I have to wonder what kind of internal monologue runs through the heads of Trump supporters these days. Here are some fictional quotes based on what I’ve heard-

Virginia, 52 y, Kearney, NE: “I know he has some problems, but he is shaking up Washington. Give him time to catch his stride.”

Ben, 73 y, Henderson, NV:  “Don’t care what he does long as he puts that dishonest Hill’ry in jail where she belongs.”

Arlene, 68 y, Webster City, IA: “I wish’d Ted Cruz was president … ”

Sheree, 31 y, Livonia, MI: ” No real choice but to vote for Trump.”

Lenny, 47, Russellville, AL: ” … shee-yit, cain’t believe Dale Junior is gonna retire …”

Boyce, 77 y, Rock Hill, SC: ” Billionaire oughta be able ta run th’ country. Heck-fire, O-bama did it, sorta.”

Cassie, 48 y, Sheboygan, WI: “… can’t get over my husband votin’ for that disgusting SOB…”

Allen, 56 y, Fargo, ND: ” Trump said he’s gonna put us back to work. Gotta keep drillin’. Oil is what keeps this country runnin’.”

Emma, 39 y, Abilene, TX: “Pastor said to vote for Trump. We’re prayin’ he’ll pull through these rough patches of fake news.”

You really can’t tell what Trump people are now thinking about this real-estate-billionaire-as-president debacle being broadcast 24/7. Our better angels might have whispered a soothing assurance that there would be widespread wailing and parades of contrition by now. But no, it’s not happening. In my experience the great masses of Trump believers have either clammed up or express no misgivings. A very strange picture against the backdrop of blatant bad behavior on a daily basis.

Seems obvious as hell that an autocratic hand-waving “Chairman of the Board” approach to executive governance is not going to work. Obvious to everyone but the Trump fans. Why would folks think that a business management template could be applied to the government? Government as we know it is not a profit oriented endeavor. It is a not-for-profit enterprise serving the many needs of society. The word ‘democracy’ has been used to describe the American system, although oligarchy, plutocracy, corporatist, and the like have gain favor in recent years.

A business organization is not a democratic structure. It is autocratic by nature. There is no freedom of speech in business. Due process is sketchy. No bill of rights in regard to your career path. It is very Darwinian and anti-democratic, yet Americans have adapted to the many small dictatorships that govern up our working lives.

It is a curious thing to see flag-waving conservative evangelicals embracing capitalism and American corporatism when it is so antithetical to the common though childish narrative of American virtues of egalitarianism and freedom.

The notion that governments can and should be operated as a businesslike organization is a utopian fantasy. It is preached by wealthy neoliberals who seek to absorb land and natural resources (i.e., control) which are now in the public domain. It’s reminiscent of the Oklahoma land rush, except that few of us are invited. An example of the neoliberal players would be the Koch brothers, among others, who are steeped in some variant of the Austrian school of economics mixed with John Birch Society ‘nuance’. The goal of these devotees is to deconstruct the present government to a greatly diminished level that will then guide the privatization of the public domain, meaning public lands, public schools, and the mineral wealth of the continent. Remember the words of Grover Norquist: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”  Norquist got a lot of publicity from this statement. Unfortunately it shows an incredible ignorance of history.

“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”  Ronald Reagan

I think Reagan was right in his comment about protecting us from each other. However, I think that the next sentence is dead wrong. As a precocious species we continue to accelerate the depletion of resources and the injection of waste onto our small planet. We are tipping the balance of the biosphere in measureable ways. Mankind is lurching forward in a way that is not sustainable and will eventually end in social collapse as resource scarcity triggers international conflict.

If we were limited to spears and stone axes, large scale conflict might be recoverable. But something terrible lurks in the background. A handful of nations, several with serious disputes, have a large number of nuclear weapons waiting 24/7 for instructions. No nuclear armed country facing certain doom by invasion or destruction will perish with its nuclear arsenal sitting in storage. It is imperative that the knowledge and responsibility for restraint and wise stewardship of our nuclear heritage be passed with fidelity down through the generations to come. We really do need to protect us from ourselves.

 

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