A friend recently asked if I thought the present administration spouts unintelligible nonsense to distract us from something sinister brewing in Washington. Surely they can’t all be that stupid, my friend opined. I shook my head. Maybe they can, I answered. But I don’t think they are.
We referenced such lines as “the president will not be challenged”, or “we want a good relationship with Mexico, we don’t want a bad relationship, but we can’t let it happen” (Trump, 23 February 2017), or even the astonishing references to supposed incidents of terrorism which never occurred. The lame explanations offered for these monumental gaffes boggle the mind. “I heard something on Fox News” battles for most astonishingly inept statement with “I said Atlanta [three times in one week] when I meant Orlando”.
Most of what the current administration appears to be planning will reverse policies of the last eight years. The policies under attack include such important agendas as the equal treatment of persons regardless of gender identity; an acknowledgment of the value of long-time residents who entered our country unlawfully particularly where they came as unwitting children; and a recognition of the need to provide access to affordable insurance and healthcare for every American. It is difficult to understand any set of values which would mandate the erosion of these aims. Yet our current administration promises to identify and reverse presidential orders, rules, regulations, and statutes which underpin these concepts.
Because the administration unequivocally articulates its objectives in these pivotal areas, I reject the notion that its members lack intelligence and acumen. My judgment in this regard extends to the president. He simply cannot be as unintelligent and befuddled as he sounds and still clearly delineate his intention to dismantle the accomplishments of the last eight years. Therefore, I conclude, his master plan requires this insidious smoke-and-mirror display of deliberate obfuscation.
The week’s news includes a smattering of administration hierarchy conveying to various nations that “We ain’t as mad as we seem.” I doubt world leaders will be fooled. The president sits in Washington with the ability to pull the plug on every healthy political alliance; every scheme of justice and fairness; and every agency intended to guide America to clean water, equal education, unbiased access to resources, and unfettered opportunity for economic success. He announces both the plan to do so and his belief that carrying out those intentions will somehow improve our country.
Though I cannot imagine how anyone can hold such beliefs, I hear the president on the radio every blessed day spewing rhetoric which underscores his plan to strip our nation of every element of progress we have made in the last 240 years. Like the ugly screaming of the conspiracy theorist whose website the president is alleged to use as a news source, the plans of our current administration threaten immigrants, gay and transgender persons, our environment, and our children. The hasty executive orders, the fights with the media, and whining of his spokespersons, all distract us from whatever machinations take place behind the curtain.
So pay no attention to the stumbling buffoon. He only looks like an idiot. He’s not as drunk as he seems, and that diabolical gleam in his eye tells the real story.
(1) With apologies to Robin Seydel Ryan.