The Shifting Sands of Time (2016Oct19)


Wednesday, October 19, 2016                                         1:23 PM

Do you remember the ACA website roll-out? Gosh, what a mess—it took them weeks to make it work properly, right? And the furor, while it was still kludgey, was amazing, deafening—as if a buggy program could never be fixed. But now it works fine (better than the legislation, if we’re being honest about it) and nobody says ‘boo’ about it.

Opponents of Obamacare saw the bobbled roll-out as an opportunity to press their case—against the bill and the president, both. But the moment passed and now we are back to judging ACA on its merits, rather than the mechanics. Issues are always more vulnerable to criticism while they are still in flux—but success always changes the playing field.

The same could be said for the economy, wages, and the fight against ISIL. The meat of Donald Trump’s campaign is that ‘America is losing’. He talks of inner-city hell-scapes (even though crime rates are plummeting). He talks of job loss and high unemployment (even though employment has risen steadily for eight years). Stats on wage-increases show the biggest jump since the sixties. And with the siege of Mosul under weigh, and ahead of schedule, the idea that ISIL represents an existential threat to the USA becomes more and more of a fading boogeyman.

I’ll be interested to see in tonight’s debate whether Trump will get a pass, running on stats that were borderline when he declared two years ago—and are laughably out-of-date in October of 2016. While he’s been vaguely promising to somehow ‘make America great again’, Obama’s administration has been repairing the damage left by Bush, and exceeding the level of success our nation enjoyed before Dubya got his hands on the reins. Yes, Bush-43 did take a lot of the wind out of the sails of our ‘greatness’, but our incredible President Obama has undone all that, and moved beyond, to historically surpass our previous greatness.

People make a lot of noise about wanting the candidates to focus on issues—but they are. There is only one issue—Trump is unfit to be president. Hillary Clinton is as fit as a human being could possibly be. There’s your issue. You can dress it up, if you want—but we do not need a savior to repair all the ‘disasters’ of the Obama years—because they are small potatoes compared to all his enormous successes.

In fact, a case could be made that the whole idea of a ‘disruption’ candidate is an expression of pure frustration—and that slow, thoughtful change is the only reasonable way forward for the world’s greatest government. That is why the Educated demographic is fully backing Clinton, and the Uneducated are fully backing Trump—the uneducated, less mobile, more financially-insecure people are far more open to an emotional message, promising them the moon without any details about the journey.

So, in the end, not only is Trump wildly unfit for public office, but his mission to ‘bigly enGreaten’ America is an entirely unnecessary one. Competent public servants are already taking care of that, Drumpf—you can scurry back to your TV shows. Hillary will handle it.

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