For all his use of superlatives, Donald Trump and his supporters have shown that they have tiny minds, minds that cannot see the size and scope of government. They see policy actions as single cause and effect propositions. It’s as simplistic as a New Year list of what’s in/what’s out. You’re hired for the National Security Council, Steve. You’re fired from the NSC though you’re the head of military intelligence. Trump & Co. live by a kind of “if your eye offends you, pluck it out” philosophy.
Don’t like what you see in the body politic? Blind yourself to facts by plucking out the country’s eyes in the form of oversight and a free press. Seeing is overrated. Go with the gut. You know, the gut that Trump and Co. see themselves as acting on behalf of. So they figure they can slice and dice, removing the parts they don’t like and leaving only the “good stuff” that will make their supporters and their businesses happy. Nor, judging from the immigration ban imposed so suddenly, without anesthesia. They are performing vivisection on the body politic while their supporters are claiming that this is necessary and that we should all lay back and think of America.
Meanwhile, their “gut” does what guts do and produces a steady stream of shit.
You know that poem: “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost”… then horse, rider, and battle, all the way to a kingdom falling, “all for want of a horse shoe nail.” Someone should read it to them. But I doubt if they’d understand “unintended consequences” because I don’t thing they can think that big.
You sign a decree to block people from certain countries. You don’t tell the governors of states with international airports. No heads up means no time to prepare so that life and business for anyone who deals with travel has minimal disruption. The big boss mentality says deal with it. But we are not his underlings. We are the citizens whose interests it is his job to serve. Throwing my life and the lives of whole communities into disarray with no warning … well I don’t think he thought it through. Didn’t expect the effect to ripple out and amplify. Because he thinks small.
That’s Trump. And that’s Trump’s supporters. They have no clue how to handle this enormous, messy, exuberant, and multilayered product of humanist striving that is the republic. In their gut they know the answers to society’s ills are easy to fix with a stroke of a common sense pen.
Trump supporters would never trust their actual bodies to some guy who said, “I’m healthy. I can be your doctor.” Or, “I’ve flown first class for years, right up at the front of the airplane. I can fly this 747 better than the pilots who have spent their lives in the cockpit.” Yet they hand running the government, more complex than either of these jobs, to a fellow who is confident he can do better simply because he says so. That he says it so blithely and confidently indicates that he has no idea what’s involved.
Our laws are the imperfect rules of civic engagement within and without the nation that have been built layer upon layer like science, like civilization. This allows for the miraculous to seem commonplace. You turn on a tap and get hot water, a switch and get power. It’s the same with laws that have built up over time. Simple actions like catching, trying, and proving a poisoner guilty has only been reliably possible for about 100 years. The civic structures are just as complex as power and water delivered to your home, and took the same slow accretion of knowledge and massaging of policy to make it happen as a matter of course. Mess with part of the structure and it could all come down. And by “it” I mean America.
And then, when the wreckage of a social body, twisted, wrecked, and gasping for life beg for help, they will expect it to come from the experts — also called “elites” because they have education and can see the bigger picture — to patch their broken country and retrieve lost honor. At no point will they take any responsibility, it the past is any indication. And the professionals will step in full well knowing they’ll get no credit once the crisis has passed.