David Brooks got it exactly right. We don’t need to fear Trump’s ideology — he has none. It’s his incompetence, his lack of intellect, his conflicts of interest, his peevishness, and the family and “royal retainers” he has appointed to run a vast bureaucracy that should help and protect but will focus instead on policies that create profit for its leaders.
What we got:
His business is a pre-modern family clan, not an impersonal corporation, and he is staffing his White House as a pre-modern family monarchy, with his relatives and a few royal retainers. In his business and political dealings, he simply doesn’t acknowledge the difference between private and public, personal and impersonal. Everything is personal, pulsating outward from his needy core.
And how we got it:
We’ve never had a major national leader as professionally unprepared, intellectually ill informed, morally compromised and temperamentally unfit as the man taking the oath on Friday. So let’s not lessen the shock factor that should reverberate across this extraordinary moment.
It took a lot to get us here. It took a once-in-a-century societal challenge — the stresses and strains brought by the global information age — and it took a political system that was too detached and sclerotic to understand and deal with them.
The conflict of interest in nearly every appointee is astounding–a secretary of education who owns interest in charter schools poised to deliver long-distance education, couldn’t answer questions about standardized testing, and has NO personal and NO professional experience with public schools? A secretary of energy who once wanted to demolish the department but has changed his mind right after his nomination? A secretary of treasury who manages a tax haven holding company in the Cayman Islands and lied about an extra 100 million in property he owns and whose bank lied and profited off the foreclosure crisis?
So here we are. I doubt the country will actually end in the next four years, but we are seeing the unraveling. We are at the beginning of the end.
Let the circus begin…