Ed.: 111917 – Words: 1412 – Audio: N/A
At first blush you might think this is another post about Trump’s shortcomings… you’re right, but actually it’s that and a bit more. While our dear President has inspired so much discontent in the country given his general incompetence there are other aspects just as incompetent, directly, indirectly, or not even, attributed to him. The history books will likely figure this point in American history as being the most confusing, if not the “darkest” of administrations… with effects likely going far beyond the presidential term itself. By “dark” I am not suggesting the risk of impending world annihilation in some nuclear conflagration as has been so often a measure in past moods of the country. So far I don’t see that as a threat (no, I don’t see that a risk with North Korea… at the moment).
What I mean by “dark” is the current political quandary, the divisiveness, the cultural divide and subsequent spin-off threats of racial neo-nutcase groups getting more in-your-face in domestic affairs, random mass shootings, the currently-being-ignored mental health epidemic, the national obsession with political correctness… people just taking offence for every cultural infraction, women coming to grips with their newfound voice calling attention to sexual abuse by men of power and influence (and not), everyone more on edge discussing politics, religion, and culture. Right vs. wrong, fact vs. fake facts, the instant dissemination of anything and everything imaginable on smart phones becoming headline news.. no, rather headline gossip… that can’t be defused before going viral… the once reliable media being skewered as part of the national problem because itself is so inundated with news each day… the list of political, cultural, and social bias is endless. I lived through the turbulent 1960’s and I often recount to others much younger that those days were the worst in my 66 times roaming around the sun. This Age of Incompetence is a close second but in an entirely different way.
Our baby boomer generation has done a pretty messed up job in many areas, in spite of the fact that we loudly proclaimed we could do better. Just look at the baby boomer President, the baby boomers still lingering around controlling Congress, the baby boomer appointees of the President. Hell, it was the damn baby boomers who voted for the current president and got him elected. Those racists carrying the Tiki torches are kids of baby boomers.. and baby boomer grand-kids. Who taught them all that hatred? Well, apparently us baby boomers. Apparently we’ve not had enough of the baby boomers because those considering a run for the presidency on both sides in 2020 are… wait for it………… baby boomers! I think us Boomers were right…. don’t trust anyone over thirty… especially us. So you gotta ask the question… where’s the millennials? Just using myself as an example, I have three kids, girl in the middle. The oldest has a physics degree and works for a science presentation facility (that’s cryptic because I can’t tell you given it’s a popular place), my daughter is a property manager, and my youngest is in agricultural design. None of them have any interest in politics… I mean, not even so much as having any great opinions one way or the other. I can’t even debate anything with them; not that they won’t, but there’s no depth. Where did I go wrong? Well, not to worry.. they more than make up for it in other areas to make their old man proud, but you see my point. You’d think at least one of the three millennials I helped to spawn would give a political damn. (“You’re right, dad.. he is an ass. Now go take a blood pressure pill and get over it.”)
So here’s my three reasons we are in the Age of Incompetence.
The first, President Trump himself – Yes, you’ve heard (read) it all before. No political experience, no governmental experience. Add to the a total inability to acquire new concepts, no willingness to learn because of his narcissistic tendencies to know it all, and a number of other behavioral dysfunctions that just compounds the incompetence. He’s dragged the traditions of the presidency down to an unrecognizable level and his efforts on world affairs just reflect his idea of what his world should be like for America. Internationally he’s not respected and as a result America has lost not only international respect as a world player but also a large amount influence in trade and diplomacy. He went into the presidency with a pre-conceived idea of what is wrong and that he could fix it…. alone. Trump has set the tone for all the other elements here to fall into place in defining the Age of Incompetence.
The Second, His Appointments – Well, for a while there was slim hope that the inexperienced and politically dumbfounded new President might appoint his senior leadership from the ranks of the governmental sector be they veterans of elected office or previously appointed public servants involved in policy making. But those hopes were dashed. The following summary is from Wikipedia…
“President Trump’s cabinet is largely made up of nominees who have business experience but minimal experience in the government when compared to the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The Pew Research Center also noted that Mr. Trump’s cabinet is one of the most business-heavy in American history. The think tank stated that “A third of the department heads in the Trump administration (33%) will be people whose prior experience has been entirely in the public sector. “
“There are no economists in President Trump’s cabinet. There are also significantly fewer lawyers in Mr. Trump’s cabinet than in previous administrations.”
I’ll not go into the list to point out the performance levels exhibited thus far by those with no D.C. sense except for one because this person literally needs to be in charge of diplomacy and he has none.. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson… ex-Exxon/Mobile CEO. The man has allowed the State Department to deteriorate so badly due to random staff cuts, allowed internal morale to decline, and absolutely follows Trump’s international policy of not having an international policy.
The one good thing has been the appointment by the Justice Department of Mueller to Special Prosecutor.
And The Last Area of Incompetence… Congress. – Now, in their behalf I should point out that likely they are as uncomfortable and shocked with Trump’s demonstrated inability at being the President as anyone in this country, and that has likely led to some confusion from either party leadership. But having said that, neither party has been able to pull themselves together enough to get anything done.. whether it’s the President’s agenda from the Right or any sort of a united front against Trump from the left. Both parties are in relative turmoil.. no one is compromising, and bills are being presented from both houses focused only on political posturing for the mid term election rather than taking the time to actually study, research, and prepare bills that help the country.
Ok, ok.. I’ll accept the appointment of Gorsuch to the Court as an accomplishment… but that really took little effort on anybody’s part. What I find truly incompetent is some Congressional hearing regarding Trump’s competency in being able to objectively put his finger on the button to launch the nukes… while at the other end of the Capitol some Democrats have made a motion to present articles of impeachment. Ya gotta think that maybe if there is all the hubbub fear of Trump impulsively firing a nuke due to some mental instability that maybe someone should either use that effort to initiate an action according to the 25th Amendment… or link that to those folks trying to impeach. If Congress has reached a point to question Trump’s ability to launch nukes you just don’t remove that diplomatic tool so he can stay in office. That’s nuts.
We’ve got a long way to go to get past this Age of Incompetence… and it’s repercussions beyond.