This week’s over-used word, CHAOS.
And chaos follows directly on the heels of the President’s claim that he was running a “fine-tuned machine.”
The chaos we want to address today is that within the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some commentators have termed these bodies supine, which means lying down. Well, they certainly are.
Mr. Trump, Mr. Bannon, Mr. Priebus have all, in the past week, laid down the “law.” The law in this case is simply: “Oh yeah, and what are you going to do about it?”
A corollary to that law is equally simple: “No, as a matter of fact, we’re not going to stop ignoring rules and standards. They may have applied in the past to others but never to us.”
Who’s going to stand up and gainsay this legislative stampede?
How did the US get into a position where approximately 39 percent of Republicans who voted – against the 60 percent who either did not vote or voted in favor of other candidates – have their heels on the necks their countrymen?
The answer, as far as we can see, is the Chaos Theory. If no one knows what’s going on, if no one knows on whom to count as an ally, if despite the dramatic statements issuing from the President as he signs executive orders (which is all he’s doing these days and holding rallies to maintain his “sugar” high), nothing is actually being transacted – if insurance companies, hospitals, the well and the sick cannot figure out where they stand in terms of their own incomes, lives, and chances for survival , if our august representatives have been terrorized into realizing that their jobs and abilities to feed their own families depend on bowing and scraping to the Donald, if Republicans of good will and moral fibre cannot bring themselves to examine and investigate the many questionable activities of the administration….then what can we expect?
And just who, pray, is the “they” Mr. Bannon promises will never give us our country back without Armageddon?
Despite making warm, happy sounds about being the President of all the people, Mr. Trump has demonstrated that the only people he cares about are those who voted for him.
What does Mr. Bannon’s statement that each of the cabinet members so far chosen was selected purposely to deconstruct the departments over which they will rule leave for the rest of us?
Well, chaos is not relegated to only one party .
One thing left for us is hope. Then anger. Or reverse that: anger, then hope. As the Donald and his family ride roughshod over every standard of good government, those standards are highlighted in our memories. Better, in our hearts. Even those who did vote for Mr. Trump are in most cases old enough and smart enough to remember when public service meant exactly that. When talking frankly with the public about the problems the country faced, and solutions for those problems, was conducted civilly and with purpose-driven sense. We didn’t need to be bludgeoned and frightened into obeying daily bulletins for behavior. For example, yesterday the Donald talked about using Armed Force to control the immigration tsunami he keeps pointing to. Then John Kelly came out within the hour and said that as far as he was concerned, as head of Homeland Security, the military would never be used to help immigration officials do their wretched work. If two men in close proximity can’t communicate clearly with each other, what do we have but Chaos?
If Mr. Trump, with his decades of diplomatic experience pushes his new Secretary of State to the side because he, Donald, wants to do everything himself, what can our allies think except that chaos reigns?
If Donald wants more nukes, aren’t other nations going to want them, too? Chaos.
If, as some press reports stated last night, the administration is trying to silence the FBI in its efforts to track down the Russian influence during the election, this leads almost directly to the chaos of Richard Nixon’s pre-resignation days.
And IF members of congressional committees enable Mr. Trump to grease his way to fame and fortune, saying in effect this has all been done before, and “never mind,” don’t we have a congress operating blindly, chaotically, because it doesn’t know in which direction Trump, Bannon et al are planning to turn next. To be honest, Congress itself doesn’t know in what direction to turn next: embrace Russia, threaten China, bully Mexico.
Repealing Obamacare is chaotic; rewriting a tax code is chaotic; saving the coal industry is chaotic and futile and a matter of talk rather than action. People are too easily satisfied.
There are men and women in Congress who cannot be called supine. McCain, Graham, Collins, Paul, Flake. On the other hand, these people of good intent are powerless against the oleaginous McConnell and scholastic Ryan.
What is America left with now?
Perhaps accepting up Bannon’s challenge and taking to the streets. This is more Venezuela’s style than our own, but in order to survive, to keep taking in the world’s tired, humble and poor, to remain a “shining beacon,” we need order and common sense and respect among ourselves.
In this week’s New Yorker is a cartoon of two American bald eagles chatting on a branch somewhere up north. Says one to the other, “Now when I fly, I tell people I’m a Canada goose.”