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US President Donald Trump saluting a member of his team, Sean Hannity, at a political rally in November
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The history of the United States is plagued by disastrous policies. However, it is difficult to think of a situation that has been such an unnecessary calamity or a mistake as deliberate as the current partial closure of the federal administration.
Nor does another personal disaster come to mind, due entirely to one man. When the US president, Donald Trump, told Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi: "I'm going to close it," it was totally accurate, but he also said, "I'm not going to blame them," and that was a lie.
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Either way, no man is self-sufficient, although Trump is more than most. So, in order to understand the magnitude of his paws in policy decisions, it is necessary to recognize the extraordinary quality of the people around him. Of course, when I say "extraordinary," I really mean extraordinarily low quality. Lincoln had a team of rivals; Trump has a team of morons.
If you think it is a somewhat tough qualifier, I refer to the evidence: some recent statements by two members of your team on economic issues. As expected, they used the economic concepts totally wrong; That goes without saying. The surprising thing, rather, is how incapable these men are to follow the script: they cannot even stick to it and act with the natural dishonesty of the right.
The first is Kevin Hassett, president of the Trump Economic Advisors Council, who was asked a question about the difficulties that federal employees who have not received their salary are going through. You don't have to be an expert in public relations to know that you should at least try to express some solidarity; Whether you feel it or not, it's something else. After all, there is an abundance of news about transport security employees who have had to resort to food banks, about the coast guard's recommendation to their workers to organize garage sales and similar ones.
So a good response should at least imply that you care about those employees; Of course, clarifying that it is the fault of those Democrats who do not want to stop the rapists of dark complexion, or something like that. But Hassett couldn't even do that. He declared that everything is fine, that it has actually been “better” for the workers because they have had days off without having to occupy their vacation days.
There is also what Sean Hannity – the television host – said about taxes for the rich. What what? That Hannity is not part of the Trump administration? Of course it is, in all important aspects. In fact, Fox News is not just the state television; it is clear that their presenters have more access to the president and more interference in their decisions than any of those supposed experts who work in places like the State Department or the Department of Defense.
Well, Hannity declared that raising taxes on the rich would damage the economy because "the rich will stop buying the boats they like to enjoy their leisure time," and also "they will stop paying for expensive vacations."
Mmmm, that's not the answer a conservative should give. You are supposed to insist that if the taxes of rich people are low, it is fine because they work as an incentive for them to work very, very hard, not to make it easier for them to take luxurious vacations. The script says you should emphasize that low taxes will save and invest your money in new businesses, not that they will help you pay for new yachts.
Although the real reason you support low taxes is that they allow your rich friends to lead an even more luxurious life, you should not say it out loud.
I insist, the point is not that Trump's near circle doesn't care about ordinary American families, or that they say bullshit, because we can't expect more from them. The amazing thing is that they don't have the slightest idea of how to pretend that they are interested in the middle class or even what nonsense to repeat as merolics to give that impression.
What happens to the Trump team? Why are they not even able to fake a false populism?
It seems to me that there are two possible answers to these questions, one generic for modern conservatism and another specific for Trump.
As for the generic: to be a modern conservative, you must spend your whole life in a kind of cult, that protects you from ideas and even from ways of speaking outside. Within that cult, the generalized stance is contempt for ordinary American workers (remember when Eric Cantor, in his time as the majority leader in the House of Representatives, celebrated Labor Day with praise to businessmen ). Also the veneration of wealth is widespread. The problem is that cult members may have a hard time remembering that they should not speak to those who do not belong to their group.
Now let's explain the Trump effect. Usually, working for the president of the United States is a distinction that opens doors for your professional career, an excellent point in your curriculum. In contrast, Trump's presidency is so chaotic and corrupt, and there is such a great risk that it will get entangled in its messes with the foreigner, that anyone related to it is contaminated (so, after only two years, it has left behind him a trail of finished men and reputations for the floors).
So who will want to work with him now? Only those who do not have a reputation to care for, in general because they are quite bad at work. Undoubtedly, there must be some intelligent conservatives and with some self-control capable of lying with an air that can deceive, or at least leave open the possibility of denying complicities, and defending Trump's policies without looking like all morons. But those have already hidden.
A year ago, I predicted that the Trump presidency was on its way to becoming the government of the worst and the dumbest. However, since then the situation has worsened and the actions have become even more silly. The worst thing is that we still don't hit bottom.