remember that – and VOTE.


Images: Google Images

WTF with woman: Medium

Roller coaster: Time Magazine

Circus: Pinterest

Demolition derby: Owego Pennysaver

Haunted house: Dallas Morning News

Trump and Mattis: TRT World

Trump in Oval Office: ABC

Biden and Trump: WSJ

Biden and Trump (multiple images): NDSU-Spectrum

Biden and Trump:

Biden and Trump (debate): Fox News

Trump rally crowd: Newsweek

WTF IS GOING ON: Redbubble

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The Modern Moderate welcomes readers’ ideas and discussions of issues. We do insist, in Moderate fashion, that comments should be as respectful and informed as possible, to keep our site constructive for our readers. Therefore, posts deemed hostile, obscene, untrue, or misleading will be deleted, and authors of those comments may be blocked from posting comments in the future. Thank you for your cooperation.

Share Your Thoughts

  1. Just found your website. I feel at home.

    Thank you for giving moderates a voice. We do really exist. 😁

  2. Nice blog, I just found it today after years of curiosity, wondering if there was such an animal. Regarding Honesty, I believe the grade you gave Trump is too high. But otherwise the article hit the nail on the head. I voted for Trump four years ago, hoping for true change, an outsider who was bold enough to alter the status quo. Trump failed us. He became a reactor rather than an actor leading the narrative and as a result we have had no leadership. I am somewhat hopeful with Biden but time will tell. I’ll be back, thank you.

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