They affect our lives less than we think they do
I think it depends on what you mean by "less" and whose doing the thinking!
But relatively speaking, I think it depends on who you are. I think in general, middle class folks get less effected by Presidents than the rich and the poor.
I think in general, the poor get thrown a bigger bone when dems are in office than repubs.
Again, this is relatively speaking and is also a statement about how lives are materially effected. If I'm middle class, a president may do something that effects me like raise my taxes, but maybe to me that means I can't afford that new Honda I'm eyeing or take an extra vacation. Maybe I have to be a bit more conscientious with my money..
But for the poor, any hits they take can be devastating to their lives. Conversely, any larger bones may be a great relief.
There's also the atmosphere a President can create. You mentioned toxic promises, how about a toxic zeitgeist? Toxic social atmosphere? Trump threatens to push those social gains of tolerance back to some nether age I don't think it wise to visit. Clinton had her own issues as well, but I think she wasn't near the toxicity level of Trump..
And though we may not be serving in the armed forces, who among us does not get tired and stressed of wars and rumours of wars?
I think the President isn't the only one creating these things, but the current office sitter can either amplify or enervate them.