I’ve written here before that the schooling which the United States is likely to receive for the next two years is bound to sting a little.
It’s unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world. The American people will not evaporate; Canada will not suddenly turn into an island. The sun will continue to shine and the earth to rotate about it.
Consider the current situation from a systematic perspective. Abstract the particulars.
America’s national counterparts in the world today have what amounts to gladiatorial schools for leadership. As do we.
In our current multi-party advertising-driven system, the ability to campaign and raise funds is arguably the primary standard of performance.
Elections do have consequences and under stress one often reverts to type.
In the case of the current executive, that type is cerebral and driven by performance metrics. It’s in the nature of the generation and the leaders amongst it.
This is not a criticism. It’s more like an observation. I am a cerebral Gen Xer. I administer a metrics-driven system professionally and enjoy selecting options with easily and measurably beneficial outcomes.
Adversity, on the other hand, teaches us that there are certain things which can be neither easily nor effectively measured.
In that light, it’s not clear to me that prior to the current engagement there was sufficient breadth of experience with real-world adversity to envisioned policies amongst the membership of the cabinet, although there are some obvious exceptions (e.g. Robert Gates).
A greater diversity of experience with the ways in which policies may go awry would clearly have been helpful on a variety of fronts. A deeper bench, if you will.
There are children arriving on borders around the world precisely because security situations are deteriorating around the world. Pax Americana was real. Poorly executed adventurism followed by telegraphed timidity undid it. So be it, the sun will come up tomorrow.
Americans are a hardy breed. Occasionally, it’s necessary to figure out a way around a problem and I think we are all in the process of doing so.
(Btw, I have personal experience with what I understood to be about 50,000 refugees during the Caribbean refugee experiences of 1994. So, I empathize with how difficult those conditions can be. We will be able to handle it. We just need to make some adjustments and move forward.)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, this executive administration is tied in knots and reverting to things which feel good and seemingly make sense.
The current chief executive has been very effective at campaigning and fund raising. His team had (and still has, speaking relative to its peers) limited experience in both national and international leadership.
The criteria in our adversaries’ schools were quite different – therefore the content and caliber of their current leaders are equally so.
It’s going to be a tedious couple of years but it will be over soon enough. We’ll all still be here. There will be plenty of ways to prosper honestly along the way so long as we the people continue to follow the principles with which we are all familiar.
Let’s get to building locally. That’s demonstrably helpful. Good governance is available to all of us with some foresight and engagement.
Look around. Make yourself useful.