Mr. Trump Goes to Washington
My old man used to have a saying…. If it was easy…everyone would do it.
Its an ancient truism made brand new again… by the flailing presidency of Donald Trump. These last 5 months we’ve seen Trump smacked upside the head over and over again by just how intractable and complex America’s problems are. Who knew health care was so complicated?..he said. I thought being President would be easier he said.
These are huge admissions from a guy whose whole campaign was based on …only I can fix it. And its gonna happen from day one. But rather than ask why Trump didn’t know better…. I’m asking why didn’t his voters?
Surely they’ve seen every new president battered by what amounts to the steepest learning curve of any job ever. Why did they think President Trump would have it any easier?
The answer lies in one of the oldest myths in American politics…that the system doesn’t work cause politicians are craven and corrupt…if there was just a good guy with some common sense or perhaps a good mind for business.. in there…well he could set things right. Its an idea as old as Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington…and one that Donald trump took full advantage of to bluster his way into the White House.
Problem is …it is indeed a myth. Fact is—the system doesn’t work well for many reasons…including mixed messages from voters… combined with the fact that at times there just aren’t any good or easy answers to complicated problems. Like…North Korea….or tax reform.
Old folks like me remember an Robert Redford flick out of the 70s called..the candidate. At the end…Redfords character wins an impossible race for the US Senate and he turns to his campaign manager and asks the one pertinent question..what do we do now?
I wish our President had better answers.