Thursday, August 17, 2017


Political Mayhem Thursday: Three problems beneath the radar

As the Trump presidency turns from a dumpster fire into a dumpster fire  on an out-of-control train about to plunge into a lake of gasoline, it's hard to stay focused on anything for very long. One disaster is overtaken by the next with each news cycle, it seems. His remarks on Tuesday about the events in Charlottesville were breathtakingly awful. But, beneath all that, I want to talk about three problems that may have the most lasting impact.

1) The United States has had mediocre leaders in the past. Now, though, we are functionally leaderless. Donald Trump is so unliked, so disrespected, and so angry himself that he does not successfully perform even the rudimentary functions of a national leader.  The problem with that is that the United States does have enemies. And those enemies must recognize that America is incredibly vulnerable right now. We are perhaps at our lowest political readiness for a challenge in my lifetime. 

2) No one with talent and a conscience would go to work for this administration. It's not like he started with great talent, either. Now, as people leave (and they will) very few people with ability are going to step up to serve this president. Look what happened to decorated General John Kelly! There he was on Tuesday, gobsmacked by what an awful person he works for.  Even if you support the president (a shrinking pool), who wants to be that guy? And so, through a series of morally upright individual decisions, we will have a White House led by a despised, angry man who is served by a fourth-tier group of bureaucrats, sycophants, and family members. 

3)  Christianity is taking a hit. When people see ministers supporting the President at every turn, they don't necessarily distinguish between them and the rest of us, who are appalled. A generation of young people who are not exposed to church or to faith will carry this sad image with them, and it will be an amulet against religion.

Amen on #3. Even youth raised in the church may start leaving in droves.
Say we live through ~4 years of Trump, is there an upside? Are we forced to wrestle with our demons, emerging from the ring the better for it?
I hope so! And there is a positive to the ugliness coming to the surface where it can be seen and addressed.
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