Frigate! Ship Happens.
This President's Day, the Executive and Commander in Chief setting the nation's course1 is an incredibly impolitic politician with at least one shade of cray (sic) for each state of the Union, a megalomaniac who embodies the worst qualities of Biff Tannen and Captain Queeg.2 Welcome aboard the Ship of State, the flush-class destroyer, the USS Caine. Seaworthy or not, sail she must, come Hell or high water.
What could possibly go wrong? Nothing!—Unless you fret over trifles like annihilation of the human race through global warming and/or wars, or de facto repeal of the Constitution of the United States (admittedly already as shredded as thousand-dollar jeans). While laser focusing on Trump seems to be the agenda of the PPPC (Politician Pundit Plutocrat Complex), it is about as useful to you and me as a beer keg at a meeting of Women's Christian Temperance Union. It's not about Trump, or shouldn't be. It's about our lives. So, for me, the only important thing is: What now?
Barring resignation, removal or death,3 Trump will likely be the most powerful man in the world for the next (yuck!) four to (yikes!) eight years. That is a long time these days for a nation to do nothing positive for its people or the planet. So, how should the PPPC, especially Democrats, deal with Trump? WWPPPAOPPD? (What Would Pragmatic Politicians, Pundits, And Other Pragmatic People Do?) In other words, What now?
Early in this millennium, the Democratic PPC spent years firing us up against Bush the Lesser. Ah, but when Democrats got power, they "pragmatically" taught us to clear the table and look only forward. With Obama's having replaced Bush at the helm, Democrats pivoted to schooling Americans that rooting against an incumbent President equals rooting against the nation and therefore, ultimately, rooting against oneself—and what could be more unpatriotic and self-defeating? When we learned of the Republican "strategy" of frustrating anything Obama might attempt, Democrats descried it as incredibly selfish and unpatriotic, which, of course, it was--and still is.
Now that Trump is Presidnut, would Democrats be so shamelessly hypocritical as to again engage in behaviors that they themselves described as unpatriotic, selfish and self-defeating? Aye, mate, they already have. Apparently, it's how the game is played: Shameless hypocrisy and self-interest under the misnomer "public service." Whether as career politicians and/or as influence peddlers, the Democratic and Republican PPPC and their families will do just fine financially, no matter what. However, we hoi polloi and our families do stand to lose in this game. But, I digress....(Maybe) Back to Trump/Queeg.
In The Caine Mutiny, Lt. Barney Greenwald successfully defends the officers of the Caine against charges of mutiny for relieving Captain Queeg of his command. Lambasting the officers privately later, however, Lt. Greenwald points out that Captain Queeg could not help himself because Queeg was too sick (emotionally). However, the officers who had relieved Queeg of his command had made intentional choices.
Had the officers chosen to support Queeg from the start, they would not have had to relieve him of his command. Instead, they chose to mock and undermine him at every turn, driving an already impaired man over the edge. For that reason, Lt. Greenwald claimed that it was not the Captain, but the officers (the PPPC) who had put the ship (nation) and its crew (us) at risk. Greenwald says something like, "You don’t support the captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You do it because, unless he can do his job, you’re no good."
Granted, Trump is not a counterpart of Queeg. And, I doubt that merely supporting Trump could save him from himself. Nor do I want him supported in his every endeavor. To the contrary! Still, Lt. Greenwald's rant does have some application to what has been happening since the end of the balls to four watch the morning of November 9, 2016.4 Members of the PPPC can do their damnedest to try to bring out whatever may be best in Trump and to seek common ground with him in the hope of getting something positive for us accomplished. Or, they can continue to choose actions contrary to what they preach when a Democrat holds the Oval Office. Denigrating Trump takes no intelligence or skill: He's too easy a target. Beyond that, doing so stands to help only the PPPC, not us. So, what now?
The highest priority of a public servant would be working with the President, regardless of who the President may be, to attain the maximum benefit for the greatest number of people. However, you don't attain or maintain ability to work with the President by ridiculing him publicly and promising to block him at every turn. Those things are, in my opinion, tacit acknowledgment that your goal is benefiting yourself, not benefiting Americans. Yet,that is exactly what the PPPC, especially has been doing since at least November 9, 2016 and what Democratic plutocrats have promised to keep doing while Trump is President.5
We can spend the rest of Trump's time in office focusing on trying to humiliate Trump. Or we can focus on the greater good. We don’t need to be Trump's accomplices or to enable him, or even pretend to agree with him when we don't. But we also don’t have to go out of our way to degrade him or undermine him. Nor must we attempt to generate hurricane category 5 level public hysteria over every misstep or "misspeak" of his, significant or not.6 And we certainly don't have to fabricate stuff. Or egg on or cheer any of those efforts.
I have zero optimism about mainstream media. However, for the sake of the country, I must hope that at least some adults are somewhere in the immense and incredibly costly room we call the federal government. If so, I hope the adults in the room do their best to accomplish something productive for us.7
1 Italicized terms that are not titles or foreign words are nautical terms, most of which are defined at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_nautical_terms.
2 Of Back to the Future, esp. Back to the Future II, and The Caine Mutiny, respectively. The Caine Mutiny. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=film+The+Caine+Mutiny
5 Among many others: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/315238-schumer-democrats-wi... tooth-and-nail; http://thedailybanter.com/2016/11/democrats-do-to-trump-republicans-obama/; http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/28/michael-moore-lists-the-exact-ways-dem... https://www.yahoo.com/news/democrats-stop-trumps-white-house-143309101.html
6 One recent example of ginning hysteria is characterizing as a "Constitutional crisis" the utterly unremarkable act of a President's appealing a lower court's ruling to a higher court. Another example: Trump said that Putin is not the only killer (in the world), followed by "Do you think this country (the U.S.A.) is so innocent? The PPPC then pretended that Trump had said that the things the US has done are as bad as the things Putin has done.
Most likely, the U.S., being 228 years old, with racism, misogyny and plutocracy enshrined in its Constitution--the last two until 1919 and 1964, respectively--has "out-bad guy-ed" Putin by orders of magnitude. However, I think I may agree that an incumbent President should not cop to that so freely--or so bluntly. President Obama's "We tortured some folks" and Michelle Obama's "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback," caused a stir, too, but not from both left and right, as did Trump's comment.
7 Synchronicity? I started this essay in January, then diverted to other essays and life in general. I saw this on February 12: http://www.mediaite.com/online/grow-up-dnc-chair-candidate-says-democrat... I would not mind seeing this adult as DNC head. Purple state, too!