Americans really did it. An angry majority of voters has launched us on a grand experiment called the Trump presidency. The country has elected a person who has no experience governing and who offered one-line slogans in lieu of reasoned policies. The vision of America he espoused was one rooted in testosterone-laden tribalism. It’s a vision where a President Trump could solve any problem, no mater how complex, with a snap of his fingers and make it so.
That vision, however unrealistic, resonated with that segment of society driven by emotion and fear. The segment that fears “they” are coming for me. Protect me, President Trump – make America great again. It’s not hard to decode that phrase. Make America great again by providing $100,000 manufacturing jobs with pensions and healthcare for any white male that wants it. It won’t happen. While the world has moved on, Trump became president by promoting the fantasy that we can go backwards. He was selling an anachronistic illusion and enough people bought what he was selling to elect him president.
A grim reality awaits Trump, and an even grimmer one for his legions. Trump will quickly learn that the inertia of the federal government will not yield to the snap of his fingers. He will become frustrated that a snap of his fingers only makes noise. He will not admit that his ineffectiveness is because he lacks the experience or skills to persuade or influence people not on his payroll or involved in a business transaction. Running a company, no matter how large, does not prepare one for being the leader of the free world.
A snap of his fingers will not build the wall, it will not eradicate ISIL, it will not lower your taxes, it will not replace Obamacare. His followers will eventually come to that realization. I can almost her them now:
“Well, if I knew my taxes would go up, I’d never have voted for him.”
“Well, if I knew he wasn’t going to build the wall, I’d never have voted for him.”
“Well, if I knew I still can’t get a $100k manufacturing job, I’d never have voted for him.”
“Well, if I knew there would still be criminals, I’d never have voted for him.”
“Well, if I knew there would still be terrorists, I’d never have voted for him.”
And that is the problem. The people that elected Trump based their vote on emotion and not reason. It’s not hard to know that Trump doesn’t have a magical snap that will solve all of your problems. It really isn’t hard to know that governing is hard work that yields incremental progress under the best of conditions. When that realization sets in, unfortunately, it will be too late. The Trump Presidency is now a reality. It’s also a grand civics lesson for voters to learn that voting your anger will never make America great again.