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Reblogged:Windbag of Change?

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In an amusing column about the already-departed Anthony Scaramucci, George Will raises a better question than he may realize:

[Attorney General Jeff] Sessions serves at the pleasure of the president, who does not seem pleased. Still, sympathy for Sessions is in order: What is he to do? If dignity concerned him, he would resign; but if it did, he would not occupy a Trump-bestowed office from which to resign. Such are the conundrums of current politics. Concerning which, there is excessive gloom.

"To see what is in front of one's nose," George Orwell wrote, "needs a constant struggle." An unnoticed reason for cheerfulness is that in one, if only one, particular, Trump is something the nation did not know it needed -- a feeble president whose manner can cure the nation's excessive fixation with the presidency. [bold added]
Interesting. Will elaborates a paragraph or so further:
[T]oday's president is doing invaluable damage to Americans' infantilizing assumption that the presidency magically envelops its occupant with a nimbus of seriousness. After the president went to West Virginia to harangue some (probably mystified) Boy Scouts about his magnificence and persecutions, he confessed to Ohioans that Lincoln, but only Lincoln, was more "presidential" than he. So much for the austere and reticent first president, who, when the office was soft wax, tried to fashion a style of dignity compatible with republican simplicity.

Fastidious people who worry that the president's West Virginia and Ohio performances -- the alpha male as crybaby -- diminished the presidency are missing the point, which is: For now, worse is better. Diminution drains this office of the sacerdotal pomposities that have encrusted it... [bold added]
It would be nice if the President were to inadvertently help Americans look again to themselves to solve their own problems, and with suspicion on a government that sought to do anything more than ensure that they are able to do so.

But is this the lesson they will learn and, if so, will it stick? Given current cultural trends, I have my doubts. Too many who oppose Trump favored a socialist, seemingly oblivious to the track record of socialism, with the latest catastrophe on display next door, right now, in Venezuela. Too many who want to work with Trump seem to think that the only problem with Barack Obama was that he was "incompetent." Both sides seem impervious to putting two and two together, to drawing usable truths from experience, to principled thinking. Or, to borrow Will's way of putting things: What are Americans to do? If principles concerned us, we would, perhaps mockingly, endure the next few years; but if they did, we would not have found ourselves facing the "choice" we did last November. I am of the opinion that Trump's fans will remain oblivious to his buffoonery, and that his detractors will imagine a savior to replace him with. Those of us who see that history isn't a matter of personalities don't need this lesson, and those who don't may be incapable of learning it.

-- CAV

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