Based on what you know now about the Trump administration, imagine the administration is faced with an actual, honest-to-God crisis and the GOP has still done nothing to put adults in charge.
Politics aside, the Trump administration can’t even get lying straight. How will they manage any true test of governance without putting everyone involved in grave danger? They will not.
It is one thing to be annoyed by — or philosophically opposed to — elements of how the government is structured. It is another altogether to look the other way when circumstances are real and we are in trouble.
And we are in trouble.
All the while, the party that is, on the whole, looking the other way on this catastrophe is having a difficult time getting people on board for an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act that has nothing to do with augmentation and everything to do with cutting folks off from Medicaid and shifting tax burdens from the wealthy to working people.
It turns out constituents are having a hard time believing politicians who appear cavalier about collusion, and lying about collusion, on top of being dead set on removing the only access tens of millions have to health care coverage they can afford.
So the crisis is already upon us, in a sense.
If these are the priorities of those in charge, we are basically operating without a government. Worse, we are operating without a gatekeeper standing between us and those who will stop at nothing to take what little we have left and redistribute it to upper income brackets. We are operating with people in charge who will not be concerned on our behalf when nearly everyone a degree away from the president has outwardly lied about their involvement with a state with competing interests that considers itself invested in the president’s personal, professional and political success.
Not to mention the crisis of everyday life already being a hurdle for working people, marginalized people, migrants, and nearly everyone of the 99 percent in varying degrees who are reduced to being sitting ducks, ever more vulnerable to hostile policies.
Imagine what a government not reduced to strip mining itself on behalf of corporate interests and lying about its allegiances could do for these people.
The crises we’re experiencing at all levels aren’t even the crises I’m referring to, as jarring, tragic and depressing as they are.
I’m referring to the bigger ones — natural disasters, military interventions, attacks on our soil, and sustained terrorist attacks by far right militants. This executive, and the party that will look the other way so long as it can pass legislation that maximizes profit for the affluent while socializing debt for the rest of us are clearly not equipped to confront these challenges.
Be honest: Aren’t you a little surprised they haven’t gotten us into a nuclear standoff already?
At least when Nixon was engaged with Watergate, he was intelligent and surrounded himself with intelligent (albeit terrifying) people. He was a rat, sure, but rats are smart. This one, not so much.
Every day that goes by in which a sitting politician who has the power to stop this absurdity but chooses not to for the sake of political gain is another day closer to when that politician goes down with this ship.
Part of this, it turns out, is due to our own unrealistic expectations.
I see repeated calls during political campaigns for “anyone but career politicians.” This is something I can wholly understand: Who hasn’t been wronged on multiple fronts by the bodies we see as existing to serve us?
But it turns out that representing the interests of people is a skillset — that operating within government is a skillset. While amateurism is appealing (they’re just like us!) it turns out that being an amateur is not the best qualification for ensuring government isn’t gutted by corporate interests and hostile states.
As for those who are in charge right now — those we desperately need to step up — the time for putting party loyalty aside and moving together toward removing this travesty from office is now.
Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was a teenager. He’s an owner-partner of a Portland-based content production company and lives with his family, dogs and garden in Westbrook.