The day after the 2016 presidential election, I dubbed our then-President-Elect an “untethered id” (and sarcastically tagged on the adjective “orange” a few weeks later). Yesterday, the New York Times dropped an anonymous op-ed that, if it is to be believed, validated this characterization:

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Anyone who is paying attention recognizes the truth in this statement. Trump operates from no underlying principle. While the same is true for both the Republican and Democratic Parties, whose campaign platforms consist of mismatched and occasionally contradictory planks, the parties tend to have some degree of consistency. Not so Trump, who has said so many contradictory things on so many subjects that no one can know what he actually believes. Sadly, this plays right into today’s partisan politics because, when someone has said everything, a cherry-picker can find quotes to validate whatever point he wants to make.

But, this characterization and conclusion is hardly revelatory. This has been obvious since the primaries (and before). Fact is, many folks who voted for Trump did not do so out of a belief that he has a guiding philosophy or a moral compass. They did so as a “lesser of two evils” motivation, fearing the that a Clinton presidency would ravage the nation. And, by the by, they attacked me and others, viciously and personally, for not doing as they did.

A sane opposition party would have recognized the “evil” aspect of “lesser evil” and figured out that, by being sane and offering palatable people and palatable ideas, they could simply leverage the Untethered Orange Id’s worst impulses into an easy reclamation of power, by peeling off hold-the-nose voters.

Instead, and to my deep chagrin, the Dems are hell-bent on maintaining their “greater-evil” title, as most recently evinced by the Democrat stars’ histrionics at the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, capped off by Booker’s “Spartacus” chest-thumping (Booker proudly claimed to be willing to risk the consequences of releasing committee-confidential memos. Apparently, those memos, which didn’t include anything of an “aha!” nature, had been un-restricted that morning. Spartacus either ended up wit egg all over his face, or, by one report, lied).

Stack this last bit upon 22 months’ worth of persistent Trump-Derangement Syndrome, and add a liberal helping of clueless socialist “rising stars” like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley perpetuating Bernie Sanders greed-and-envy politics, and, hard as it is to imagine, Trump’s opposition is doing a yeoman’s job in reinforcing the attitudes and worst fears of Trump’s reluctant supporters.

The Dems are very vociferously not-promising that they won’t try to impeach Trump should they win the House in November, but any sane observer knows that they marching to the drum of the batty far-Left, and there’ll be howls if they don’t move forward with impeachment proceedings. They’re also promising to undo the things Trump has gotten right so far, such as the tax cuts.

The endless stream of shit storms that has been pelting Trump is doing quite a bit to perpetuate the narrative that he’s untethered, or perhaps even unhinged. With Twitter serving as an unfiltered pipeline from his id, we’ve become accustomed to phrases like “fake news,” “witch hunt,” “treason,” and a plethora of adjectives, and now we hear, from an anonymous source, that he sees “snakes” everywhere. Some of this might be taken with a grain of salt, given the press’s abandonment of journalistic objectivity, but a lot of it is plain and irrefutable. Trump’s buttons are being pushed, and his character isn’t one that handles that well. In other words, he’s pretty clearly an easily-provoked hot-head.

The wisdom of this persistent provocation is questionable, were it a deliberate strategy to make him look nutty. Or, worse, were it based on a genuine belief that he’s unhinged. Is it smart or good for the health of the nation to provoke an ideologically untethered President that’s easily provoked? Many were concerned, when he won, that the nuclear launch codes were now in the hands of an easily-riled nutter. Why, if that’s the belief, deliberately rile him? Logic would suggest the opposite, leading to the conclusion that “they can’t help themselves,” that this isn’t deliberate, but a reflection of a greater lunacy.

In pushing and poking and being even hotter of head than the President, the opposition does the exact opposite of offering a sane alternative to “lesser-evil” types. Add to that the press’s rankly partisan coverage, and you get a combination that enables the willing to draw several conclusions: That he’s being treated unfairly, that he remains the “outsider” in the swamp, and, critically, that his opposition remains, even after the removal of Clinton from the national stage, the greater evil. The induced conclusion: He may be a piece of shit, but the other side is a jam-packed dump truck.

The “rock and a hard place” choice that many of Trump’s reluctant supporters made remains, and the Left’s wild behavior is prompting many to go with a “devil you know” viewpoint. While many NeverTrumpers, on both the Left and the Right, feel vindicated in their initial judgments of his character (I mostly agree), there are indeed people who are more turned off by the Left than by the Orange Id’s untethered behavior and WTF tweet storms.

Can I foresee sanity returning to federal politics? Is it possible to imagine that a calm, sane, uniting figure rise to the top of either party in the next few years? Certainly not in today’s Democratic Party, where the only path to recognition, it seems, is to scream, shout, and be more-partisan-than-thou, and certainly not in today’s Republican Party, with Trump at the helm and a great big pile of fecklessness roaming the halls of Congress. If Trump survives the multiple storms he’s currently weathering, he’ll be emboldened to even greater swagger, and if the Dems somehow manage to pry him out of office, the madness that will ensue will make us long for the partisan chaos of today.

In the words of the legendary Slim Pickens, I am depressed.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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