"The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes as defined in the help center."

Quoted above is one of the reasons for closing a question on PSE.

While scrolling through the site's highest voted questions, I came across Why aren't Republicans more focused on mobilizing towards 'dethroning' Trump?".

To start things off, "dethroned" is about as far from politically neutral as you can get, clearly implying that President Trump is some sort of king. Obviously, he isn't and he won the election fair and square.

Still, as many of the comments point out, this question is rooted in unsubstantiated assumptions.

Donald Trump is monumentally unpopular. His disapproval rating has remained above 50 % (to be exact: an average of 52.1 % across multiple polls) for almost the entirety of his tenure - mind you that other presidents have had worse ratings by the end of their tenures, but nobody has had such bad ratings this early and this consistently as Donald Trump. This suggests that a majority of the population are fundamentally opposed to Trump, to the point where it is hard to see what could possibly change their stance when 2020 arrives.

The OP conveniently leaves out the fact that virtually all democrats disapprove of him, and constitute his "high" disapproval rating.

Next, they say without any source:

Further, it may well be argued that a major reason for Trump's 2016 victory was his opposition: Hillary Clinton.

They go on to say:

With all that in mind, why does the Republican party not take steps to generate a movement against Trump, so that they can present a more viable candidate of their own for 2020? Is that not the rational thing to do? Trump is almost guaranteed to lose given the current state of affairs which, as argued above, differ significantly from 2016. Supporting him means giving up the most powerful political office in the world to your political opposition: is it not worth it to swallow your pride to avoid that outcome?

So why don't they? Is there political pressure not to from Trump himself? Is there a general lack of viable candidates in the first place? What rationale underlies their actions? Because as of right now, it seems the Republican party is by own volition taking the path towards defeat in 2020.

This is not only completely unsupported, but also reeking in bias.

so that they can present a more viable candidate of their own for 2020?

Trump is almost guaranteed to lose given the current state of affairs

Because as of right now, it seems the Republican party is by own volition taking the path towards defeat in 2020.

I don't know how this is anything more than never-Trumper speculation.

Plus, your own site says

“Why is [insert person here] such a jerk?” is clearly off-topic

That's essentially what this rant is claiming.

My question is how is this even remotely on-topic? It's an entirely unsupported cheap shot at President Trump with so much bias it's not even funny. Yet, a FAR more neutral question like this one asking about procedure gets canned immediately canned. Could someone explain why this is? It's clear that the OP of this question isn't trying to learn more about governments, policies, or political processes, but to "expose" the President.


2 Answers 2


When we say “Why is [insert person here] such a jerk?” is not a good question, it's not because the question is biased. It's also not because the question is is misleading.

It's because the essence of that "question" is not actually a question. It's really a statement that says “[insert person here] is such a jerk.” Essentially it's a push question.

When determining whether something is a push question, Inaccuracies or misleading statements are not the things we're looking for. Instead we're looking at context clues to determine whether the OP is really interested in the answer. These context clues include, among other things:

  • Is the OP essentially answering their own question within the scope of the question itself?
  • Is the OP including a lot of information that's not crucial for understanding the question and why it might be asked?
  • Does the actual question make sense?
  • Does the question-part of the question seem just tacked on?
  • Bullet 2 presents quite a challenge if taken together with "demanding prior research". This often results in askers falling into a trap. I really wish this would be more elaborated in some post here on meta… (What is crucial or not is also quite POB!) Nov 12, 2019 at 0:00
  • @LаngLаngС You're talking to the wrong person about this one. I've always been an opponent of the excessive demands for research for questions in the first place. Nov 12, 2019 at 0:03
  • Fair enough. But I am in favour of prior research and in opposition to reading too much into push (riding very maybe too high on a biased sample though. There are push Qs, but I guess I missed the time when this was a thing and now only get to see examples when (prob despicable?) buty mainly cases of poor Qs get shot down for being push, But in that way, felt number-wise bordering towards abuse of push-voting). In general push Q is best served with A dismantling it, or dupe-hammer (especially bad Qs then other matter). Reality is dirty. I continue sighing silently. 2U/U2 ;) Nov 12, 2019 at 0:12
  • 2
    To answer the original post's question, you have to take the question's premise of Trump being unelectable as fact. That's obviously a reason for closure because it is unsubstantiated, and in the site's words, promoting a personal agenda. Let's be honest here. The user is unregistered and vanished right after posting. It's obvious what the asker intended. Very biased.
    – apgov
    Nov 12, 2019 at 20:55

The question seems to be centered around electability. The question provides an argument questioning Trump's electability based on facts (e.g. his disapproval rating, midterm blue wave) and asks why Republicans seem to stick with Trump.

Dethroning may seem charged, but it also has a definition that's not directly tied to monarchy, from the American Heritage Dictionary:

  1. To remove from a prominent or powerful position.

I'd also disagree with this assertion:

Plus, your own site says

“Why is [insert person here] such a jerk?” is clearly off-topic

That's essentially what this rant is claiming.

The question of electability is not one of being a "jerk" or not, it's merely about the potential of getting the numbers. It's not as simple as winning the popular vote, it's primarily about getting enough out of the electoral college and to a lesser extent about winning many congressional districts. To illustrate that it's not a sneer against Republicans, it's a subject that most Democrats face as well: Biden & Warren, Buttigieg and Sanders.

In conclusion, I think it is a fair and interesting question. On the scale of a large party, supporting someone is a policy decision. It's also a question that can be answered because journalists will have analysed this question (e.g. based on the numbers) and they will have asked his supporters in political office why they stand by him despite signs it may harm their party. So the question is answerable.

  • 5
    A few things wrong here. They're not really "facts". I mentioned that the disapproval rating is composed almost entirely of democrats. Second, the question mentions no "midterm blue wave". On top of that, the entire question is very charged. You seem to ignore what I said about the assumptions. The OP literally says "Trump is almost guaranteed to lose given the current state of affairs". Really? How is that acceptable? Yet, a question like the one I tagged that literally asks about a procedure is closed for being"partisan". This question reeks of discrediting Trump and it's obvious.
    – apgov
    Nov 11, 2019 at 15:27
  • 5
    It's interesting how a question that touts conspiracy with no relevant fact whatsoever that bashes Trump is on topic. Anything even hinting something about the "whistleblower, closed immediately for being "politically charged". There are so many examples. I even had to change the title of one of my questions from "admitted" to "stated" to be more "neutral".
    – apgov
    Nov 11, 2019 at 15:35
  • 1
    @apgov well the existence of the rating is a fact, they may be unnuanced or even wrong, but their existence can be referenced. The thing with the good-faith closures is that the depend a lot on perception. Questions that are in scope can be phrased just to sneer someone or some cause. The difference between the open and the closed question is that the open one has minor bad elements (I'd say, only the will lose part is needlessly pointy). The closed question on the other hand asks about neutral policy but seems to be pushing a narrative that's not related to the general policy.
    – JJJ Mod
    Nov 11, 2019 at 15:45
  • 2
    @apgov: If you think a question is too biased, not stating facts etc., you can VTC it, after you have enough rep. If people disagree, the question will probably go through some interesting cycles. Or you can give a frame-challenge answer before then, such as saying that Trump is well-liked by Republicans etc. That's the song and dance here. Nov 12, 2019 at 8:40

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